Busker Dave Harris says noise from entertainers on the inner harbour’s upper causeway in Victoria is forcing performers on the lower causeway out of work. Andy Neal reports.
It’s a picture perfect night and music fills the air in Victoria’s inner harbour.
And a staple on the lower causeway is Dave Harris’ one man band.
“Starting my 40th year,” says Harris.
“I started in 1977.”
Harris has his favourite stage to perform, below the corner of Wharf and Government Streets.
“That’s my preferred spot to be honest, because you’re not next to the juggling show, which can be pretty distracting for a lot of people so they just want to go by and watch the juggling show.”
But music from above has made Harris’ guitar case a little lighter in trying to make a living.
“The loud bands being very disrespectful of the rest of us, just setting up wherever they feel will do the best and not really being concerned about the fact that they might be putting several other people out of work,” says Harris.
The lower causeway is under jurisdiction of the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, but the city of Victoria handles the corner of Wharf & Government, and the city says no rules are being broken.
“We would need to sort it out between ourselves so that we weren’t performing too close to each other,” says Victoria Bylaw & Licensing Services Manager Nancy Johnston.
“So where it is in the upper causeway, this is a specified, you are allowed to perform in this location.”
“If you’re using saxophones and full drum kits, you shouldn’t be allowed to play there,” says Harris.
“It’s like the bagpipers are only allowed to play in the spot there, that’s the only spot, so there should be a designated spot for loud acts.”
In a statement, the GVHA says they are “committed to reviewing the practice and process surrounding the busking programs around the Inner Harbour,” and working closely with the city for perfect harmony among performers.
“How we’re able to, you know, move forward and address volume from that location, I’m not sure,” says Johnston.
Harris is hopeful something gets resolved so the show can go on for all performers.