What We Do
The Calgary Fiddlers Association is a non-profit, charitable organization celebrating its 35th Anniversity during 2017.
CFA Mandate: To preserve, promote and perform all types of fiddling, with a particular emphasis on Canadian styles.
Fiddling is an old art which emerged in 10th century Europe and has traditionally been passed down from generation to generation. This folk music has played an important and integral part in the cultural fabric of many nations, as well as Canada. For a time (not so long ago), there was an inherent risk the fiddle tradition was dying out. Our aim is to provide as many opportunities as possible for youth to continue the tradition of fiddling, or to be exposed to it, within Calgary and area.
CFA Mission: Through the art of Canadian fiddle music, we motivate, educate, and inspire children to develop musically and socially.
- Why? The Calgary Fiddlers Association emerged from the classical violin program at Mount Royal Conservatory of Music in 1981. At that time, Dr. Norman Burgess was the Director of the Conservatory and his passion for innovation, creativity and excellence led him to create the Calgary Fiddlers program for young classically trained musicians. He loved classical violin and he LOVED to fiddle (his two worlds collided to create something VERY special). Our very unique programs motivate, educate and inspire classically trained youth to embrace classically-inspired fiddle music while making life-long friends.
CFA Vision: To develop life skills in our young students such as leadership, confidence, discipline, and time management, and an appreciation for the Canadian heritage of folk fiddling; all acquired with exposure to local and international performance experiences, while promoting and preserving the art of fiddle music.
- Why? In addition to providing a rich musical education setting, the Association provides over 100 performance opportunities each year to young students. Performing allows our youth to develop essential skills that help them become amazing citizens within their community. They share toe-tapping fiddle culture and music with all ages in schools, seniors facilities, emergency shelters, conventions, malls and are ambassadors for Calgary, Alberta and Canada wherever they go.
Despite the downturn during our latter fiscal year performance opportunities remaining steady. The Calgary Fiddlers were invited to perform at more conferences and conventions in Banff and Lake Louise which allowed us to have solid revenue. Additionally, we had a regular contract with Tauck Tours International for opportunities to perform at Heritage Park for their tourists approximately 20 times during the summer months.
- 70 Students enrolled for 2016-2017 (54 Bow Valley Fiddlers* and 16 Calgary Fiddlers)
- 59 Students enrolled for 2015-2016 (44 Bow Valley Fiddlers* and 15 Calgary Fiddlers)
- 400 Attendees at December 2015 Fiddle Fantasia presentation at the University Theatre
- 320 Attendees at March 2016 Barn Dance at the Thorncliffe Greenview Community Hall
- 300 Attendees at May 2016 two-hour show at the Ironwood Stage & Grill
* Bow Valley Fiddlers is large as it accepts fiddle students (ages 6-18) who want to learn to fiddle and do some performing throughout the year. Once our students turn 13 there is the option to audition for the Calgary Fiddlers. The Calgary Fiddlers is a HUGE commitment, so if students have other activities and just want to fiddle for fun while skiing, playing hockey, etc…they just continue on in our in our highest level Bow Valley Fiddlers group.
- Our educational program offers young classical violin students of varying abilities new opportunitities to learn various styles of fiddling, and are also given opportunities to perform in the Calgary and area communities.
- Like many Canadians, we were moved by the hardship, heartbreak and chaos affecting the displaced Fort McMurray individuals and families. In May 2016, we hosted a free benefit concert “Fiddles for Food” to raise money for those affected by this tremendous wildfire.
- We offer opportunities for over 150 volunteers each year who wish to participate in our events and give back to the community.
“First of all they’re good, they’re very, very good. And they bring a bit of Calgary magic with them. To me they represent what Calgary is all about. They represent the entrepreneurial spirit, the free enterprise spirit, they represent culture and art. They represent everything that is good about this city.” – Ralph Klein