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The Sound of Strings Reverberated on the Hill on National Fiddling Day
The Sound of Strings Reverberated on the Hill on National Fiddling Day
May 19, 2016

The third Saturday of every May is National Fiddling Day — a celebration of Canadian musical heritage.

Senator Elizabeth Hubley championed the National Fiddling Day bill in 2015 to highlight the historical and contemporary importance of the fiddle, and to make it known to a broader audience.

“I envisioned National Fiddling Day to be a whole day of celebration where fiddlers share their talent, lifting spirits and making people happy,” Senator Hubley said.

“I also see it as an opportunity to savour living in our great country through the magic of music and the universality of this beautiful instrument.”

On Wednesday, the Senator — a fiddler herself, as well as a step dancer — hosted some early celebrations on the Hill.

“Canadians from coast to coast to coast share a love for the fiddle,” she said.

“You can find fiddle entertainment almost anywhere, from church basements to Legion halls, from nursing homes to local pubs, to right here in the East Block courtyard.”

Fiddles have echoed throughout Canada since its earliest days. First introduced by Jesuits in the 16th century, fiddling spread to aboriginal communities through the coureurs des bois; fiddle music was further enriched by the melodies of Acadian, Celtic and Eastern European immigrants.

In fact, Senator Hubley sees it as a metaphor for the nation.

“Like Canada, it embraces and accommodates many different styles and traditions, allowing each to thrive and flourish — even while we create an entirely new sound,” Senator Hubley said.

The Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association — a national organization devoted to the preservation and advancement of the art of Canadian fiddling — also took part in the celebrations.

The Public Gallery

“I’m from Antigonish, proudly, a mainlander from Nova Scotia. I’m so happy to be here today performing on National Fiddle Day… You know it’s just amazing to celebrate an instrument that has brought so many people together, so many cultures, and generation after generation too! I’m thrilled and very emotional to be here today."

Anna Ludlow, fiddler


“I’ve played violin since I was 3 years old, and now I’m 7 so it’s been about… 4 years. What I really like about it is the sound. When I’m older I want to be very good at it and I want to dance at the same time.”

Poloma Amos, young violinist


“You know what the difference between a fiddle and a violin is? Attitude! The fiddle is the original string instrument and the only to survive the industrial revolution. I’m proud that Canada is the only country in the world to have its own National Fiddling Day.”

Graham Sheppard, president, Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association