JUDGES

Allison Granger was born in Brandon, MB into a very musical family. She began classical training at the age of 4 and at 13 years old was teaching the Fantasy Fiddlers at the Brandon University.

At age 16, Allison moved to Calgary to join the group Barrage with whom she travelled the world. She excelled as a soloist in theatrical production, live/studio recordings and commercial/radio broadcasts with multiple tours on 3 continents, sharing the stage with such notables as Alanis Morrisette, Bare Naked Ladies, Great Big Sea, Blue Rodeo, Jann Arden, Reba McEntire, Keith Urban and Ashley MacIsaac to name a few.

She has toured worldwide for 20 years to date and has performed live for numerous dignitaries and leaders of state and even our Troops abroad in places like Afghanistan, Bosnia, Dubai and the North Pole.

She is nominated frequently for Awards such as the Gemini’s, Canadian Film Awards, WCMA’s, Junos and Canadian Country Music Awards. She took home the CCMA Award for “Fiddler of the Year”, in 2013 as a part of Gord Bamford’s Band. In 2016, she was inducted into the Wall of Fame in Manitoba. She shares this honour with her parents (Dorothy and Brian Granger) who were inducted as builders. She landed in the top 11 fiddlers in Canada taking home 8th place in the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship last year (2016).

Allison’s Son, Zachary is carrying on the family tradition of playing the fiddle.

Patti Kusturok - North American Fiddlers' Hall of Fame member Patti Kusturok's old time fiddle style is characterized by a pulsating, rhythmical lilt that is guaranteed to get you on the dance floor.

Often referred to as one the smoothest fiddle players in North America, Patti is known for her effortless delivery of some of the best traditional Canadian fiddle music of all time.

At the age of four, Patti began to learn playing the fiddle, and has a resume that reads like that of an Olympic champion. A few to her credit includes the Canadian Junior Champion (1985), 3 time Champion at the famous Pembroke, ON competition, 6 time Manitoba Champion, 3 time Grand North American Champion, and in 1994, 1995 and again in 1996, Patti won the prestigious Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship in Ottawa, ON. Patti was the first woman in the history of Canada to ever win and was the very first person from Western Canada to attain the crown.

Donna Turk - Donna Turk recently moved to Forget, SK where she has opened a new music studio with her husband. Before her move she lived and taught in Calgary, Alberta. Donna started playing the violin at the age of 4 and at 11 became a member of the world renowned Calgary Fiddlers. This is where her love for fiddling began. After high school Donna moved to Ontario where she studied Violin Performance at the University of Western Ontario.

Donna has been teaching both fiddling and classical violin for over 25 years. She was the Artistic Director of the Bow Valley Fiddlers, the educational program of the Calgary Fiddlers Association from 1997-2014. In 2012 she started adult fiddle classes at Mount Royal University which expanded to three levels of classes and a fiddle ensemble.

Donna’s love of teaching and working with both children and adults are being recognized nationally and she spends much of her time travelling to teach at workshops across Western Canada and NWT.

 

CHAMPIONSHIP MASTER OF CEREMONIES

Randy Jones - Randy was born and raised at 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 Championships 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 - Starting at the age of 7 with classical training it wasn't until she was a teenager that Laurie Maetche met some local fiddlers who adopted her into their circle, which opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for her.

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 ensures that Laurie has a full teaching studio throughout the year.

Laurie won the Advanced Intermediate class at the Grand North American Fiddle Championships in 2015.

 

ACCOMPANISTS

Blaine Lutwick - 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.



Marlee Heesing - Marlee grew up in a musical family, promoting fiddle music throughout Alberta with the “Gates Family Band” by playing for jamborees, festivals, and her favourite: dances! Along with learning the fiddle by ear, Marlee has her ARCT Diploma in Classical Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Marlee currently lives in Turner Valley and works as a Recreational Therapist Assistant at a Senior Retirement Home. In this work she loves sharing her passion for Old Time Fiddle Music, and more recently, teaching the ukulele to seniors. Seeing the joy brought to people of all ages through music inspires her to never stop playing and learning, and to keep sharing the music!



SOUND TECHNICIAN

Glen Nott, - I’ve played Old Time and Country music in dance bands since I was about 8 years old (61 years ago), started out with Mom and Dad in a little family band. My first fiddle contest was at Hensall, ON, I was age 8, and that was the 1953 venue chosen by Ward Allen to introduce Maple Sugar to the Canadian music scene.

Initially I played piano, violin, accordion, steel guitar, and then I fell in love with playing Bass. Musical opportunity has knocked many times with great musicians such as Calvin Vollrath, and, thanks to Calvin, I had the privilege of being part of the backup band for Mac Wiseman at Blueberry Bluegrass Festival. Other great musicians I get to work with are, Gene Michael, Troy Gates and The Gates Family Band, Randy Jones and the Reflections. Currently belong to The Prairie Mountain Fiddlers in Calgary and when I lived in Edmonton I belonged to the Wild Rose Old Time Fiddle Club.

Working with 6 different musical groups currently, and most recently have joined a Rockabilly band Juke Box Rock from Red Deer. As well, with the help of a couple of musical friends we are working at putting a Classic Country band together in my current home town of Airdrie AB.

I have been the Sound Guy for every band I have ever been a member of. Audio has been my hobby and my passion for many years. Yes, I am a gear geek, there is always a new microphone or processor that I yearn to add to my collection. Love my BOSE systems and will be using a number of them to accomplish the best possible acoustic music environment for the Grand North American Contest.

I look forward to seeing you all again and hope you enjoy this really great venue.