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.
CFA Mission: Through the art of Canadian fiddle music, we motivate, educate, and inspire children to develop musically and socially.
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.
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.
* 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.
“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 KleinThe Calgary Fiddlers
Since the formation of The Calgary Fiddlers in 1981, this highly skilled group of amateur musicians, ranging from 14 to 18 years of age, has performed for live audiences, television and radio broadcasts, and concert tours. Over the years, the group has toured extensively throughout such places as Spain, France, Scotland & Ireland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Kansas, Iowa, Montana,Wyoming, Minnesota and Hawaii. They were chosen as ambassadors of Alberta for centennial celebrations in Ottawa, where they performed with the National Art Centre Orchestra in May 2005. They have been sent by the Alberta and Canadian Governments as ambassadors to Korea, Los Angeles, Monte Carlo and Monaco, and New York City. The Fiddlers have also had the privilege of performing for dignitaries such as H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco,former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the President of Yemen and His Holiness the fourteenth Dali Lama. Recent notable appearances include the opening of the “Live with Kelly” show in Banff, AB and a feature spot on the Australia TODAY show, filmed in Lake Louise.
The Bow Valley Fiddlers
The Bow Valley Fiddlers, created in 1995, is a division of The Calgary Fiddlers Association and although they are separate and distinct from The Calgary Fiddlers division, both groups fall under the same association. Bow Valley Fiddlers (ages 13-18 years of age) aspiring to dedicate more time to fiddling and performing; many audition to be members of the The Calgary Fiddlers. To see these fiddlers at the Calgary International Children’s Festival, click here.
Our Programs. How do we do it?
There are currently a total of 5 fiddle groups that meet weekly to learn fiddle tunes and accompanying choreography. Fiddling in an ensemble setting emphasizes listening skills, timing and teamwork.
Each fiddle student meets with fiddle instructors for several one-on-one coaching sessions each semester to learn the bowing techniques and timing unique to the fiddle genre.
Intensive fiddle workshop weekends are offered to fiddle students twice per year. Clinicians are brought in to work with our students on dancing, choreography, public speaking, percussion and fiddling. On occasion. there are opportunities for our students to work with fiddle great such as Natalie MacMaster, Gordon Stobbe, Daniel Gervais and Ben Plotnick.
Each year, our fiddlers have opportunities to perform either provincially, nationally and internationally. We feel touring is an integral addition to our programming. It allows our students to perform several full shows in culturally unique communities and countries. This opens their eyes to how others live, and to view the world in a musical context. The people and youth they meet on these tours also helps them to forge life-long relationships.
Community Outreach Programs
1) Healing Through Music
In 2016, the Calgary Fiddlers Association implemented a unique outreach program to help meet the emotional needs of the community. These specialized performances are designed to improve mood and mobility, relieve anxiety, stress and depression, and enhance concentration and creativity through live interactive shows. Those living in seniors’ facilities, hospitals, hospices and temporary living facilities such as Inn From the Cold, and organizations empowering youth with disabilities are the greatest beneficiaries.
2) Spread Fiddle Music
In 2012, as part of our 30th Anniversary year, the Association began the Spread Fiddle Music initiative. The primary goal of this initiative is to share fiddle music (and the love of music, in general) within school settings, and to inspire young students to take up a musical instrument of any kind. We also focus on the many diverse fiddle genres, and provide interactive opportunities for students to play the spoons, shakers, learn some traditional fiddle dances and to hold a violin.The Calgary Fiddlers Association is always seeking sponsors, donors and in-kind contributions to help stretch our budget.
Financial Bursaries: Support a fiddler in need!
Each year, we have students whose families are unable to meet the financial commitment of being in our program due to job loss, illness, work-related accidents and family separation/divorce. Your donation can help to make a child’s dream to fiddle, come true!
Donations: Help cover the costs associated with running our program:
Event/Program Sponsorships: For as little as $1000, you could help sponsor a concert or special event.
We would love to have more corporate sponsors who wish to support a cultural, youth, arts organization who provides fun-filled, well-attended musical events, and provides impactful and interactive outreach programs to the community such as Healing Through Music and Spread Fiddle Music.
In-Kind Donations: Each year we hold a Fiddle Art Auction to help raise money towards our Tour Fund and our Legacy Fund. Local artists kindly donate their time to create amazing fiddle art pieces. We are always looking for new artists to showcase and old unplayable fiddle donations. In addition, we would welcome in-kind donations of services for web design and IT support.
Volunteers: Each year we need more than 100 volunteers who dedicate approximately 1,500 hours of time each year to help with events and workshops. Volunteers are essential to our operation. With hundreds of performances each year, we couldn’t succeed without you!
Board Members: We are always accepting applications from individuals passionate about youth, music and the arts. Our board members bring legal, fundraising, marketing, business and financial strengths to the table and are dedicated to finding new sources of funding for our organziation. Our members also ensure strong governance so we may continue to make strong contributions to youth music development and to the local arts community as a whole.
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