Judges for 2024
Growing up, Alex followed his mother Patti to Old time dances around Manitoba where he was enriched with the Métis fiddle from a very young age. By age 7, the passion for music became apparent and today Alex makes his living as a performer and educator.
- Part of the Metis Delegation that travelled to Rome in 2022. Shared Metis music with Pope Francis.
- “Indigenous Day Live Winter Solstice” 5 day music festival that aired on APTN
- Toured as a “hired gun” with the Derina Harvey band (2017)
- Métis Spring Festival Champion (Alberta, 2016)
- Two Time British Columbia Fiddle Champion (2008, 2009)
- Five Time Manitoba Champion
- Eight Time Manitoba Métis Champion
- Grand North American Champion (Alberta, 2013)
- Canadian Grand Masters National Competition ranking in the top ten competitors and performing in Junior Showcase.
- Toured through Norway Europe with Patti Kusturok and Trent Bruner
- Festival of Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsand, Washington
- Folk Life Festival in Seattle, Washington
- 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics (1st Medal Ceremony)
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.
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.
Alternate Judge - Lucas Welsh
I am really impressed by the combination of musical talent, stage presence, and warmth and sincerity Lucas brings to his performances. He can play a number of instruments and has a great voice too. I also appreciate that he can perform alone or as part of an ensemble and is eager to "bring it all" either way
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.
GNA Youth Fiddle Camp Instructors
Samuel Corry - Samuel is an Alberta boy who was given a love of, and a passion for music from birth. His passion for the fiddle emerged at the age of 5 when traditional music from across Canada began to lay the foundation for the music he and his brother Jackson love to play these days. Although his versatility as a multi instrumentalist and vocalist allows him to jump into diverse musical situations, his favourite gigs are certainly old time and country dances, although ringing chords with a barbershop quartet is a close second. When Sam isn’t making music, you might find him at his day job working as an electrician or taking some time to dive into theological studies.
Melanie Smith-Doderai, Fort Saskatchewan AB - Melanie holds a B.A, B.Ed and M.Ed. Melanie is an active member of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association, holds an Advanced Specialist Certification from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada and has published ten theory books for string instruments through Mel Bay Publications. Melanie has been awarded the 2009 Excellence in Music Teaching Award as well as the CMFTA Award for Recognition of Professional Achievement from 2010 to present. Melanie is proud to have the title of being Canada's first aerial silk violinist and was recently featured on Canada’s Got Talent. You can find out more about her at silksandstrings.ca