Street performers happy with changes to bylaw

Still in its infancy, the town’s business licensing bylaw as it applies to street performers, appears to have been well received.

Still in its infancy, the town’s business licensing bylaw as it applies to street performers, appears to have been well received.

Councillors received a report from licensing inspector Rae-Anne Ornella at their meeting Sept. 23 noting the reduced fee of $30 per year was “welcomed” as “more reasonable and economically more affordable”.

“The location of Centennial Park for busking was also well received as it permitted the buskers the ability to be centrally located in an area with maximum pedestrian traffic accessing the beach and park.”

During the summer four musicians and one juggler on a unicycle applied for the busking business licence, Ornella told councillors. “Comments received from the public and town employees expressed very favorable remarks on buskers they witnessed performing”.

She noted however that a recent review of SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada) regulations noted a licence fee is required for strolling musicians and buskers that perform music or play recorded music in parks, streets and other public areas. That fee is $32.55 per day to a maximum fee of $222.93 in any three-month period.

An idea raised to promote more buskers coming to town was that of creating a festival atmosphere where the SOCAN fee could be split among performers.

Ornella noted the SOCAN fee will be addressed further in 2014 budget deliberations.