General News

Successful HMF already looking ahead to 70th fiddle anniversary

August 15, 2019   ·   0 Comments


Heritage Music Festival (HMF) Co-Chair, Bobbi Ferguson says Shelburne Rotary Club is very pleased with this year’s festival. 

“The calibre of talent was top notch,” she says. “Attendance was up from last year at most events, and all comments from those in attendance were very positive and complimentary.”

 She added, “All events went off without a hitch. Friday night’s band, The Washboard Union was an absolute hit. From the moment they arrived they made themselves at home. They chatted with all the volunteers, thanked us for having them and even played some impromptu soccer on the arena floor. Their concert was one of the best, if ever, attended. After the concert, they stayed for at least an hour to chat, take pictures and sign autographs for their fans. They were a real class act.”

 Ms. Ferguson also says other highlights included, the fiddle contest, which was a success, once again, with some classes having more than 20 entries for a total of over 60 fiddlers competing at the arena on August 10. 

“The Scott Woods Show was also highly entertaining,” she says, “Scott just keeps getting better.”

The Rotarians were also pleased that live streaming allowed those far from Shelburne, or unable to attend, to enjoy the event from the comfort of their homes.

Rotarian, Caroline Mache reported, “For the second year in a row, this year’s Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Champion at the Heritage Music Festival was Diana Dawydchak of Etobicoke.” 

She says, “The Open Class was again dominated by women, with only one man among the four competitors.”  Ms. Dawydchak was presented The Fiddler portrait by Shelburne Mayor, Wade Mills, and Doug Scott, as sponsor, presented the monetary first prize for the Open Class in memory of his father, fiddler Bob Scott. Diana Dawydchak also won the Canadian Tune of Choice trophy and award with “Maytime Swing” by Graham Townsend. 

Bobbi Ferguson says her only wish for the festival, going forward, is to get more local people out to the events. Rotary has been advertising since May 1 on all platforms, other than TV, “but still we hear local residents say they don’t know about it,” she says.

“Next year will mark the anniversary of our 70th Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship,” says the Co-Chair,” and we are already throwing around some ideas to mark this incredible achievement.” She says, Bands and Brews, which featured great local talent, had an excellent turnout for its second year. “I am looking forward to growing this event with more and varied activities,” she says.

 The Rotary Club thanks “our sponsors, without whom, our festival would not be possible; also, all the volunteers who worked tirelessly and service clubs who have supported us along the way, and of course, all those who attend our events.” 

A reminder from Caroline Mache and the Rotary Club of Shelburne, that proceeds of the Heritage Music Festival support Rotary’s many charitable projects, including: a splash pad for Shelburne, Music and Memory Programs at Dufferin Oaks’ Home for Seniors, a major contribution to the digital imaging department at the Headwaters’ Health Care Centre, breakfast clubs at local elementary schools, Shelburne Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, a variety of minor sports, and Dufferin County Meals on Wheels, Hospice Dufferin, Shepherd’s Cupboard Food Bank, PolioPlus – a program to eradicate polio worldwide…and many more.

The 2020 Heritage Music Festival will run August 5th to 9th, 2020, celebrating 70 years of fiddle competition in Shelburne. For more information visit



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