The past weekend was a busy one in downtown Kingston. Kingston Buskers Rendezvous came to an end yesterday evening with a momentous Grand Finale that saw People’s Choice awarded to a female solo performer for the first time, and thousands of dollars raised in support of the United Way’s Success by 6 program. As well, emerging and established artists took part in the first annual Kingston Chalk Walk on Saturday along the walkway around the Delta Hotel.
According to a release from the Downtown Kingston BIA, for the first time in the Buskers festival’s 32-year history, a female solo performer received the People’s Choice Award.
“Hannah Cryle’s Big Wheel Show proved a crowd favourite as the native Australian performed acrobatics on a German wheel and encouraged audience members to recognize and celebrate the strong women in their lives,” the BIA stated. “Cryle’s People’s Choice win guarantees her automatic entry into next year’s festival which is set to run from July 6th to 9th, 2023.”
United Way’s Success by 6 program was also a winner at this year’s Grand Finale with well over $2,800 raised by the performers as they passed the hat – almost twice the amount raised in 2019, according to the BIA. Success By 6 is a United Way initiative set up to “help improve the lives of our youngest children and is based on the idea that it takes a village to raise a child and that we all have a role to play in ensuring that every child has a chance to succeed early in life.”
As if that wasn’t enough to celebrate, the winners of the first annual Kingston Chalk Walk were also announced. The 12-hour chalk art competition, which took place on the waterside walkway around the Delta Hotels by Marriott Kingston Waterfront, featured both emerging and established artists competing for four prizes which the BIA said were awarded as follows:
- People’s Choice – Emerging Artist: Las Chicas Leandra Grieve-Eglin and Karla Cordova
- People’s Choice – Established Artist: Rodney Watson
- Jury Prize – Emerging Artist: 1990, Mathieu M. and Naomi D.
- July Prize – Established Artist: Rodney Watson
Both Kingston Buskers Rendezvous and Chalk Walk 2022 are produced by the Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area (BIA), an association comprised of, and funded by, over 700 downtown businesses dedicated to the maintenance and promotion of a vibrant and healthy downtown, according to the release.