Calvin Vollrath - St. Paul, AB
Recognized internationally for his performing, teaching, judging and composing abilities, Calvin is ‘Canada’s Fiddling Sensation’. He 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 & 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 Fiddler’s 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 & the Alberta Society of Fiddlers. Immediately following the GNAOTFC, Calvin will celebrate the 13th annual ‘Camp Calvin’ in St. Paul AB, offering quality instruction in fiddle, piano & guitar. Calvin is pleased to be here judging the Grand North American having been twice crowned champion in 1985 & 1998 before retiring from competitions.
Brian Hébert - Ottawa Valley, ON
Brian Hébert comes from one of the four great fiddling regions along with Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Manitoba. Fiddle music still holds a place of enormous importance in this place where pioneers from many countries came with their axes and fiddles and carved out a unique way of speaking and playing that combines elements of all of them.
Brian was steeped in this culturally rich environment, has been a Pembroke Ontario high school teacher for almost 30 years and has created a program to transmit Valley heritage by establishing a credit course in Canadian Fiddle as well as teaching the "Nusic in Education" program.
He attended the University of Ottawa where he Majored in Music and Minored on the Theatre Technology. Later, he received his education degree from Queen's University and a Music Education Certificate at Ohio State University.
All the while he has been an active performer, producer, instructor, arranger and one of the few consistent fiddle composers of this generation.
Mark Sullivan - Vancouver, BC
“A force in the world!” says Grammy nominated fiddler, Liz Carroll. Among his many awards, Mark Sullivan is a 3-time Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion and is widely regarded as one of the finest fiddlers in North America today. He is in demand as a spirited performer and continues to collaborate with many of the finest names in traditional music today.
Mark holds his Masters in the Science of Education and is a regular instructor at Music Camps throughout the country. He has numerous recordings available online. Mark grew up playing for dances and learning from old time fiddlers in Ontario. Mark has called Vancouver BC his home for the past 10 years. Visit: www.marksullivan.ca
Kimberley Holmes, Alternate Judge - Carroll's Corner, NS
Kimberley Holmes from Carroll's Corner, Nova Scotia, is one of Canada’s premier piano accompanists in the traditional style of fiddling and has won many awards for her playing as a solo performer as well. She has also captured first place at the Maritime Fiddle Festival in the group category with Dave Bagnell, Jocelyne Bourque, Samantha Robichaud and most recently with Sherryl Fitzpatrick. She is the house accompanist and past artistic director of the Maritime Fiddle Festival.
She has toured with such artists as Graham and Eleanor Townsend, Richard Wood, Calvin Vollrath and April Verch among others, and has appeared on a long list of recordings by such artists as Richard Wood, Jocelyne Bourque, Ray Legere, Shane Cook, J.P. Cormier, Tara Lynne Touesnard, Calvin Vollrath, Gordon Stobbe, Peter Dawson, Sherryl Fitzpatrick and Kelli Trottier. Kimberley has 3 of her own recordings, 2 with the Bb Sisters and a solo cd.
With over 25 years of teaching experience, both privately and in groups, Kimberley is in demand as an instructor on both piano and fiddle. She is a guest instructor at camps across Canada including the Canadian Grand Masters Camp in Ottawa, Camp Calvin in Alberta, Fiddlyness in Saskatchewan and Castlegar Fiddle Camp in Castlegar BC.
CHAMPIONSHIP MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Randy Jones - Tofield, AB
Randy was born and raised in Tofield, Alberta. He began playing the violin/fiddle at the age of nine. Randy’s dad taught him to read music, and, with a repertoire of tunes, Randy was soon playing for dances and competing in fiddle contests.
Randy has been an instructor at music camps and workshops in British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Instructing at music camps and workshops, playing for many old tyme dances, judging contests and participating and organizing fiddle jamborees have afforded Randy many opportunities to play the musical style he loves so well. As well as being a judge at the Grand North American Fiddle Championship numerous times, Randy has coached with the Bow Valley Fiddlers and been the Music Director of the Prairie Mountain Fiddlers.
As president of the Alberta Society of Fiddlers, he has been directly involved in promoting the love of fiddle music to young and old alike.
JUNIOR SHOWCASE MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Laurie Maetche - Lacombe, AB
Starting at the age of 7 with classical training it wasn't until Laurie was a teenager that she met some local fiddlers who adopted her into their circle, which opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for Laurie.
Laurie returned to school in 2006 to obtain her bachelor degree in Music Performance. It started with violin but hasn't ended there. She has also completed viola and is currently working on piano. There is a lack of teachers in the area and she didn’t want to be known as a jack of all trades and master of none. You'll often hear Laurie say "It doesn't matter how good you get, there is always room for improvement and you can find someone that motivates and encourages you to be better". She feels because she is still studying she can relate to the demands that her private students have.
Laurie would prefer to be behind the scenes and encouraging others to reach for their potential, because of her love of passing on the music and her love of youngsters (or young at heart) those two elements ensure that Laurie has a full teaching studio throughout the year.
Laurie won the Advanced Intermediate class at the Grand North American Fiddle Championships in 2017.
Blaine Lutwick - Lacombe, AB
After a year and a half of music lessons, Blaine Lutwick was told by his music teacher that he would never get anywhere playing by ear! At age 7, his father sat him down and taught him three chords on the piano in the key of C (C , F, G), and he was on his way. Blaine has been part of many bands. The Sole Shakers - for thirteen years he and Randy Jones played a lot of different venues and travelled a lot of miles. Bow Fever - for five years, Blaine was director and accompanist for this young, energetic, and dynamic fiddle group. Once Blaine started jamming with Randy, he learned what fiddle contests and jamborees were all about. "I have to say... my greatest music rush is sitting behind fiddle players and backing them up at fiddle contests and jamborees." Blaine, a very accomplished musician and teacher at fiddle camps, is no stranger to the contest scene. His infectious smile and love of old-tyme music exemplify the true spirit of this event. He also free lances with fiddlers across the province on numerous occasions. Blaine has been house accompanist for the Grand North American Old Time Fiddle Championships for many years.
In 2011, the duo Fiddlingly Yours was organized with long time friend, and now significant other, Laurie Maetche. This opportunity gives both of them a chance to share their talents and abilities when they work and perform together. This group can provide background music, great listening or toe tapping dance music.
Deanna Dolstra - St. Paul, AB
Born in Oshawa, Ontario, Deanna has been playing fiddle for over 30 years and is trained in Ottawa Valley Step Dance. She competed in fiddle and step dance in the Ontario Contest Circuit for many years, retiring in 2000. She has trained with various instructors across Ontario and also attended the Ceilidh Trail School of Celtic music in Cape Breton.
Deanna released her own independent album in 2002. She played for over a decade with the band "Celtic Powerhouse" with fiddle, step dance, keys, and backup vocals. She has been a guest performer and has appeared on recordings with various other artists and groups. She performs all over Canada during the year, often seen with the Metis Ensemble Nicely Put Together Band since 2017.
Deanna currently teaches predominantly group lessons of all ages, and has over 100 students across East-Central Alberta.
Dennis Thompson - Fort Saskatchewan, AB
Dennis is a self-taught guitar player who has always enjoyed live music. He has been able to hone his craft by being a sound engineer for events such as Josephburg Presents, Fort Saskatchewan Legacy Park Family Festival and numerous other shows.
Dennis then decided to take his passion to the next level and started Fort Sight & Sound five years ago to help promote local musicians. During this time, he has enjoyed meeting many musicians of all genres. Fort Sight & Sound is able to accommodate indoor and outdoor venues from a single person to a full band. Contact Fort Sight & Sound at email@example.com.