Young buskers bring music to Harbour Quay

Harbour Quay is about to become a much more melodic place thanks to a parks, recreation and heritage program.

Misha Monroe

Misha Monroe

Harbour Quay is about to become a much more melodic place with the addition of youth buskers.

“It’s trying to serve a couple of purposes—one is to get more vibrancy at the Quay and so having more live music and performances down there and also to give young people the opportunity to be entrepreneurial,” said City of Port Alberni director of community services Theresa Kingston.

The youth busking program is organized by the city’s parks and recreation department and auditions for the performers were held in mid-July. According to Kingston, the program will run through the summer and possibly beyond.

Buskers in the program will perform only at Harbour Quay. Any tips or donations they receive will be their own.

Musician Misha Monroe, 24, believes that having an organized program will help other youth have an easier time getting started busking than she did.

“Busking is so huge to me. I’ve been wishing that I could be involved in some kind of youth program or some kind of way to give order to youth busking in this town,” Monroe said.

“I just wish more people could understand that it’s about performing art and not about asking for money.”

For the Capitol Theatre’s Janet Deakin, who was approached by Kingston to be a supervisor for the program, the importance of getting youth active in pursuing their passion is immeasurable.

“I’m a musician and I’m totally supportive of Theresa’s passion for everything she does for youth arts and music in this town,” said Deakin.

“It’s a very similar set of benefits to participating in sports—confidence, self-esteem. Particularly for arts, there’s public speaking, conducting yourself with poise in public and having that thrill of being on a stage and the thrill of sharing your music and your art with other people.”

Monroe is passionate about teaching both performers and the public the difference between busking and panhandling.

“It really affects the way we’re treated when we’re out there singing. Panhandlers will have their hands right out and just ask for money from anyone and everyone. Buskers, musicians, realm performers, are out there to show what they have to give,” she said.

Monroe’s passion for busking comes from personal experience. She moved to Port Alberni from Terrace, B.C., five years ago and began busking shortly after.

“I was in a few different towns before I came here but I feel like I grew up here in Port Alberni and I couldn’t be more happy for it.”

Music has always  been a constant in Monroe’s life.

“I’ve been playing the guitar since I was 15. I was in piano lessons when I was younger and I’ve been singing, song writing and playing guitar for almost 10 years now.”

Busking hasn’t always been easy for Monroe.

“It’s been a hard go. I’ve had to do a lot of asking of other buskers and musicians for advice. I had to get out there and sing even when I didn’t want to—I was surviving off what I could make with my guitar.”

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

facebook.com/albernivalleynews.com

twitter.com/alberninews

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Getting enough Vitamin D can be challenging for Canadians, especially during winter months. (CONTRIBUTED)
ACTIVE LIVING: The ‘sunshine vitamin’ plays a vital role in our health

Port Alberni registered dietitian Sandra Gentleman writes about health issues

Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns gives a thumbs up to active transportation during a presentation of the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce's Bike SEAT program at McLean Mill National Historic site in Port Alberni on April 16, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
QUINN’S QUIPS: MP Gord Johns takes victory ride for cycling strategy

Johns gained a reputation as the bicycle-riding MP during his first year

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Volunteers from the Alberni Valley Enhancement Society release a bucket filled with 5,000 coho fry into Kitsuksis Creek on the bridge at Batty Road, Saturday, April 24, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVID HOOPER)
Volunteers release thousands of coho fry into Port Alberni creeks

Fry come from small hatchery on McLean Mill National Historic Site

In the five years since the Dry Creek flood abatement project was completed, the pathway built behind commercial buildings on Third Avenue has become overgrown with Scotch broom and other weeds. (PHOTO COURTESY RANDY FRASER)
‘New’ Dry Creek path falls into disrepair in Port Alberni

City’s land access contracts lapse as condition of pathway beside creek deteriorates

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

Most Read