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Links-Fiddle Contest Corner

I began my involvement in the fiddle scene as an accompanist in 1986 and became active in the fiddle contest scene in 1988 on piano and guitar, and later as an organizer at local, provincial and national levels in Canada. Fiddle contests were my first introduction to the fiddle community and the fiddle contests, shows, dances, recording sessions, tours, fiddle camps, and workshops that I have been involved in at various times through the years in Canada, the United States and Europe. Many of these fiddle contests are a part of my musical history, either as a house accompanist, a supportive parent, or as one who came with fiddlers who asked me to be there. Please support these groups so that others gain the same opportunities afforded to me and others before I became involved.

Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association (CGMFA) /
L’Association canadienne des grands maîtres violoneux (ACGMV)


Incorporated in 1989, the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship was conceived by a group of people interested in preserving Canadian Traditional Fiddling, and giving recognition to the excellent fiddlers found across Canada. The first competition was held in 1990. The first president was Len Grace, followed by Bruce Cummings. Under their leadership, recognition of this event achieved national prominence.

 

In 2008, the name of the organization was changed to the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association (CGMFA) and the CGMFA became a national arts organization recognized by the Canadian Government.  The CGMFA officially became a truly national representative for all of Canadian fiddle styles with this designation. In March 2010, the CGMFA received its charitable tax status from the Canadian Revenue Agency.
 

From its beginnings in 1990-1995, the competition had been held after the Labour Day weekend. Since August 1996, it has been held annually at the end of August each year. The location of the competition varies from year to year providing a showcase of Canada’s top fiddlers from coast to coast. Approximately 35 fiddlers from across Canada are invited to compete for the title of Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Champion.

To me, Canada's national fiddling championship can be called "The Stanley Cup of Canadian fiddling."

Pembroke Fiddle and Step Dance Contest - Pembroke, Ontario

One of Canada's top rated fiddle and step dance contests that happens on the North American Labour Day weekend. It's a can't miss weekend for anyone who loves fiddle and step dance.  I have played there many times as a house accompanist and have enjoyed it very much. 

Grand North American Old Time Fiddle Championship - Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

A major Canadian contest that has happened in northern Alberta for many years. It takes place each July in the Edmonton region and is organized by the Wild Rose Fiddlers Association, an active fiddle club in the Edmonton area. This contest weekend also has old time dances, two day fiddle workshops and a Saturday night show featuring the contest judges.

Kamloops Old Time Fiddle Contest - Kamloops, British Columbia

This contest, with classes for all ages, is organized by the Kamloops Branch #12 of the B.C. Old Time Fiddlers Association.

Festival du Voyageur - Winnipeg, Manitoba

This one day contest, with classes for all ages, takes place each February in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Ottawa Fiddle and Step Dance Competition

This one day contest, with classes for all ages, takes place in conjunction with Canada's National Fiddling Day,

in the Ottawa suburb of Richmond, Ontario.

Orangeville Fiddle and Step Dance Competition

This one day contest, with classes for all ages, takes place in conjunction with Canada's National Fiddling Day,

in the community of Orangeville, Ontario, west of Toronto.

The Maritime Fiddle Festival

This weekend event, one of North America's longest operating fiddle contests, with classes for all ages, takes place in the Halifax suburb of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. This event is the first fiddle festival to be inducted into the Canadian Fiddle Hall of Honour, operated by the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Association, in 2023, for its efforts in promoting old time fiddling in the Canadian Maritime Provinces. 

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