Old time fiddle music comes to the Clarke

Four of Canada's preeminent fiddle virtuosos will entertain music lovers in Mission

The Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers

The Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers (CFVF) are hosting what could be described as the biggest fiddle event of the year March 17 at the Clarke Theatre in Mission.

When you hear the phrase “old time fiddle music”, you might imagine a couple of old timers sitting on a porch with a fiddle and a banjo, instruments handed down from generation to generation which have never been tuned. Well, in some cases you might be right, but for the CFVF old time fiddle music is about entertaining audiences with jigs, reels, two-steps, waltzes and fox trots.

The CFVF is a well-oiled group that has been around since 1973 playing for country fairs, music festivals, seniors’ homes, church functions, private weddings, anniversaries and birthday parties. And they play all kinds of instruments, including accordion, electric slide guitar, banjo and even hammer dulcimer.

The fiddlers you’ll see on St. Patty’s Day consist of four accomplished Canadian musicians. There will be John Arcand, Master of the Métis fiddle; Trent Freeman, five-time Canadian Grand Masters finalist; Allison Granger, a worldwide touring musician; and Patti Lamoureux, three-time Canadian Grand Masters Champion.

Arcand’s impeccable sense of timing and flowing rhythm has made him a legend in the fiddle world, having composed over 350 original tunes. His passion for the preservation of the Métis traditions earned him the Order of Canada in 2008.

Freeman has been playing classical violin and fiddle since he was a child, and in 2010 was the recipient of the Outstanding Musical Achievement Award from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Granger is another former musical prodigy, touring professionally worldwide since the age of 16, sharing the stage with many Canadian superstars, including Alanis Morrisette, Bare Naked Ladies, and Blue Rodeo.

Rounding out the fabulous four is Manitoba Fiddle Association Hall of Fame member Patti Lamoureux, whose fiddle style is described as a little bit Métis, a little bit Québecois, and a whole lot of feel. Lamoureux has been fiddling since she was just four, and has compiled an awards resume that reads like an Olympic champion, including being the three-time Grand North American Fiddle Champion.

The CFVF will kick off the concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Clarke Theatre. Advance tickets are available at $10 for adults and $7 for children and seniors. All tickets at the door will be $12.

Don’t forget that earlier that day the Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers’ Pacific Fiddle College will be hosting workshops from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Heritage Park Secondary School. All four performers will be the fiddle instructors for this day-long event.

The cost is $125 and includes four one-hour workshops, snacks, pizza lunch, and admission to the concert in the evening. Contact Lillian 604-792-1166 or email pacificfiddlecollege@gmail.com. Registration forms can be found at the Central Fraser Valley Fiddlers website.