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Q: What do Indio Saravanja, The Bare Naked Ladies, Bob Hope, Violent Femmes, Penn & Teller, Robin Williams and Jian Ghomeshi have in common?

A: They busked!

Proposal for a community brainstorm…

Municipally-sanctioned busking stations in downtown Yellowknife, Old Town and near the Museum/Visitor’s Centre in SUMMER 2009.

a) To provide a venue for local and visiting street performers and musicians to perform for donations (with municipal permission for musicians to sell copies of their own CD’s, as buskers in Vancouver are legally allowed to do)
b) To provide tourists with some entertaining rest stops during their walkabouts in our town
c) To assist with the current revitalization of the downtown core and Old Town
d) To help augment and/or revitalize existing festivals (Caribou Carnival, Old Town Ramble & Ride, Solstice Festival etc…)
e) For fun!

Buskers in Yellowknife could be more than entertainers… They could help inform tourists of coming events and special attractions and improve the spirit and atmosphere of the downtown core (thus making Yellowknife more safe and friendly). It’s also a great way for visiting musicians or performing artists to meet one another.

A non-profit, grassroots fringe festival in summer 2009 featuring outdoor theatre, busking, “theatre in the park” and other events combined with indoor events around town.

A creative team of brains willing to…
a) Dig the idea, believe in it and contribute ideas to it…
b) Liase with city officials, performing arts organizations (NACC, RAANT etc.), local businesses, festival organizers and other stakeholders
c) Research busking policies in other cities
d) Help promote the idea well in advance of summer 2009 to give visiting performers and tourists the opportunity to share in the experience. This can be accomplished by being sufficiently organized and committed by Dec. 2008 so that a notice can appear in all the local visitors’ guides and busker/fringe festival schedules
e) Help educate Yellowknife residents about street performer audience etiquette

If you would like to share ideas, concerns, time and/or energy on this endeavour over the next year --- I would, too! Please get in touch… No rush. None of this organizing needs to be overwhelming or too much work for any individual – just a couple of hours each a month. None of this has to cost any significant amount of money, either. If the community takes pleasure in the notion, the rest will take care of itself. And it is a really nice notion!

Thanks for your consideration,
-daron. 445-6261