Saskatoon business hopes to bring paid buskers to Broadway Avenue

The Good Vibes on Broadway program is being organized by the Better Good, a sustainable goods shop.

The Good Vibes on Broadway program is being organized by a local sustainable goods shop

The Better Good is running a program that will pay buskers $400 for an hour long performance. (The Better Good/Facebook)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, gigs for local performers have been few and far between, but now a Saskatoon business is hoping to help. 

The Good Vibes on Broadway program is run by the owners at The Better Good, a sustainable goods shop. The program is asking performers to apply for 10 spots, and those selected will be paid $400 to busk for one hour each. 

"This is something that they're not usually doing, but it's a great opportunity for the people in the community to hear high-level performers," Corey Neufeld, co-owner of the Better Good, said. 

The idea started when Neufeld was talking with local bilingual folk singer and songwriter, Malika Sellami. The two were concerned about performers' mental health with a lack of performances. 

"Everythings changed so much. We all try and find ways to make money. But what about that connection that we get with the public? So how can we have this in a safe way?" Sellami said.

"I love that The Better Good is able to offer this … it's a brilliant idea."

Sellami said it's been tough in the past year for her but she's been able to teach music through Zoom and at schools. The stories of the trying times inspired Neufeld to act, he said. 

"People put a lot of effort into making this amazing music. And when I think about their loss of opportunity to make an income … that looks like a place where we can really help the community," Neufeld said. 

I think it will uplift the spirits and help a lot of musicians also feel useful and feel like they're being supported.- Malika Sellami

Neufeld said they're taking applications by email at Performers should use the Subject Line 'Good Vibes on Broadway' and share some of their work — Neufeld said it could be music, theatre, poetry or more. He said they'll have a lottery system to fill the 10 spots. 

The performers will then play weekends throughout June, July and August. Neufeld said people have expressed surprise that they're being paid $400, however, it's for a good reason.

"This is an amazing skilled profession. It takes a lot of work. So you're not paying for the hours of performance. You're paying for the hours of practice," he said. 

Neufeld said he hopes the performances act like an icebreaker for people's daily lives. 

"People are just walking from here to there and then something disrupts their everyday life, something beautiful. And then they have a moment together with other people in the community. And that's what I'm hoping to see," he said. 

Sellami said she hopes it helps people who are suffering in isolation. 

"It will allow the community to come and get together in a safe way," she said. "I think it will uplift the spirits and help a lot of musicians also feel useful and feel like they're being supported and supporting the community."

Neufeld said he hopes people also open their wallets to the buskers during the performances. 

With files from Saskatoon Morning


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