Monday, July 23, 2007

Random acts of busking

An article by James Turner of the Winnipeg Free Press gives another example of how The Forks is no less a public place today than it was 25 years ago when CN Rail owned it. A magician ran into trouble last week when he decided to re-locate his show away from his sanctioned "busk stop" in order to provide his young audience with more shade from the blazing July sun.

Always handy with their banning forms, The Forks banned the magician from performing anywhere at The Forks for two weeks.

Andrea Clow of the Forks Market explains why:
"...we have to have some sense of order," Clow said.
Clow said the canopy area is not a designated area for buskers to perform and if they didn't impose penalties on people not following the rules, they'd be overrun by random acts of busking.
It's about following the rules and regulations, Clow said. "We have them so we don't have situations like this come up."
Situations like what? Keeping children from from prolonged exposure to the hot sun?

I would recommend that more buskers begin to either eschew The Forks and take to what busy sidewalks of the city can be found, (which, for now anyway, still remain true public spaces), or become like Joe Ades the famous huckster who sells his wares at Manhattan's popular Union Square without a vendor's licence, slyly dodging the authorities each day.

(For related commentary on The Forks and their draconian rules, go here or here.


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