Judges/ Accompanists/Guest Entertainers

Judges for 2022

     Calvin Vollrath (Alberta)

     Ivonne Hernandez (British Columbia)

     Daniel Gervais (Alberta)

     Alternate Judge -   Alex Kusturok (Alberta)

Calvin Vollrath (St. Paul, Alberta)

Recognized internationally for his performing, teaching, judging and composing abilities, Calvin has released 69 of his own albums and composed near 700 tunes, many of which have become standard contest and dance tunes played across North America and Europe.

Calvin is a driving force behind the revitalization of fiddle music in Canada. Calvin was commissioned to compose 5 fiddle tunes for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies to represent various Canadian Fiddle styles. He is well-sought out to play fiddle on countless recordings of other artists and has shared the stage with the likes of Willie Nelson and Vince Gill. He has been recognized with several honors including induction into the ‘North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame’ and having his name displayed on St. Paul’s ‘Home of’ welcome sign.

He is a proud founding member of the Alberta Old Tyme Fiddler’s Association, Wild Rose Old Tyme Fiddler’s Association and the Alberta Society of Fiddlers. Immediately following the Grand North American, Calvin will be hosting the ‘Virtual Summer Camp Calvin’ offering quality instruction in fiddle, piano & guitar. Calvin is pleased to be judging the Grand North American having been twice crowned champion in 1985 & 1989 before retiring from competitions. www.calvinvollrath.com

 

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.
 

Ivonne Hernandez ( Victoria, British Columbia)

Some people are born to play music. By the age of three, Ivonne Hernandez started playing violin by ear, everything from her mother’s favourite Maritime reels to her father’s Chilean folk music roots. A child prodigy, she soon was playing guitar, piano, cello, lute, and percussion

 

A fiddling sensation, Ivonne, has been featured on television and radio, at folk music and fiddle festivals around the world.  She has toured and taught all over North America, the Caribbean, the UK, Ireland and Europe.  Her many recordings and albums have earned her critical acclaim in Canada, the US and Europe.

 

Ivonne was the Merritt Old Time Fiddlers Provincial Champion for two years running before becoming a judge at the event as a 15 year old. She is a five-time winner of the Grand North American Fiddle Championship. Ivonne has mastered Canada’s traditional fiddle music. She embodies the country’s 21st century multiculturalism, and her music reflects the new century’s marriage of cultural influences.

 

 

Accompanists

      Marlee Heesing (Alberta)

      Blaine Lutwick (Alberta)

 

 

Guest Entertainers

Hillbilly Quartet (Sat afternoon)

Well known in the Alberta fiddle community Troy Gates joins Canadian Folk Music Award winner Braden Gates and fellow Fort Saskatchewan resident Ian Johnston. Together they  perform traditional and contemporary folk, country and fiddle music. The Hillbilly Quartet is looking forward to playing at the Grand North American Fiddle Contest!

Marango Pie (Sunday afternoon)

A Marango is a Ukrainian colloquialism for a gypsy troubadour. Marango Pie is a multi-piece band playing traditional and contemporary tunes and injecting their own unique musical sensibilities. It's a modern twist on traditional Ukrainian music.

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