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Old 05-21-13, 11:57 AM   #1
Godfrey Daniels
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Join Date: May 2003
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Default Granville Island - new rules

I haven't seen the 15-page rulebook - sounds a bit medieval...

Granville Island buskers say onerous rules, auditions clash with local values
Dawn Monette performs outside the art gallery on Robson Street in downtown Vancouver on May 20, 2013.
By Denise Ryan, Vancouver Sun May 21, 2013

Buskers on Granville Island are upset with new regulations and a strict new audition process that stripped a popular autistic musician of his permit to perform at the bustling tourist site.

They say the new rules are out of harmony with local culture and the values that, until now, made Granville Island, in the words of busker Eden Cheung, “one of the best places in the world to busk.”

Keegan Chen, 31, who has Aspergers, had been performing on Granville Island for several years. His father Patrick Chen said that after going through the new audition process that came into force this year, his son was cut with no explanation.

“He was crushed,” Patrick Chen said. “Granville Island says they are diverse, with varying types of performers. He’d been there for years, and he was very popular.”

Dawn Monette, who has performed as a juggling golden statue on Granville Island for four years, is boycotting the federally owned property in protest and trying to organize a buskers association to advocate on behalf of street performers.

Monette said buskers were stunned this year when the Granville Island Cultural Society doubled the permit fees (to $110 from $55) and announced the new rules that she believes will limit the performers’ artistic freedom and exclude performers such as Chen.

Buskers were not consulted about the new rules, which also include a ban on fire performances, a tougher, two-tier audition process, cutbacks in available areas and a ban on deviating from scripts approved by the GICS.

Monette says the new rules also stipulate that performers can’t improvise, engage with audience members or deviate from the script they auditioned with — a restriction on free speech that particularly upsets her.

“All of us thrive on being able to connect with people. For each show to be formulaic is impossible. As an artist or performer, if I want to be able to change one of my jokes, I should be able to.”

Between 15 and 25 licensed buskers show up to draw for spots around Granville Island each day during the prime spring and summer months, Cheung said.

Cheung offers a popular variety act that includes magic, card tricks, whip cracking, harmonica and balancing on a ladder.

“It’s been tough lately,” he said. “The mood has darkened.”

Cheung is continuing to perform at Granville Island while trying to lobby for buskers to have a voice in how their acts are managed.

“To have someone with a busking background making these decisions would help alleviate the concerns,” said Cheung.

He said some aspects of the new 15-page rule book and contract seem arbitrary.

“The fire ban was a total shock,” he said. “There has never been an incident, no damage, we are all safe, we all carry personal liability insurance.”

Cheung said Granville Island administrators informed the performers that they were trying to bring their rules in line with the city’s bylaws, which prohibit fire performers except by special event permit.

A Granville Island Cultural Association representative refused to comment when contacted by The Vancouver Sun.

The association has a contract with Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to manage street entertainment on the island.
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Old 05-21-13, 02:59 PM   #2
Gregory Rush
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Long live Busking. I was arrested in a few places to get Busking going there, French Market New Orleans , during Mardi Gras. Jeff Moche kept my stuff as they handcuffed
me off. It took a while but we got it.
Downtown Mpls Nicolet Mall and many places in MN. Eventually I won that one
over the Diamond seller on the corner insisted I was on his property and told
the cops to piss off, no arrests but weeks being ran off when owner was not there,
first juggler there after the saxophone. Grand Old Days, Cedarfest, Aquatennial. In fact I street performer so long ago many MN jugglers and magicians were upset with my way of life because I was " giving away free entertainment" to the Festivals because all I asked for was to pass my hat. Sometimes it is not the law, but other performers blocking your way, Gary Vice and other names I will not mention cuz they came around eventually, I think Gary probably passes the hat too when no one is looking
I also did a lot of early busking in Church Street and fought and won a good spot in the courtyard, only to come back years later and find out some other juggler had let a torch wnader out of his circle and kid picked it up got burned. Mercado until the puppete seller and other people complained I was pulling in money too fast. These two place were in FLorida, did many art fairs there too, and county fairs, busking. Sometimes you ask, sometimes you just set up and see...
I broke in street juggling shows at the MN State Capitol for years, befeor there was even break dancing invented yet, then the dancers came. Then MN contracted out the Taste od Minnesota to a company in Wisconsin took it over.. so every year on after on the 4th of July things we did not GET TO be able to exercise our rights and freedom was taken away by some schmuck in a trailer on the Capiotl grounds, from Wisconsin, cuz again ,vendors could not stand how fast money poured in to our hats compared to what they thought was going on for them. I still busk new placers, Lake SPicer MN , they never seen it there I asked each audience, it is fun explaining to them, they either welcome you, or you have to walk in like you belong, or someone is against it for some unknown reason like MN Taste of MInnesota, some people just have no idea. I say win or lose fight whatever crap they are trying to come up with.

Last edited by Gregory Rush; 05-21-13 at 03:03 PM.
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