Whether you are a musician, singer, dancer, juggler, mime, magician, comedian, or other entertainer, there are many locations throughout Calgary that welcome busking and encourage you to showcase your skills!
What is Busking?
Busking involves a person or group who provides street performances for the public by playing an instrument, singing, dancing, juggling, miming, performing magic or providing other entertainment. A person who does this is called a Busker.
How do Buskers get paid?
Buskers receive their payment in the form of monetary donations from the crowds they entertain. As Buskers are not contracted entertainers and have not been hired by a client, they will not receive a pay check. So please, give generously if you have enjoyed a performance.
Busking locations in Calgary
- Stephen Avenue Walk/Barclay Mall - The Stephen Avenue walk runs along 8 Ave. from 1 St. S.E. to 4 St. S.W. Busking along the Barclay Mall on 3 St. is also permitted.
- Eau Claire Festival Market - The Eau Claire Market and Plaza are located at 200 Barclay Parade S.W. and offer both indoor and outdoor busking opportunities.
- Kensington - Kensington is a vibrant and eclectic community located at 10 Street and Kensington Rd. N.W. that makes a perfect busking spot for someone with an unconventional act.
- Calgary parks - Several Calgary parks are available for busking: Olympic Plaza, Tomkins Park, Paget Park, Century Gardens, and the Riverfront Promenade along Riverfront Avenue.
Becoming a busker
A Busking ID is required to be able to busk in Calgary. IDs are available at no charge from The City of Calgary, Arts and Culture, Cliff Bungalow Arts Centre, 2105 Cliff St. S.W., 403-476-4304. Please phone or visit Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Licences are not required unless a product is being sold.
- Performances are permitted in Calgary public areas only.
- Maximum performance time is one hour per busking location.
- No amplification may be used.
- No high risk or unsafe performances, which may put the public and/or the performer at risk (knifes, fire, etc).
- Consideration must be given for other acts performing in close proximity.
- No busking in sites that have been booked for events or festivals.
- Busking at transit stops or in transit vehicles is not allowed.
- Busking performances at parks may take place only during the normal park hours, while the park is open to the public.
- No busking in areas while paid performers are working.
- No busking where either the performer and or the audience gathered to view the performer is blocking pedestrian and or vehicular traffic.
- All performances must be suitable for a general family audience rating.
- Failure to display a valid Busker ID or failure to follow these guidelines may result in your busking privileges being removed.
For more information, please contact Arts & Culture at 403-476-4304.