Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship

Celebrating its 62nd year, the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship, has become an August tradition for Shelburne, Ontario. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Shelburne, the event features Canada’s top fiddlers in competition for more than $17,000 in prizes! The festivities begin today and continue until Saturday evening. The event’s publicist, Caroline Mach, gives us the details.

What is the festival’s core mandate?
The festival’s mission is primarily to raise money to fund the charitable activities of the Rotary Club of Shelburne.

How has it grown over the years?
We started with just the contest (Friday afternoon and evening and Saturday evening) and over the years we have added a parade, camping, a non-denominational church service, a Thursday evening concert, a Saturday afternoon fiddle and step-dance show, and a Wednesday evening Battle of the Bands.

Why is it an important event for the community?
The event brings many people to Shelburne that would not otherwise visit us. They eat, sleep and shop there, so it’s great for the local economy. It has also put Shelburne on the map, so much so that we are known affectionately known as Fiddleville. And of course, for a number of the other service clubs and organizations in Town, it is also a big fundraiser

What can audiences expect this year?
Besides championship fiddlers competing for over$17,000 in prizes, this year’s event will include a concert by the Blazing Fiddles, step-dancing, jam sessions, a parade, a beer garden, an open air market and much more!

What are the plans for the festival in the years ahead?
We hope to add activities to the festival that will draw a younger audience, as our current demographic tends to be older.