It is hard to believe that Â BuskerFest has been hitting Toronto streets [Front between roughly Yonge to Jarvis and there abouts] for 10 years. There is no doubt that a lot of awe, laughs and smiles have been created in that period – and this year was no exception:
Great juggling with a wry sense of humor – here having “any old dummy do the juggling” the kids got the yoke.
A street chalk cartoonist taking a bear break despite the impending rain.
And Elvis was in the crowd in statuesque form – with many admirers.
But still something was awry – something upside down. I had a hard time putting my finger on it.
And then the upside down antics of some of the buskers performers triggered a flash.
This was the tenth anniversary year, but a very tough one for recession shocked Canadians – particularly in Ontario and the Toronto area. Scotiabank was sponsoring a funding drive for Epilepsy Toronto – importuning all who arrived asking for a donation at all the gates and within the Fest grounds. But so were the Buskers also asking for payment too. Too much asking.
What Scotia might have done for the Busker Tenth Anniversary show was pay the Busker performers more than double wages and have the performers, in a reverse role, giving away 5 prizes [plus maybe one goofy one] to the best audience members using dreamed up criteria like biggest smile, most laughs, gaudiest clothes, cutest kid … whatever. Then have Eplilepsy Toronto collect the Busker fees for their charity. Now Scotiabank made $931 million in the just completed quarter and $2.084 billion year to date – so its not as if the bank could not afford this. And the PR would have been turned from Dross to Golden.