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Export date: Wed Jun 19 7:49:41 2019 / +0000 GMT

Heritage Music Festival and Fiddle Championship “a winner” all round


The 68th Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Champion, Diana Dawydchak of Etobicoke, was crowned at the finals on Saturday, August 11th. Diana was awarded the Town of Shelburne Portrait and The Bob Scott Memorial Award of $2,000.  Shelburne Rotary reports, that the first time, the Open Class was dominated by women, with only one man among the five competitors.

“The dust hasn't settled yet,” says Heritage Music Festival Chair Bobbi Ferguson, “but judging by the increase in fiddle competitors (more than 70) the work that was done to increase awareness and participation by professional Canadian fiddlers Linsey Beckett, Scott Woods, Kendra Norris, and Tyler Beckett, as well as our Rotarians, was not in vain.”

The Fiddle Championship was in serious jeopardy earlier this year, but Ms. Ferguson says, “After engaging consultants and seeing how much our contest means to so many professional fiddlers who got their start at our contest, we made some changes and increased our participation significantly.”

Rotarian President Sandra Gallaugher reports “more contestants registered at the Fiddle Contest with a lot of small children competing this year.” 

Bobbi Ferguson says, “Having one full day rather than two half days makes it difficult to judge how much our audience increased, but I will say that there was more than 300 people watching at any one time during the full day Saturday event.”

Thanks to sponsorship by Mansfield Outdoor Centre, the Play Downs Saturday morning were free, and the entrance for the Championship in the evening was $25. “A great value,” says Bobbi, “Considering you could enjoy more than 12 hours of fiddle music from some extremely talented Canadian fiddlers.”

The Chair says, “If we continue on this path of success, I predict that the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship will be going strong for at least another 68 years.”

Sandra Gallaugher says the HMF Committee, “tried to add more musical events throughout the town with The Trews at the arena on Friday night, Small Town Girls in downtown Shelburne before the parade, and Bands and Brews in Fiddle Park on Saturday after the parade. There was no lack of music in Shelburne over the weekend,” she says

The Rotary Club had no idea what to expect with their first year of Bands and Brews, but Bobbi Ferguson reports “the bands were great, the audience appreciative and the donations and bar proceeds surpassed our expectations.” Apparently, there are already bands lining up wanting to play next year.

“We provided what people requested,” says the HMF Chair, “a variety of music for a variety of tastes, making the Heritage Music Festival appeal to the ever growing diversity in our town, while keeping fiddle music as its heart and soul. The Heritage Music Festival is, and will continue to be, a week celebrating Canadian music and Canadian musicians.”

     It is important that residents remember, the proceeds of the Heritage Music Festival support Shelburne Rotary's many charitable projects, including: Music and Memory Program at Dufferin Oaks Home for Seniors, BMX track at Greenwood Park in Shelburne, major contribution to the digital imaging department at the Headwaters Health Care Centre, breakfast clubs at local elementary schools, Centre Dufferin Robotics Club, Shelburne Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, a variety of minor sports, including hockey, baseball, gymnastics, lacrosse, and figure skating, Dufferin County Meals on Wheels, Hospice Dufferin, Shepherd's Cupboard Food Bank, PolioPlus - a program to eradicate polio worldwide, and many more.

     Bobbi Ferguson also notes, “The Rotary members and other volunteers put many hours of work into organizing the Festival and it is fantastic to see so many people out having a good time and enjoying the great variety of music.” Sandra Gallaugher says, “I feel it was a successful weekend and want to thank all organizers, volunteers and everyone who attended.” Mark your calendar now for next year's Heritage Music Festival: August 7-11, 2019.

Post date: 2018-08-16 14:11:28
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