Musicians from throughout the Northwest

Musicians from throughout the Northwest

Northwest Fiddlefest brings in the talent

Fiddlers, musicians from throughout the northwest show up to play and to learn.

Over 70 people from as far away as Alaska to Calgary descended on Smithers last week to partake in Northwest Fiddlefest 2011.

Fiddlefest, held at the Banner Mountain Lodge, is a music camp featuring mostly fiddle music, however instruments at the camp were wide and varied and included a mandolin, guitar, bass, electric keyboard and a hurdy-gurdy.

Fiddlefest used to be an annual event, organizer Karen Price said, until three years ago when it went on a hiatus. This year, she and a group of others got together to bring back the wildly popular event that brought together music lovers from across the region.

Looking around this year, you could certainly say it was a success. Young and old, experienced and beginners, from here and from afar, the sound of music and melodies were in the air from dawn until dusk each of the five day event.

“The purpose is to help them grow and to inspire them,” Price said.

The experience can be quite intensive, she said, where they can make great leaps in their musical ability. Whether it’s learning a new music style, a new instrument, or learning how to play in a group or pick up their solo play, there’s plenty of things to learn.

This year brought six instructors to the camp. Anne Lindsay, a versatile musician working with violin and fiddle, brought with her her skills in gypsy style music, while local Rachelle van Zanten taught song writing. Other instructors, some as far away as the Maritimes, offered courses on keyboard, bass, singing and of course fiddle, while art classes were also offered.

“There is something here for all levels,” Price said.

For improv classes all the musicians have broken into groups to create their own piece. Featuring all experience levels, these groups faced off against one another Friday evening for a fun-filled challenge to see whose compilation reigned supreme.

And, once classes wrapped up at around 5 p.m., things didn’t end there. Often musicians would continue in their own groups until as late as 11 p.m., Price said, and throughout the evening more talents were brought to the table as well including breakdancing, and an art show demonstration, followed by a family dance.

“It’s s such a positive for the kids,” Price said. “They’re doing something productive and creative and you don’t need to worry about them.”

Instructor Emilyn Stam said it’s an experience like no other for the kids (and adults). A pupil of Oliver Schroer’s, Stam was working with the attendees on developing their improvisation skills.

“Improv is giving them a chance to play without saying how,” Stam said. “it’s learning to open up and seeing what comes out.”

The talent at Fiddlefest is amazing, she added.  Many of the attendees, kids especially, have already written their own songs. The camp not only gives them a chance to share their works, but for them to pick up wholly different styles as well; styles we may not see here in the Bulkley Valley.

“They’re taking music into their own hands,” Stam said.

Just Posted

lotto max logo
Are you the lucky winner?

A $1 million ticket was bought in Burns Lake for Friday’s Lotto… Continue reading

Jill Mackenzie carefully replaces books on the shelves at the Houston Public Library. (Angelique Houlihan photo)
District approves annual library grant

Craft kits featured for summer reading club

The tradition of Houston Christian School grads giving Bibles to incoming kindergarten students will take place this year, but outdoors and in a modified fashion. (File photo)
Houston Christian School grad day is June 24

Grads themselves have set tone for the day, says teacher

Scott Richmond will be starting as the new vice principal for HSS and TSE. (Submitted/Houston Today)
Houston gets a new vice principal

Scott Richmond takes over from Dwayne Anderson who moved to Smithers

A Pacific Salmon Foundation grant of $3,000 is going towards the tree plantations. (Cindy Verbeek photo/Houston Today)
550 trees planted in Houston through A Rocha

Houston Christian School students and volunteers help with the tree planting

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read