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Music not chores

To the editor,

How benevolent a gesture to give a food voucher, and not script, to a street musician, as was suggested in the Chronicle-Herald on May 15. I cannot speak for the well-known musician in the photo, who may or may not have given his permission for his picture to accompany the article. However, as a trained musician who has played on street and stage throughout my career for any number of reasons, I deem myself a professional, and no less valued by society than any other law-abiding citizen. To suggest that everyone playing an instrument on the street is doing so for charity is a sweeping judgment. Further, to associate the lifestyle of a musician, busking, with that of a prostitute or drug addict is to seriously call into question the mindset of the author of such an article. Perhaps a wider cultural awareness, indeed, "presence" in our city is needed to combat such narrow views. By comparison, in other Canadian cities or abroad, street musicians are a valued resource, providing a welcome change of mood from an otherwise frantic pace of daily life.

By Stephen King

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