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Arts Programs Busking Program

​Busking Program

An evolution of the former Street Performers Program, the Busking Program pilot works in conjunction with the Emerging Artist Program to animate downtown Barrie.

This pilot program provides the opportunity for performing artists that are not eligible for the Emerging Artist Program to receive a permit to busk at one of two branded “Busk Stops" in downtown Barrie. This pilot will run for the remainder of 2022 and be evaluated with participant feedback for 2023.

Apply now for a Busking Permit

Applying for and obtaining a busking permit is free. Interested performance artists can apply for a Busking Permit through APLI.

To receive a Busking Permit, the applicant must provide:

  • Contact information
  • Information on the performance type (ex. Poetry; Theatre; Magic; Juggling; Contortion; Strong Man; Illusions). Please note that fire and sharp objects are not permitted in performances
  • Certificate of insurance for $2 million liability naming the Corporation of the City of Barrie as additional insured. This can be purchased through the City of Barrie's third-party insurance provider. Details below. 

Permit holders must review and agree to the Terms & Conditions prior to busking. Upon successful application, a Busking Permit will be issued for the Permit Holder to save to their cell phone and/or print and must carry it on them while busking.

Please note that permit applications are only reviewed between the hours of 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Applications received outside of those hours will be reviewed the next business day.

How to Apply for a Busking Permit

Apply for your Busking Permit by following these steps
  1. Visit
  2. Register for an account with APLI. A registration email will be sent to complete the process. If you have registered for APLI before, you should be able to sign in with that account.
  3. Once registered, log in, then click the "Busker Permit" tab.
  4. Click “Select from Account” to confirm the contact information for the permit.
  5. Select your artform from the drop-down menu (fire and sharp objects are not permitted in performances).
  6. If you already have a certificate of insurance for $2 million liability naming the Corporation of the City of Barrie as additional insured, upload a copy in the file upload section, and click “Save”.
  7. If you do not have insurance and would like to purchase coverage from the City’s third-party insurance provider, A. Gallagher Canada Ltd., leave the file upload section empty.
  8. Type your name as your attestation (signature) and hit “Continue Application”.
  9. Thoroughly review the full Terms and Conditions for receipt of a Busking Permit and check the box agreeing to the Terms and Conditions, then hit “Continue Application”. You will see a message saying, “Record Issuance” and receive a confirmation email that your application was submitted.
  10. If you uploaded a copy of your insurance, staff will review your application, and if all information is correct, will issue a Busking Permit.
  11. If you did not upload insurance, your application confirmation email will note your permit application number and that your application is incomplete. The email will also include a link to the City’s third-party insurance company, A. Gallagher Canada Ltd., where you can use your Busking Permit number from the confirmation email to apply for and receive insurance to busk at the designated City of Barrie Busk Stops. Once the insurance certificate is received, log back into APLI, click “My Records”, click on “Busker Permit”, then click the application number. That opens your application record. From there, click “Record Info”, then “Attachments”, then “Add”. Upload the certificate and hit “Save”. Staff will then review the insurance certificate, and if all information is correct, will issue a Busking Permit.
  12. You will receive an email notifying you of your successful permit application, including your permit number and a note to visit to download your permit.
  13. Once you have logged into APLI, click “My Records”, click on “Busker Permit”, then click the application number. That opens your application record. From there, click “Record Info”, then “Attachments”. Click the bottom link that says “Busker Permit” to open the permit.
  14. You can save the permit to your phone, and/or print a copy. You must have a copy of your permit easily available while busking so that By-Law officers and Police can see it if they request it.​

Busk Stop Locations

Permit holders may busk at one of two dedicated Busk Stops in downtown Barrie. They are easily identifiable by ground stickers.

The two locations are at the Barrie Marina Office at the transient docks and on the east side of the Five Points Theatre.

Five Points Theatre Busking Location Barrie Marina Office Busking Location

Important Information

Busking Permit Terms and Conditions
  1. Permit holders are permitted to perform for up to two hours at a time between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM at the designated Busk Stops during the dates for which their insurance is valid. Amplified performances are not permitted at the Busk Stops.
  2. Permit holders are considered ambassadors for the City of Barrie and will therefore conduct themselves appropriately. Permit holders will be pleasant and mannerly and always treat their audience with respect and consideration. Course language, rude gestures or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.
  3. The Permit holder agrees to use the designated Busk Stops only to carry out the performance of their artform. Any breach of the terms or conditions of this Permit and/or provision of false or incorrect information by the Permit holder to the City will result in the immediate revocation of this Permit. The Permit holder shall refrain from conducting the Performance while under the influence of alcohol and/or illicit substances. Alcohol and/or illicit substances shall not be brought onto any park or street allowance. The Permit holder shall ensure the Performance is suitable for all audiences, including those with children and does not contain discriminatory content. Solicitation of religious or political membership is not permitted.
  4. Permit holders are permitted to perform at the designated Busk Stops, provided that there is not conflicting programming or events taking place on that site. The Busk Stops are available for use by Permit holders on a first come, first serve basis. Permit holders are to share the Busk Stop with other Permit holders by performing for no more than two hours at a time.
  5. Permit holders will be expected to display or have easy access to their permit while busking to ensure that it is easily read by any Municipal Law Enforcement Officers and any member of the Barrie Police Service.
  6. Permit holders must ensure that no aspect of their performance or any of the equipment/props used, pose any danger or risk to the public or the environment. Performances involving fire or sharp objects are not permitted.
  7. Permit holders must behave in a manner that minimizes the risk of pavement or installation within the street allowance being damaged, permanently marked or in any way rendered unsafe for pedestrian use.
  8. Permit holders must comply with all other statutory requirements, rules, regulations, and by-laws of the City of Barrie and/or authority which in any manner affect or relate to the use of the sidewalk, boulevard or public highway including, without limitation the by-laws of the City of Barrie.
  9. Permit holders are to immediately cease any activity and remove any performance equipment or materials which are located within the public street allowance at the request of a member of the Barrie Police Service or any person designated by the City for reasons of public safety.
  10. Permits are non-transferable.
  11. Permit holders shall never openly solicit funds, but are welcome to open their guitar case, hat or other receptacle for those that wish to support them. The sale of Permit holders’ merchandise specific to their music, including but not limited to CDs, records, cassette tapes, stickers, t-shirts, and buttons, is permitted provided the display is maintained within the Permit holder’s existing performance setup.
  12. Permit holders shall comply with all applicable Provincial Orders, Provincial and Regional Public Health directives and guidelines with respect to COVID-19. Permit holders voluntarily assume any and all risks associated with exposure to COVID-19, which risks include but are not limited to the risk of personal injury, illness, and death.
  13. Permit holders must adhere to all current COVID regulations and must review and adhere to any changes brought forward by the City or Province.
  14. Permit holders who encounter unsafe or dangerous conditions when busking should remove themselves from the situation if it is safe to do so and contact Barrie Police Service. For non-emergencies, please call 705-725-7025. In case of emergency, please dial 9-1-1.

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