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This article was published 9/8/2016 (2115 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Patti Kusturok has added another prestigious string to her bow.
That’s because the Island Lakes resident was recently inducted into the North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame.
"It feels surreal," said Kusturok, a three-time Canadian Grand Masters Champion, whose nomination was put forward by the Manitoba Fiddle Association.
"I had heard about the hall of fame for years, and many of my fiddling idols are in there, so to be included on this list is huge."
According to a news release, the list of Canadian inductees in the hall includes Don Messer, Al Cherny, Ned Landry, Ivan Hicks, Calvin Vollrath, Graham and Eleanor Townsend, and Andy Dejarlis — many of whom Kusturok cites as her fiddling heroes.
Raised in Lorette, Kusturok was four years old when she had her first fiddle lesson. Having grown up surrounded by the sound of music, she said it was a natural progression that she would grow up to become a musician.
"My grandpa, who was from Scotland, played the accordion, and my parents always had music on in the house. And if we went on a road trip, there were always 8-track tapes playing in the car," Kusturok said.
The 46-year-old said one of the reasons she enjoys playing the fiddle is that it’s synonymous with engaging with an audience.
"What I love the most is being able to perform for people, and I’ve met so many wonderful people who often say my music is makes them feel quite nostalgic, as it brings back memories," she said.
"People always love stories, and sometimes the music evokes forgotten memories. It’s all about getting people up on the dance floor."
Kusturok describes her fiddling style as "old-style dancing" and she enjoys playing small town venues, including in southern Manitoba and the Interlake.
She also regularly takes part in World Fiddle Day events every May, and she also participated in the Asham Stomperfest in July and in the Planet IndigenUS event in Toronto last year. On a more intimate level, Kusturok also enjoys playing concerts for seniors or private functions, such as a wind-up event for a Scottish gentleman’s club dinner that is scheduled for September.
As her main source of income, Kusturok teaches private fiddle lessons at her southeast Winnipeg home and on Skype, and has students across Canada, as well as the U.S. and Norway.
Visit www.nysotfa.com for more information about the New York State Old Tyme Fiddlers’ Association.
Go online at www.pattikusturok.com to learn more about the artist.
Simon Fuller is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 204-697-7111.