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They'll be fiddling around

World Fiddle Day event set for Coronation Park

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Patti Lamoureux and son Alex with their fiddles. Patti is leading the local staging of World Fiddle Day on Saturday.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Patti Lamoureux and son Alex with their fiddles. Patti is leading the local staging of World Fiddle Day on Saturday. Photo Store

Rosin up your bow!

World Fiddle Day, which celebrates the family of bowed string instruments in the fiddle or violin family, is coming to Winnipeg.

You can love to play or love to listen. Local fiddlers want you to come out Saturday at noon at Coronation Park in St. Boniface (corner of St. Mary's Road and Tache Avenue).

Patti Lamoureux, a local fiddling champion and member of the Manitoba Fiddle Association Hall of Fame, is organizing the local version of the event, which is celebrated worldwide.

"People are always saying this music is dying out and that the audiences are dying out, but there's a lot of young people coming and playing," said Lamoureux, who is on the board of the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Association. She and her son Alex, 21, teach 100 students between them.

"It might have skipped a generation because many of my students, their parents don't play but their grandparents do," said Lamoureux, 43. "It's important that these young, up-and-coming fiddlers have an audience to play to and that the love of this music is reinforced."

Lamoureux said she chose Coronation Park because it's a small, neighbourhood green space with parking nearby.

"There's no sound system, so it's going to be very much grassroots. It would be great if there were hundreds of people there so we could all play these tunes together. Whoever shows up, we're going to have some fun."

To start things off, she has put together a playlist of folk tunes most fiddlers know: Whisky Before Breakfast, Red Wing, Saint Anne's Reel, Big John McNeil and Maple Sugar.

World Fiddle Day was founded last year by fiddler and historian Caoimhin Mac Aoidh, from Ireland. It was decided to hold the day on the Saturday in May closest to the 19th, the recorded day of death in 1737 of Antonio Stradivari, the Italian crafter of string instruments.

A group in Castleisland, Ireland, is beginning their World Fiddle Day Friday night, with the celebrations expected to go into the wee hours on Saturday so they can, according to their Facebook page, "set the town apart as the first in the world to mark the great day in 2013."

"Fiddling in Manitoba, we're trying to preserve it," said Bob Kuzak, who has been playing the fiddle for 30 years and is a member of the Southglen Fiddlers club.

"This is just another method of preserving old-time fiddling. To see the fiddlers in action, including Patti herself being such a great fiddler, it's going to be a great show."

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2013 A8

History

Updated on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 10:44 AM CDT: adds photo

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