Sounds of Buskerville Festival hit Cornwall Ontario – July 24, 2010

Cornwall ON – The Sounds of Buskerville first annual festival rang through the streets of Cornwall Ontario raising money for the United Way and treating people to some amazing local music Saturday.

Cornwall Photographer Jason McNamara was about town and took much better photos than I did so I’m using two of his which he’s graciously allowed us to do.  Click either photo to see his whole album, and you can watch some video that we shot in front of Schnitzels and Bugaboo’s.


KAV Productions


  1. does anyone know who was in charge of setting up this event? I’d love to help organize next years event to make it a true busker festival with magicians, acrobats, jugglers, painters, sword swallowers… Ect.

  2. There were jugglers, dancers and drum circles so as to say this wasn’t a “true” busking event are words not carefully chosen. I think the organizer did an incredible job and followed through with a brilliant idea, especially for Cornwall. This wasn’t the typical, nor generalized day at the Cornwall amphitheater, this was special. This was musicians of all styles of life, from classic, folk and right up into hard rock. The streets of the down town core came to life as they haven’t in a very long time. A better yet it was all free aside for any generous donations.

    I am certain that next year it will be event better, being that most things improve with time and experience. Thank again to the notable planner and effector of this event.

  3. Hey, thanks for taking a video of my group and I.
    -Keegan Larose

  4. What a great event! We raised almost $850.00 for the united way and next next year hope to exceed that. Bringing downtown Cornwall to life and helping local chairties while at the same time showcasing local talent. Can’t wait untill next year.

  5. After covering a few costs and giving the share to the entertainers that wanted theirs we will be giving the United Way of SD&G $700!!!

  6. Carilyne, Knowing that the Buskerville event was set up to benefit the Entertainers and The United Way 50/50, I question why the comment was added “and giving the share to the entertainers that wanted theirs”. Wasn’t the event set up to benefit both parties? It just sounds like there was something wrong with the entertainers wanting their arranged share in spite of the fact that they helped rally the final donation. Entertainers need to eat and pay rent too!

  7. Yes I hear you that entertainers need to eat, but we have many ways to work that out. A charity day like this seems strange to take funds personally. But that’s just an opinion.

  8. Author

    Hi Patrick,

    First off huge kudos to Cari and her team. They are not professional organizers and they did great for their first try and my personal kudos to the performers who came out.

    There’s a history and nature to busking that I can understand from everyone’s perspective. I hope that next year all of the monies raised go to the United Way or whichever charity is chosen.

    Now there are many ways to evolve an event like this. It’s a draw to the area and businesses they perform in front of and if the organizers wish I’m sure there are experienced people whose knowledge they can draw upon to help make the second annual Buskerville even better.

    I think that conversation is for another time and another place. For today I think we and they should bask in the fact that in a short period of time they pulled together and did a marvelous job!

  9. “I think that conversation is for another time and another place. For today I think we and they should bask in the fact that in a short period of time they pulled together and did a marvelous job!”

    Jamie, way to be the voice of reason 🙂

  10. You can’t call yourself a busker festival and have the money raised from “passing the hat” donated to a non-profit. A busker, at least real ones unlike the acts we saw downtown, make their living performing professionally on the street, their livelihood is based on their ability to draw a crowd, entertain that crowd, and at the end of their performance earn income by ” passing the hat”. The idea of splitting a buskers till 50/50 would not be welcomed to real buskers and in actuality would be very insulting. Hopefully in the future the organizers realize that a buskers fest would better serve the community by providing great “free” entertainment and a place for real busker to earn their living….. Busking the street of Cornwall.

    …. I did not see one real busker at the busker fest, this is unfortunate.

  11. This is not to say the effort went unnoticed, I give kudos to the organizers. And it is for this reason I’d live to help organize next yes event… Shoot me an email

  12. It’s not a called “a busker festival” Jason H. You must have read a typo somewhere. It’s actually called “The sounds of Buskerville” The organizers thought it would be nice to give back to Cornwall by pooling together local talent to perform or busk for a local charity, with the option of pocketing half the money. Hey, some people need money. There’s no shame in taking half. It’s a great idea. I think the performers and organizers (Chad Coleman and Carilyne Hebert) did a great job! Can’t wait till next year. There’s never too much charity my friends. And Jason H. I agree with you, If you asked for 50% of a busker’s money off the street let’s say on a regular day he would probably try and slap you, but this is a charitable event. We all know the rules of the event coming into it. It is what it is.

  13. To Jason H- do you really speak for ALL buskers? I didn’t realize there was a local busker authority? I think the people that participated in this weekends event can proudly call themselves buskers- who all have a charitable spirit! It was a great event ( the first of many, I hope), and as a member of the “crowd”; myself, my friends and children were all entertained. And honestly if you did want to help out next year- insulting almost everyone involved is not really the best approach.

  14. The entertainers decided on their own they would donate their share to the United Way.
    Hey, if they wanted their cut they were more than entitled to it. They worked hard to earn it. But out of the kindness of their hearts they chose to generously donate it back. We didn’t pull anyone’s arm. Maybe I just worded it wrong in my post. I guess I am just so happy that most of the performers wanted to give back. We were not expecting it.

    Also all the entertainers knew going into this that it was 50% for charity. Anyone can go out and busk any day to make money for themselves but this special group of people knew they were heading out on the street to fundraise for such a great cause.

    As for “real Buskers”. Wikipedia says it the best “Busking is the practice of performing in public places for tips and gratuities. People engaging in this practice are called buskers. Buskers may also be known as street performers, street musicians, minstrels, or troubadours. Busking performances can be just about anything that people find entertaining.“
    We did the absolute best we could to put this event on. Chad Coleman worked his butt off to realise his dream and if you ask me we didn’t do too bad! We got people downtown supporting local businesses, we encouraged local artist to be seen in the community and we raised money for a much needed charity and S.D&G.

  15. Author

    Carilyne you and Chad did an amazing job in a short period of time and with little resources. It’s a tribute to the spirit of Cornwall that you were able to achieve what you have. Cornwall is a place where you can make good things happen if you try and people do respond.

    Congrats to you, Chad, all the very talented musicians, and the people who contributed to make Buskerville a total success. Don’t let any piss heads rain on your parade!

  16. Good call admin!

  17. Your event sounds like a great idea – people entertaining in the streets with their hats out and much of that money going to good charities. I understand, though, why people who busk for a living might be thinking this thing over. More and more, so-called buskers are being asked to use their skills to help this organization or that with their event or their fundraising. Many actual buskers I know struggle to pay their basic bills. Taking a day off might be a luxury. If the people who are doing the entertaining at your event are really non-busker professional entertainers, or do something entirely else for a living, maybe you shouldn’t describe the event with the word “busker.” The term wouldn’t even exist if regular buskers hadn’t paid some hard dues. It’s not as if greed led them to their profession. Buskers I know have been generous with their time and their resources. I’m sure many poorer ones would be glad to give up their busking spot for a day to let some other entertainer help out a charity. But they shouldn’t be expected to feel good about having their identities rewritten and being thought of as free entertainment. You might want to also have some Lawyerville, Dentistville, Engineerville, etc. events where people with other skills do real work for free for fundraisers.

  18. We all understand everyone’s point that buskers are people who entertain on streets for a living. This event (which was a great success) wasn’t specifically a call for buskers to take a luxury day off and perform for charity… From what I can understand, people were invited to showcase their talent on a beautiful saturday afternoon to raise money for charity.

    The Sounds of Buskerville was a “fund raiser” no where did I see anyone trying to re-define the term of “busker” or “busking”.

    I don’t get it. What dont you guys understand..? And honestly, is there ever anyone busking in downtown Cornwall? I sure have never seen any so who are we taking the “Busker” title and “meaning” away from?

    Congrats to EVERYONE who participated (in any way). I didnt see anyone else raising 700$ for United Way on Saturday afternoon. (I think some people are forgetting the cause)

  19. @ Tom F – well said.

  20. Thanks Vin! 🙂

  21. You hit the nail on the head Vin. Well put!

  22. I really don’t appreciate negativity towards people supporting a such a nice event. In the city of Cornwall, when certain people become successful at something (big or small scale), there’s always someone there to take the smallest minor details (that don’t even really matter) and turn it into a big deal, hoping that people will follow and share the same negativity.

    Maybe instead of complaining about how things were done this year, some suggestions for next year would be a less negative form of feedback.

    However, knowing from experience, the people who sit behind their computer screens and complain, aren’t going to be the ones to pitch some valuable suggestions.

  23. When I saw all those guitars and bongos I thought that Cornwall woke up and the local musicians woke up and were going to do it every Sat all summer long. For a minute there Pitt street reminded me of Old Montreal.

  24. Author

    Now that would be very cool having buskers down Pitt Street!

  25. I’m not complaining…. Heck my first post was asking who to contact so I can help organize next years event. I’m still waiting for a contact email or number

  26. @ Jason H. Has it occured to you that maybe they don’t want your “help”?

  27. Sorry I was away I bet it was awesome!

  28. Organizers – I can’t remember who said this to me recently but it stuck and is fitting. “Dogs don’t bark at parked cars”. Keep the pedal to the medal homies!!!
    Jason H – Your argument is absurd. I didn’t see you raise any money but what I did see is you try and latch yourself to what you did nothing to create, offering no positivity or constructive feedback.
    I guess we are to assume what you clearly lack in ambition, you make up for in event organizing?

Leave a Reply