Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can I find an application form?
  2. Who can apply to be a Busker on Granville Island?
  3. Are there restrictions for certain instruments?
  4. What types of performers are NOT eligible to perform on Granville Island?
  5. How do I get a busking licence?
  6. How much does it cost?
  7. I’m under 18 years of age, can I still apply?
  8. I’m not a Canadian citizen, can I still apply?
  9. What are the amplification and use of electrical power restrictions?
  10. Who attends the morning draw, and how does it work?
  11. I lost my pass, can it be replaced?
  12. Can I upgrade my Acoustic Pass to an All Access pass?
  13. What is SEGI?
  14. Can I sell my CD/DVD or other materials?
  15. What other rules and restrictions are there?
  16. How are the rules enforced?
  17. Who manages the Granville Island Buskers Program? 
  18. Still have a question?  Ask us in the comment section below.


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Q: Where can I find an application form?
A: Application forms are at the Granville Island Busker Office.
An online application is located under the main heading Application > Registration > How to Apply.


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Q: Who can apply to be a Busker on Granville Island?
A: The Granville Island Busking Program welcomes local, national and international artists who specialize in creating accessible entertainment for all ages.   There is no minimum age requirement to busk on Granville Island; however, buskers are required to audition before receiving a licence and must demonstrate a reasonable degree of proficiency in their performances.   Buskers are expected to have a performance-ready repertoire and must consistently vary their sets daily to avoid repetition.  Buskers under the age of 16 require adult supervision whenever they are performing on Granville Island.


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Q: Are there restrictions for certain instruments?
A: Yes, there are some restrictions in place; our Instrument / Performer Restrictions page outlines this in full detail.  GICS reserves the right to amend this list as necessary.


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Q: What types of performers are NOT eligible to perform on Granville Island?
A: The Granville Island Busking Program does not offer busking licences to psychics and/or tarot card readers, balloon artists, roving artists, face-painters, portrait artists, painters, crafts people or any artists who provide a service or produce a physical product.


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Q: How do I get a busking licence?
A: Applicants must read the Granville Island Busking Program Regulations, complete a Granville Island Busking Application form, and submit a 3-5 minute digital audition representing exactly the type of performance you wish to share with Granville Island patrons.  If you are unable to submit a digital video audition, the busker coordinator will contact you to set up a live audition upon review of your application.


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Q: How much does it cost?
A: There are three types of licences available for Busking on Granville Island:

  1. Acoustic Licence | $80 – access to acoustic locations only
  2. All Access Licence | $120 – access to acoustic and amplified locations
  3. Group Licence | $400 – minimum of four performers: access to Triangle Square and Public Market Courtyard only

We also offer the following services:

  • Licence Upgrade | $40 – individual licence only
    – the licence holder is also required to follow the registration requirements for an All Access Licence and be subject to the same application process
  • Replacement Licence | $35


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Q: I am under 18 years of age, can I still apply?
A: Yes, however you must have a parent or guardian present with you at the time of registration who can co-sign your registration form.  Buskers under the age of 16 must have a responsible adult accompanying them at all times while performing on Granville Island.


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Q: I am not a Canadian Citizen, am I still eligible to apply?
A: Buskers must ensure that they are legally permitted to perform in Canada and obtain all permits, clearances, licenses and performance rights to material presented.  Valid picture ID must be presented at the time of registration.


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Q: What are the amplification and use of electrical power restrictions?
A: Amplification is a privilege on Granville Island. Amplification must be used only in designated areas, and must be used with care and consideration for the visitors, tenants and nearby residents of Granville Island.  We abide by the City of Vancouver noise by-laws. Designated Sound Levels can be found on the Amplified (All Access) Performers page.


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Q: Who attends the morning draw, and how does it work?
A: The Morning Draw is for amplified musicians and circle/variety performers only.  It happens every morning at 10:00am sharp at the Picnic Pavilion behind Cat’s Social House. Each busker will draw a number which will determine the order they sign up that day.  Each busker signs up for one spot at a time according to the number they drew, until all the spots are gone.


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Q: I lost my licence, can it be replaced?
A: Yes, a lost licence must be replaced if you wish to continue performing on Granville Island. Please contact the Granville Island Busker Coordinator to arrange for a replacement licence (a service fee is applicable).


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Q: Can I upgrade my Acoustic Licence to an All Access Licence?
A: Yes you can for an upgrade fee.  However you are required to follow the registration requirements for an All Access licence and be subject to the same application process.


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Q: What is SEGI?
A: SEGI stands for Summer Entertainment on Granville Island. The program runs on weekends and statutory holidays from May (Victoria Day) to September (Labour Day).  SEGI is a peak season program which showcases world-class busking entertainment on Granville Island. All performers interested in participating in SEGI are required to apply by March 15 and will need to audition to be considered for the program.


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Q: Can I sell my CD/DVD or other materials?
A: Buskers wishing to sell recordings must complete the Sale of Musical Recording form.  Permission to sell recordings will be granted only if the recording is of the Busker’s own work and is available for sale during their performance only. Prior to selling a CD/DVD, Buskers must supply the Granville Island Busker Coordinator with one copy of each recording to ensure originality and to replace defective products. Recordings which have been left in the Busker Office 6 months after a pass expires and is not renewed will be donated to charity.


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Q: What other rules and restrictions do I need to know about?
A: The Busker Terms and Conditions page provides a full description of the rules, regulations, and manner in which we expect Granville Island Buskers to abide by.


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Q: How are the rules enforced?
A: The Granville Island Busking Regulations are enforced by a three hole-punch system.  Each time a rule is broken the busker receives a hole-punch in their licence.  If a busker acquires a third hole-punch, their licence is revoked for the remainder of the busking year.

GICS Staff reserve the right to cancel, at their discretion, and without notice, any performance that is deemed to be inappropriate or disruptive.  Certain behaviour such as physical or verbal abuse to anyone on Granville Island, including fellow buskers, will result in disciplinary action and/or revoking of the busker licence.  Inappropriate behaviour includes but is not limited to: intoxication, intimidation, swearing, yelling, heckling passers-by, belligerence, harassment, manipulation and showing continued disrespect for the program.


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Q: Who manages the Granville Island Buskers Program?
A: The Granville Island Cultural Society (GICS) manages the Granville Island Buskers Program on behalf of CMHC-Granville Island.  All queries and concerns about busking performances on Granville Island should be directed to and will be handled by the Granville Island Busker Coordinator at (604) 683-0846.  GICS retains the right to change or amend the Guidelines at its own discretion.  The Granville Island Cultural Society also reserves the right to refuse to issue a pass to an individual or group at its own discretion.


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