Generally, these are about 200 permits that are issued each year to the artists of the city of Québec who wish to entertain tourists and locals.
June 14, 2020
Updated on June 15, 2020 4h33
Buskers confined for an indefinite period
They juggle; they spit fire; they make music. Buskers are part of the landscape of the City of Quebec. But maybe not this year. Due to the pandemic, the City is seen in the obligation to suspend the issuance of permits and to prohibit any type of artistic performance in the streets of the Old Capital.
A general rule, 200 permits are issued every year to the artists of the city who wish to entertain locals and tourists singing and dancing.
According to Rose-Marie Ayotte, communications advisor for the City of Québec, the administration is currently evaluating several possible scenarios about the buskers. Although the City wants the return of its artists in the streets, a great dilemma applies to it : the question of the gatherings. Each summer, passers-by flock around musicians and artists who perform in public.
The reduction of tourism is also an issue in the file public entertainers. The City is concerned that this creates a decline in popularity among artists. Rose-Marie Ayotte noted, however, that, among the scenarios observed, places outside of the city centre are studied. “At this time, it questions the relevance of all sites included in the regulation. We look at those that we could add and those that we could remove” that, ” she says.
“The options of the City depend on the guidance given by public health. A decision will be taken as quickly as possible in order to quickly communicate to the buskers,” says Ms. Ayotte.
A difficult job
Odette Carpentier, circus performer and entertainer public sees a bad eye the summer is on the horizon. “It would have been my 35th year as an entertainer to the public. But with all that is happening, I will not be present in the streets this summer. I am afraid that the energy is not as festive as usual”, she said, while stressing that it will be, if the situation allows it, to return as soon as next summer.
Despite its pessimistic tone, Ms. Carpentier has faith in the youth. “Personally, I do not feel comfortable to perform well in the current conditions. But if I went out of the school, she says, I would open a whole other discourse! There are, in spite of everything, who will succeed this summer!”
About the change of sites, however, it is not very positive. According to the juggler, the places that are not in the hubs, tourist, do not. “Even at Place d’youville, it doesn’t work,” she insists.
Without changing the places of performance, the circus artist proposes instead that the City put in place, to the places assigned to them, a stage manager. “Someone with that position could place the people around us and to comply with the measures [health]. It would take a load of work to the artists. Entertainer public, it is already a very difficult profession,” concludes Ms. Carpentier, who wish for a quick return of his colleagues on the streets of Quebec.
Ms. Carpentier, who is also president of the Association of street entertainers from Quebec, says that a number of street entertainers will be present on Monday at the rally for the living arts, which must be held before the national Assembly.
According to the current regulations, the buskers get a type of permit precise depending on the type of art they do. Street entertainers musicians must, when applying for their permit, pass in front of a committee hearing, the committee that could not keep up currently because of the rules of hygiene, according to Ms. Ayotte.
The entertainers are governed especially with respect to their performance, the noise that it creates and the use of the sites operated. The artists must respect the place and the range of hours that are assigned to them. The musicians can only use the types of instruments permitted by the City.
An artist who would like to perform at the corner of the rue Saint-Jean and Côte du palais can make music or any other service, but it may not, for example, to disguise the faces of the passers-by. He can use the site for a maximum duration of 2 hours, from 11h till 21h (or 23h the end of the week).