Buskers to come to downtown Abbotsford

New program gives street performers a chance to play

A downtown busking program will launch in Abbotsford.

A downtown busking program will launch in Abbotsford.

The corners of downtown Abbotsford will soon be home to variety of buskers and street performers.

The Abbotsford Downtown Business Association (ADBA) will begin issuing permits to those who would like to put their talents on display.

Tina Stewart, executive director of the ADBA, said they brought in performers and buskers at last year’s Berrybeat Festival and had a lot of positive feedback.

Those entertainers were from Vancouver, but Stewart said Abbotsford has many talented people who could help make the downtown’s streets more lively while showcasing local artists.

“You see it on Granville Island, you see it in Pike Place Market, and it just makes the area so vibrant,” she said.

Promoting local arts is something the ADBA is focusing on in the new year as they prepare to move to a new location with the Abbotsford Arts Council in the former MSA Centennial Library (33660 South Fraser Way).

They are looking for any type of artist, including musicians, dancers, open air artists and more. The youngest age they will allow is 13 years old, and those 13 to 16 must have a parent or guardian present.

There will be auditions initially, but Stewart said it’s unlikely people would be turned down.

The ADBA has examined the programs at Granville Island and Pike Place to see how they can be adapted here. There will be certain restrictions on when people can perform and time limits for artists if others are waiting for a prime location.

Stewart said there may be a learning curve as the process rolls out, and the ADBA is open to input.

The auditions will start in the next few weeks and buskers should be out by the spring.

An annual individual permit will cost $30 and a group permit (maximum of three people) will cost $70.

Forms can be found online at downtownabbotsford.com. For more information, call the ADBA at 604-850-6547 or email info@downtownabbotsford.com.