KAMLOOPS — In June 2017, it was announced the Victoria International Buskers Festival would be moving to Kamloops in 2018. Fast forward 13 months and the inaugural Kamloops International Buskers Festival took over Riverside Park on the weekend.
The weather was hot as thousands of locals and visitors alike descended on downtown to watch the many shows that took place over the four-day festival.
If you happened to be in downtown Kamloops this weekend, you might have noticed the flood of people into Riverside Park. They were heading down to catch the action at the first-ever Kamloops International Buskers Festival - which, according to event organizer Audrey Trim, was a huge success.
“I know in the park… there were thousands of people,” Tournament Capital Community Events Coordinator Audrey Trim told CFJC Today. “Just our last show of the night [Saturday] there were at least 600 people at that show, so it was amazing.”
The festival drew some of the top street performers from across Canada and around the world. These professional buskers knew how to draw in a crowd, and made sure they went away entertained.
“It’s definitely a job you have to love because it’s pretty hard - if you don’t like what you’re doing, it’s hard to… hide from your audience. You could go out there over and over and over and do it,” Kimberly Craig explained. “Everyone who does this professionally really enjoys what they do.”
“At the Kamloops Busker’s Festival, everyone here is… a top-tier group of performers. They found the cream of the crop in the street performing world,” Kimberly’s partner Daniel Craig explained.
Kimberly and Daniel are the duo behind the Street Circus, and wow audiences with a number of death-defying acrobatic routines. They say for a first-year festival, Kamloops has far exceeded their expectations.
“The crowds here have been absolutely incredible,” Daniel told CFJC Today. “The support from the community has been amazing… we couldn't have asked for a better inaugural year.”
“Today [Sunday] was a little hot. It was a little bit harder for us,” Kimberly said. “There’s lots of shade in the park, and it’s been a beautiful first year.”
The winner of the people’s choice award was Victor Rubilar, a Guinness World Record-holding soccer comedy act. For his efforts, he wins an automatic invite to next year’s Kamloops International Buskers Festival.
Judging by the crowds and their reactions to the shows, Trim says the first ever Busker’s Festival was a huge success.
“It has exceeded expectations completely,” Trim said. “The turnout was amazing. Kamloops came out and showed their support, so we’re very happy. It was a great event overall.”
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