THUNDER BAY -- Street corner music isn’t always common in the city.
Yet a visit this weekend to a popular north side business district will show the talent that is out there.
The second annual Valley Fresh Buskers’ Festival, which is being held in the Bay and Algoma neighbourhood, is bringing entertainers together with members of the public in a street festival.
Kerrie Atkinson, treasurer of the Bay and Algoma Business Association, said the festival makes local music and entertainment more accessible to the average person and gives them a different performing experience.
“There will be the odd busker here and there but (this weekend) we’ve brought them all together,” Atkinson said Saturday morning.
“They’re musicians actually who don’t always play on the street. A lot play in pubs and other kinds of venues and this brings them out right on a level with the public.”
For the musicians the change in venue is quite refreshing.
The outdoor atmosphere is more casual and conducive to performer and audience interaction.
The duo of Sydney McInnis and Farren Tropea were performing in the morning by the corner of Bay Street and Secord Street and they relished the opportunity.
“More often when we play it’s in a secluded setting where this is open and free-spirited. Anyone can come,” Tropea said.
McInnis added the festival is one of their only chances to play in that kind of environment.
Other performers included magicians, dance groups as well as a pair of unicyclists.
The festival includes much more than just the performances. Vendors were selling food, jewellery, art and other items.
Most of the businesses in the area had displays outside their shops to catch passersby and sidewalk shoppers. There was also a wide variety of food vendors.
The festival helps serve as a showcase for the vibrant neighbourhood, which contains an assortment of local, independent businesses.
“It brings more people in and it’s a vibrant neighbourhood but you have to keep reminding people,” Atkinson said.
The presence of the local community is evident throughout the area.
McInnis felt a sense of community amongst everybody involved..
“I think everyone here probably has a common interest. They like shopping local, eating local food and listening to local food,” she said.
“We love supporting local festivals and events and definitely love playing music for people.”
The festival continues Sunday, running from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Bay Street will be closed from Court Street to Secord.
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.