02-04-2012 06:44 PM
For those of you who missed the Little Woodstock West Street Festival 2011,here is video. All photos by Shutterfly photography. A huge thank you to all the volunteer performers!
02-23-2012 05:42 PM
I have been busy busking in Vancouver at The Robson Street Ice Rink. The Downtown vancouver business Improvement Association pays me $125.00 for a two hour show. I am amplified, and I can busk and sell cds. This is an amazing opportunity and I am grateful to the DNVBIA for the gig. Watching the families enjoy their skate is awesome. Last week I had a number of Taiwanese students come up and join me.
Here in Nanaimo i have 2 group licences and my own single licence. I will be playing with a number of interesting players, including kevin Hicks and Johnny James. Some shows will be blues, some Celtic and others will be techno. this will be a vibrant year for busking in Nanaimo as many diverse acts will be performing.
03-02-2012 09:17 AM
I would like to hear from everyone out there their opinion about the Front Street Grill, where I have been playing every Thursday night. Nobody comes in to dine before the music starts. Is there a problem with the food? the music? the staff? the owners? I need to know, because I would hate to see a nice venue go under. I start busking in May, so I hope to see you out there this summer. Thanks, everybody.
03-02-2012 12:49 PM
I am playing there on March 17th with a five piece Irish band "Blue Gambit". Kenny Brault is on bazouki, mandolin and bass, Len Imbery on Electric accordion, Johnny James on lead guitar,Gerry Bird on drums and myself on bass. We expect a packed house. My other group, the Grey Notes is there on April 21. Last time out we had a full room as well. I really like The Front Sreet Grill. The owner supports local music of all kinds. I enjoyed my night there and expect to again. Is it only on Thursday that the people dont come until later? I found the staff were great as well.
As for busking in Nanaimo,
I do busk when I am in town. I am getting a good reaction downtown. I am quite concerned about the new crop of panhandlers though. They insist on using busking spots and are quite aggressive!
03-03-2012 08:23 AM
I'm sure, QOTF, that by the end of May, the harbor will be "buskered".
03-03-2012 08:25 AM
I believe you are right, Treblemaker.
Have you noticed how many busking spots are right next to garbage cans?
03-11-2012 09:30 PM
Ha Ha! Now I know the tricks of the trade. It all makes sense! I am going to get my seeing eye dog, throw my white cane in the case, and forget everything I know about busking! This little movie had me laughing my head off! Enjoy!
04-29-2012 10:25 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=7lDXgG-9xJc Thanks to the DNBIA for this one! We were not busking but somehow we managed to find some coins in the case!
05-20-2012 09:24 PM
From The Nanaimo Street Musician’s Blog
“A Busker with a room with a view, and a dollar in my pocket book”
2012 is to be a different year for this busker, I hope. I have bought a license in Nanaimo at the urging of my friend from the TV station. He assured me that I would be safe in the downtown environment, and told me that my talents were missed on Nanaimo streets. I know that he is looking out for me when I am playing and I truly do appreciate it.
My goal is to be positive. I leave my house every day, dressed appropriately, clean, and with my instrument tuned. It is about seven blocks to downtown Nanaimo from my house, which means of course that it seven blocks uphill after my busking day. I am in pretty good shape for a 56 year old grandma, but some days that uphill climb is a killer!
Today, I got to Serious Coffee at 10:00 am. There I met with the other two “busketeers”, Randy and Darryl. They are two professional country music pickers, who are tired of going to jams, and spending their money on beer or coffee, just so they can get to play with a group. Darryl has been playing pedal steel. and guitar since he was 18 years old. Randy came to the guitar late, but has made up for it by practicing for hours and hours every single day for about 8 years. We are all over 55 years old, dressed in cowboy hats and not amplified. The plan was to pick and grin for an hour before the parade started and make a couple of bucks.
I guess we were not kidding about a ‘couple of bucks”. We played from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm singing old country songs, kid’s songs and old rock and roll classics. We were under an awning so we didn’t get wet. Lots of smiles and good reactions from the folks, especially the kids, but at the end of two hours we made $3.00 each! Darryl has a Takamine guitar, Randy has a beautiful baby Taylor and I have a Greven White Lady. We play nice instruments because we want to sound good. The three of us have worked hard all our lives to buy decent equipment. We wear nice cowboy hats because we want to look like players, and not bums.
We laughed about it, and had fun playing together for sure. During those two hours we were approached numerous times by panhandlers asking for money and cigarettes. There were panhandlers on every corner of Commercial Street. We need a big sign that says, “No Home, No Family and No truck!’
Next we went to the waterfront where we played for another hour and netted another $3.00 each! Lol!
Staying positive, we old country codgers have decided that the “Busketeers” are off to Vancouver next week. We love Nanaimo, and we love playing music on the street, but seriously, the panhandlers are making more money sitting on their butts on the corner than we are as players, and we cant afford to keep giving them free rollies.
Onward and upward! You gotta love playing on the street!
http://www.myspace.com/home I decided to start a little blog on my busking experiences. This one is from today.
06-02-2012 07:47 AM
I was invited to busk at The Old City Quarter yesterday for their "first Friday'. Every month they will will have this day of music and super deals! This was one of the most positive experiences I have had busking in Nanaimo. I wandered like a minstrel throughout the Quarter, and a hat was put in The Organic Store. Technically we were not allowed to busk except for the spot on the corner of Fitzwilliam and Wesley Street where the garbage can is situated. I tried that, and almost got stung by a wasp as soon as I picked up the guitar. It seems rather silly to me that merchants are not allowed to hire buskers for special events. Good on them for trying to add atmosphere to the area. Marty Shepherd on trumpet and his son Kyle were jazzing up the place. Eric MacLean was playing blues outside his shop. People were gathering, and there definitely was a sense of festivity. totally fun!
Later I headed down to the waterfront hoping to play by Trollers. On my way I found three separate buskers, playing without a license. Oh my, I almost reacted negatively,as this is the reason, I refused to buy a license in 2010. Staying positive, I let the folks know that they can be ticketed, and that some licensed buskers might ask them to move.
Three of the spots at the walkway are not available for buskers for the weekend of the boatshow. no replacement spots have been made available. Still positive, i moved down to the spot where the natives carve and sell their beadwork. i played for an hour and my music was well received by the passersby. There were not many. I have seldom seen the waterfront so deserted. I dont play at Maffeo Sutton Park anymore because of the two incidents this year, one an old man beaten up for a few dollars, the other a minister beaten and almost robbed. I saw no police or bylaw officers on my little journey.
I had thought about going to Vancouver to play at translink stations today, but I plan to check out the scene at the waterfront, and downtown, as we have 49 licensed buskers and only 1 viable spot on the waterfront. I will take some pics and keep you posted.