The Victoria International Buskers Festival - welcoming the world to the Inner Harbour!

With its year-round street performers and king's court architecture, Victoria is a perfect place to host an International Buskers Festival - one even grand enough to rival Halifax's famous annual event. For the past 10 days, our fine city has done just that! With 6 stages, over 400 performances, and a colourful array of global entertainers, Victoria welcomed the world to the Inner Harbour.

Local buskers had a special place, too, with locations known as "Busk Stops" strategically placed close to the action, but not so close that the stage acts would cramp their space.

"I loved every minute of it," says local performer Darth Fiddler, who had one of the coolest signs of the bunch.

"Events like this help restore busking to its original place in society - it truly is an ancient, legitimate art form, worthy of celebration and respect."

World-class performers included contortionist Bendy Em from New Zealand, fire-throwing mavericks Flame Oz from UK, and hula hoop champion Becky Hoops from Montreal, to name a few! There was even a trapeze set up on the front lawn of The Empress Hotel for the Aerial Angels from Kalamazoo - it was a surreal sight, to say the least!

There was also an opportunity for audiences to vote for their favourite busker for "The People's Choice Award." The winner? Master Juggler Victor Rubilar! Originally from Argentina and now based in Sweden, Victor gave a fantastic performance, actively engaging the audience and wowing the crowd with his "football juggling" - which has broken a number of Guiness World Records. We caught him when he was just getting revved up - and boy, did he draw a crowd!

The Festival was the brainchild of John Vickers, who was inspired one summer evening 2 years ago as he watched a crowd form around a local performer on Government Street. He thought of the Halifax International Buskers Festival, and wondered why we couldn't have an equally popular one here.

"He's a brilliant man," says Darth Fiddler, "and he's worked very hard to put this on. Being from the Maritimes myself, I had always wanted to go to the Halifax Festival. With the success of this one, though, it looks like I won't have to travel very far after all."

Thanks to John Vickers, the volunteers, and performers who helped make this happen. We're all looking forward to next year!


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