The following blog post was written by Graydon Leigh, a political science major at the University of Victoria. Graydon grew up in Port Coquitlam, BC and aspires to be a journalist. He is an avid hockey fan and is honoured to write about volunteerism in the Victoria community.
Street entertainment finds a new home as the Victoria International Buskers Festival kicks off its second season this summer. Talented performers from across the globe will assemble in downtown Victoria from July 20th to the 29th, spreading joy and good times to spectators of all ages and backgrounds.
Performers range from jugglers, comics and contortionists to an innovative muscian named Darth Fiddler who dons the attire of a very recognizable figure in pop culture.
The center of the hub is located in the inner harbor but stages are situated all over the city. Shows run from noon to 10pm every day, ranging from 45 minutes to 2 hours in length.
Performances are free for all to attend; however, performers rely heavily on tips and donations to support themselves. Patrons are urged to be generous, depending on their level of disposable income, and to remember that, although the entertainment provided by street performers is priceless, these entertainers also deserve to be paid a fair price for their quality of showmanship.
Volunteers are essential and a huge part of what makes this event so fantastic. Organizers put a huge emphasis on making sure volunteers have an awesome time. There are a variety of stimulating positions, including assisting and interacting with performers, as well as helping at information booths and performance stages.
Although this festival is in its infancy, additions of two performance stages and a comedy cabaret indicate confidence that the event is here to stay. The Victoria Event Center hosts the cabaret from July 23rd to the 27th. Comics start at 8:30pm and cause laughter until midnight.
A children’s village has also been added this year, ensuring that folks who seek child-friendly entertainment will attend en masse. Volunteers who have experience working with children are encouraged to lend their expertise to this fresh and innovative concept, which will run from 1-4pm, at the festival’s inner harbor headquarters, every day of the event.
Two shows in particular will require heavy volunteer involvement. Both will be located on the front lawn of the Farimont Empress hotel on the 100.3 The Q’s stage.
- Saturday, July 28th at 1pm, the City of Victoria’s 150th anniversary show, celebrating local francophone history and performers from Canadian Cirque du Soleil.
- Sunday, July 29th at 5pm, a closing show, featuring all buskers on the final night of the festival.
To get involved in this unique, 9 day celebration of street theatre, and have yourself a blast, please visit http://victoriabuskers.com/volunteers/. Spots are expected to fill up fast, so don’t hesitate to register early!