Busker festival brings thrills, chills to Charlottetown

·1 min read
Performer Kobbler Jay juggles fire at the 2021 Charlottetown Busker Festival. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
Performer Kobbler Jay juggles fire at the 2021 Charlottetown Busker Festival. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

Street performers from across the country are showcasing their skills at the Charlottetown Busker Festival this weekend.

The three-day event, which wraps up today at the Founders Food Hall and Market, has drawn hundreds of people. Organizers are calling it a success.

Mike Cochrane, CEO of the Charlottetown Harbour Authority, said he hopes the festival will lead to more events like this coming to the Island in the near future as the province re-emerges from the pandemic.

"It's a great sign to see tourism come back to P.E.I. We've missed it desperately, there's no question." he said. "[We're] just doing our part to try to get people moving and have something for the tourism industry to enjoy."

Drummers, magicians and jugglers were among the buskers who were slated to perform this weekend. For some, it's been a long time since they've been booked for a show due to COVID-19.

"This is unbelievable to finally be back out performing again," said Michael James, a magician and variety entertainer. "When COVID hit, I watched two years of bookings disappear in one week and a half. To get the call, to be out here to perform is the best feeling I've had in 18 months."

"Honestly, this is one of my favourite places to perform," said Kobbler Jay, whose daredevil act includes walking on glass as well as juggling fire and knives. "Love the people here. I try to come out here as often as I can."

Cochrane said he hopes this year's festival is only the first one.

"We'll see what next year brings," he said. "Hopefully, a return."

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