Buskerfest a Success.

Large crowds were on hand along Weston, north and south of Lawrence on Saturday to watch an entertaining set of buskers captivate audiences. This was Weston’s very first Buskerfest and by all accounts was a huge success.

Crowds fill the corner of Weston and Lawrence.
Lucy Loop and her hoops.
Fire entertainer David Ito ‘warms up’ the crowd.
A caricature artist gets to work.
Children were captivated by the Ostrich Guy and his bird.
The Ostrich Guy has been appearing in his current persona for about four years.
The Ostrich greets a young spectator.
The Ostrich Guy meets and greets.

The event was financed by Weston’s Business Improvement Area, and designed to draw people into Weston.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated that several businesses including the banks, Weston Hub builders, Rockport and Metrolinx had declined to contribute to Buskerfest. This was incorrect – they were not approached for a contribution. I apologize for the error.


7 thoughts on “Buskerfest a Success.”

  1. “One notable pizza store… wouldn’t even allow the BIA to put a Buskerfest poster in the window. Another fast-food chain allowed a poster and then inexplicably removed it.”

    I don’t know that this is the case here but franchisees are rarely in control of matters that involve the outside appearance of their premises. I remember some forty-plus years ago the Weston Rd. “Brewers Retail” manager hired a local talent to draw Christmas decorations on the store windows. It took the corporate owners only a few days to hear of it and have it removed.

  2. Good point Hans but support can come in a variety of forms. If one was unavailable, perhaps another could have been offered.

  3. I’d argue that the businesses along Weston and Lawrence have already given their support by being in the BIA. I’m not sure how the levies are assessed, but it seems likely that they are proportional: by property tax or square footage. Asking the bigger businesses to sponsor is asking them to pay twice.

    While I’m no fan of the banks–especially those closing branches in Weston–I’m not sure that the Willie Sutton principle is the best way to determine contributions.

    1. Rather than robbing banks as Willie Sutton did, the BIA was merely soliciting voluntary donations and they did so from a variety of businesses. At least they asked. Willie Sutton’s tactics seem to have been adopted by the banks nowadays as they regularly increase user fees without asking permission – but I digress.
      The Royal Bank, to name just one boasts, “We believe in the power of communities and the individuals who live in them. In 2014, we committed more than $104 million in donations and sponsorships worldwide to support community activities and organizations.” Since they seem to gain good PR from their ‘community activity’ it’s not a big leap of faith to believe that they are open to funding such events as Buskerfest. As for levies covering the BIAs expenses, this was a trial run (probably not entirely covered by the existing budget) designed to attract people who perhaps wouldn’t normally come here and bring some benefit to Weston. It seems rather short sighted not to support initiatives like this when Weston is clambering out of a rather deep hole; not of its own making. Penny wise and pound foolish is an old expression that seems to work well here.

    2. Adam

      None of our businesses were asked for donations to Buskerfest. The BIA absorbed all the costs. We do ask for donations to our Santa Parade because it’s a $25,000 event.

  4. I think the business realize that the folks coming to buskerfest are not spending money in any of their stores….would you? The BIA needs a plan to ckean up Weston Rd..P&M, Ford are examples of cleanup….but more needs to be done..and it all starts with someone actually coming up with a plan.

    1. This was the first Buskerfest so it was unlikely that businesses were able to anticipate actual revenues on the day. As it turned out, many were spending money, particularly in the fast food outlets along Weston Road.

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