Jane Cory of Manitoba, winner of the 2018 Canadian Grand Masters Competition. This year’s event takes place in Abbotsford on Saturday, Aug. 24.

Candian Grand Masters Fiddle Contest comes to Abbotsford

Event on Saturday, Aug. 24 marks first time the event has been in B.C.

The best fiddlers in Canada are coming to Abbotsford for a national fiddling competition on Saturday, Aug. 24 at Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.

The Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Contest celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, with B.C. hosting the event for the first time.

The contest happens at the end of August each year, when approximately 30 to 35 of the top fiddlers from across the nation compete for the title of Canadian Grand Master.

There are 34 contestants this year. Each one must play four tunes during the preliminaries, including a jig; a waltz; a reel, breakdown or hornpipe; and a tune of their choice within five minutes.

They will be judged on intonation, technical ability, danceability, overall accuracy, emotion and feeling, and variety of tunes. Those who make the cut will play at the finals in the evening.

The master of ceremonies will be Gord Stobbe, who received the Order of Canada in 2018.

The judges will be Patti Kusturok, Louis Shryer, and Daniel Gervais, who are all multi-award fiddle champions.

House accompanists will be Trent Bruner, Ben Knorr, and Melika Lemelin.

Other fiddle champions who will be showing off their musical skills to entertain the audience are Calvin Volrath, Mark Sullivan, and Ivonne Hernandez, as well as members of the BC Old Time Fiddlers Association.

Doors open at 11 a.m. Preliminaries start at noon, and finals begin at 7 p.m.

Preceding the contest will be a fiddle concert and dance on Friday, Aug. 23 at the Abbotsford Arts Centre, 2329 Crescent Way. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the festivities get underway at 6:30.

Tickets for both the Friday and Saturday events are available online at eventbrite.ca.

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