The third Saturday in May has been proclaimed by Canada’s Parliament as National Fiddling Day. This is an occasion to recognize the historical and contemporary importance of the fiddle and to make Canadian fiddle music known to a broader audience.
Canada’s National Fiddling Day coincides with the annual World Fiddle Day, which is a global celebration of the appreciation, beauty and history of fiddle music, and in honour of Antonio Stradivari, the renowned crafter of stringed instruments.
Fiddles were the instruments of choice for the first Canadian settlers in the 17th century and the Jesuits in Quebec City were the first ones to mention fiddlers in Canada’s written history.
Don Messer's Jubilee was a must-watch for Canadians throughout the 1960s and this Maritime fiddler’s show became the second most watched television program in Canada, second only to Hockey Night in Canada. Messer’s popularity is remembered today in the New Brunswick Village of Harvey Station by a four-metre tall red fiddle.
Canadian fiddlers who are in high demand and respected around the world. The prestigious North Atlantic Fiddle Convention is a conference that brings together academics and musicians to share fiddle and related dance research, as well as performances and workshops. It has been held only twice outside Europe; St. John’s, NL (2011) and Sydney, Cape Breton (2015).
Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association is a national organization that is devoted to the preservation and advancement of the art of Canadian fiddling by raising awareness of and appreciation for all styles of Canadian fiddling. It hosts an annual national competition that provides well-deserved recognition to Canada's top fiddlers and an annual fiddle camp featuring some of Canada’s top fiddlers.