Fiddle fest coming to Merville

The 12th annual Comox Valley Fiddle Fest is happening April 19 and 20 at the Big Yellow Merville Hall.

The 12th annual Comox Valley Fiddle Fest is happening April 19 and 20 at the Big Yellow Merville Hall.

Kicking off the festival with a Friday night concert will be fiddler Mark Sullivan, a three-time Canadian grand masters fiddle champion, and one of the finest fiddlers in North America.

The following day, Saturday, at the Merville hall, Mark and other instructors will give music workshops in fiddle, guitar, bass and more. For a mere $5 you’ll learn new techniques and new tunes. Classes start at 9 a.m., finish by 1 p.m., and are open to anyone, any age, of any ability.

Sullivan will again tear up the stage on the evening of April 20 as he joins the Funtime Fiddlers in playing for the always-exciting Big Yellow Merville Hall Saturday Night Contra Dance. The fiddlers will play for your dancing pleasure all night long, if you ask. With a stage full of musicians keeping a driving beat, caller June Cannon will have the moves mapped out for the dancers to follow.

There will be a Contra Dance workshop right before the dance. From 7 to 7:30, June will introduce the dancers to new moves as well as teach the basic moves. This workshop is free of charge.

At 7:30, the Funtime Fiddlers start the music and the dancing begins. Single dancers are hugely welcome as they can pair up with anyone during the Contras and our Contra sets last about 15 to 20 minutes per dance.

In between the called Contra dances, Sullivan will play waltzes and reels; jigs and swing; schottisches and foxtrots for your enjoyment.

With subdued lighting and clever floral arrangements, the fiddle club tries to create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere that you can thoroughly enjoy and participate in.

The Big Yellow Merville dance hall is right on the Old Island Highway between Campbell River and Courtenay. For more information, phone 250-339-4249.

— Funtime Fiddlers

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