Entertainment

Want to busk in a park? Here’s your chance

Pinetree secondary grad Samantha Dowdell, who is with the band Alluvium, is organizing Port Moody’s first buskathon at Rocky Point Park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. - JANIS WARREN/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Pinetree secondary grad Samantha Dowdell, who is with the band Alluvium, is organizing Port Moody’s first buskathon at Rocky Point Park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
— image credit: JANIS WARREN/THE TRI-CITY NEWS

It’s a form of entertainment not so common in the Tri-Cities.

But, on Saturday afternoon, Rocky Point Park will be filled with sounds — from blues to folk and pop covers — for Port Moody’s first annual buskathon.

Organizer Samantha Dowdell, a Pinetree secondary grad who sings with Alluvium, said she first approached the city last fall hoping to host a public record-a-thon for her band to raise money.

But when staff turned down that idea, the open buskathon came to life.

Dowdell said she didn’t really give it much thought until just recently because “I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m only 19,” the SFU philosophy major said.

Now, Dowdell is anxiously calling on buskers from around the Lower Mainland to be part of this Saturday’s event that is sponsored by the city and Pacific Coast Terminals.

As of last week, she had only eight acts registered but expects to land around 20 performers for the day. Successful candidates won’t have to pay the city licence fee and they will be allowed to open their guitar case for donations.

Dowdell said she wants busking to be more available in the Tri-Cities. Two years ago, Port Moody council okayed a new street performer program and waived the business licence fee. And entertainers can also be seen at the farmers’ markets in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.

Still, that pales in comparison to other municipalities around B.C. Both Vancouver and Victoria will host international buskers’ festivals in June and July, respectively, while Kamloops’ downtown merchants have an annual buskers’ showdown, with prizes for the best. Meanwhile, Kelowna is considering a buskers’ fest starting next year or in 2016.

• To apply for the first annual Port Moody buskathon, email a performance video to rockypointbuskathon@gmail.com.

 

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