Marc Atkinson Trio & Cam Wilson.

Fiddle Fest concert and dance with The Marc Atkinson Trio and Cam Wilson

Once again, Fiddle Fest is going to shake up the Comox Valley with another great weekend of concerts, contra dance and workshops.

This musical festival has been exciting music lovers nigh on 18 years, giving local fiddlers, young and sensibly mature, a chance to play hard and fast at the Big Yellow Merville Hall.

This year, our knee socks will be blown off by the main act, the award-winning Marc Atkinson Trio, with guests Cameron Wilson and Trent Freeman. These high voltage musicians will rock the hall stage in Friday night’s concert, April 20, at 7:30 p.m.

Atkinson is the leader and composer of the internationally renowned Marc Atkinson Trio (and co-founder, composer and performer in the acclaimed band, The Bills). The music of the trio good-naturedly welcomes all listeners aboard for an intriguing, exhilarating, technically awe-inspiring and unforgettable ride.

Special guest, violinist and composer, Cameron Wilson, is known as an arranger and composer of musical parody in multiple musical genres. This prodigy is a member of the classical crossover piano trio, Joe Trio, the acoustic string jazz quartet, Van Django, the Hard Rubber Orchestra, Mariachi del Sol, Pastiche and Tambura Rasa.

Trent Freeman tours with his band, The Fretless, and is delighted to be back in the Valley to entertain his friends.

The day after the concert, Saturday, April 21, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the trio will lead musical workshops in fiddle, guitar, mandolin, (bass) and ukulele, to all comers, beginners included, with some jamming thrown in for fun.

Workshops are only $5 each and the doors open at 10 a.m. The hall will be open all day so you can even use the kitchen to boil your beans and chew on your hard tack.

Saturday night, at 7:30 p.m., Marc and Cameron (with special guest Freeman), will lead the trio as they whoop it up for a community contra dance with the delightful jackanape, June Cannon, calling the moves and the facinorous Fiddlejam filling in the spaces.

Adults are $10 and youth are $5 — and there is even a special family rate. All are welcome to come and dance and meet friends, old and new. There are spot dance prizes and homemade treats. Contra dances will be taught on the spot, and there are polkas, swing and waltz dances in between the contras.

The ‘slowly getting famous’ Big Yellow Merville Hall is right on the Old Island Highway, between Campbell River and Courtenay.

Friday concert tickets are $20 adult and $10 youth, at Long & McQuade, Courtenay, and Blue Heron in Comox. Saturday dance tickets are at the door. Call Craig at 250-339-4249 or email

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