Judges for 2023
Daniel Gervais (Edmonton, Alberta)
Daniel Gervais has been playing the violin since the age of five. He plays a variety of fiddle styles and classical violin, and is currently teaching as sessional faculty at MacEwan University. Daniel has performed and toured across Canada, the US and France.
In 2006, with six albums to his credit, Daniel was nominated for “Young Performer of the Year” at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Daniel has also had several television and radio appearances. He is very experienced in teaching a variety of students of different ages and abilities at fiddle camps and in collaboration with other music organizations such as the National Arts Centre MusicAlive! program. His involvement in the francophone community and participation in many cultural events has earned him many prestigious awards.
Daniel is the first and only Albertan to win the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Competition. He first competed there in 2003, and again in 2004 and 2008, finishing in the top 11. In 2011, he won first place and became the Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Champion, and repeated that success again in 2016.
Mark Sullivan (Vancouver, BC.)
Mark Sullivan is a 3x Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion. After capturing many fiddle titles in the Canadian contest scene, Mark quickly emerged as one of the finest fiddlers in the country. He is sought after as an instructor, spirited performer, and band-mate to many leading acts in traditional music. "A force in the world!" as referred to by Irish fiddler and Grammy winner, Liz Carroll. Mark hails from Bowmanville Ontario and grew up immersed in old time fiddle traditions, notably through the music of Don Messer and Graham Townsend. In 2022, Mark released his second album of original fiddle tunes, "Promenade Home," which pays tribute to his early years playing alongside local musicians at country dances. Roots Music Canada has hailed his music as soon to become "beloved standards at fiddle sessions, not just here in Canada, but wherever great fiddle music is appreciated." He is currently the President of the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association, and works alongside a committed Board to preserve & promote Canadian fiddling. Mark Sullivan now lives in BC Canada.
Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Champion Paul Lemelin, from Sudbury Ontario Canada, has been playing the fiddle since the age of 4 and has been competing at various contests since the age of 8. At home Paul works as an Electronic Technologist for Vale Exploration. He enjoys teaching the fiddle, guitar, mandolin and piano as well as being a father of 3 young boys and a young daughter. Paul is also the President of the “Fiddleworks/Violon à l’œuvre” organization in Chelmsford Ontario, the host of the “Northern Ontario Fiddle and Stepdance Championship”. Paul has won a number of competitions including first place in the Open category in Sturgeon Falls Ontario, Chelmsford Ontario, Richmond,Ontario as well as three wins in Pembroke Ontario, arguably the biggest fiddle contest in Ontario. Paul was first invited to compete at the Canadian Grand Masters in 2006 and has since received the honour of being invited to compete every year since 2010. The highlight of Paul’s career came in 2014 when he won the CGM earning him the Title of Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion, followed by a back to back/weekend to weekend win in Pembroke Ontario, a feat only achieved 3 times prior in the history of both contests! Recently Paul has been playing with various Bluegrass bands and is now part of a group called “Nickelwound”. Paul previously taught at AlgomaTrad 2008 and we are looking forward to having him and his family back again.
Alternate Judge - TBA
Melika Lemelin has been playing piano since the age of 15. She is one of Ontario’s most sought after house pianists for fiddle and step-dance competitions. In 2010 and 2012, Melika won 3rd place in the accompaniment category at the Grand-masters Fiddling Championship in Nashville TN. She has had the honor to play alongside some extraordinary musicians including Shane Cook, The Brian Pickell Band, Calvin Vollrath, Ray Legere, and, of course, her husband, Paul Lemelin! She is a mother of 4 beautiful children, three boys and a girl, who will all be at Algomatrad this year. Melika previously taught at AlgomaTrad in 2008.
If you've been in the fiddling community for long you've probably met at least one Borch. Garnet's from a musical family that's been part of the Alberta fiddling community his entire life. Growing up, Garnet attended all the Alberta fiddling camps and competitions and learned much of what he knows on piano from the one and only Blaine The "Pianoman" Lutwick. He's a member of The Borch Brothers, the family band that's been around for 20 years, and his style of accompaniment is a blend of old-tyme, East Coast and making-it-up-as-he-goes. In addition to music, he is inspired by the natural world, spreadsheets and being a force of positive change.