City May Change Up Barrie Street Performer Program

Councillor Questioning Busker Payment Practices

One Barrie Councillor wants to change up how the city’s buskers get paid for their performances. Councillor Doug Shipley on Monday night asked the city to halt the current program until a new model can be presented that doesn’t involve making street performers city employees with benefits. When the street performer program first began, it actually required participants to pay the city $100 for a permit to perform. That was later reduced to $50, then waived altogether before the decision was made to pay buskers a minimum wage. About $9,000 was spent on not only street performers, but also promoting the program. Staff will now look at ways of keeping the program going without unnecessary expenses, and will get back to City Hall long before street performer auditions begin in the New Year.