The official e-newsletter of The Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association (CGMFA-ACGMV)

Fall 2023

From Alberta to Nova Scotia: Attending the 2023 CGMFC Weekend

by Barbara Rehn

After spending three weeks driving around Newfoundland, taking in the music and sights, my three lady travelling companions and I took the ferry to the mainland, spend some time in Baddeck, drive the Cabot Trail and attend a Ceilidh.  We then drove from Cape Breton to mainland Nova Scotia arriving in Truro on Thursday, August 24th.   You may recall that when the Alberta Society of Fiddlers (ASF), Prairie Mountain Fiddlers (PMF) and the Wild Rose Old Tye Fiddlers Association (WROTFA) hosted the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition in Morinville, Alberta in 2016 a number of people who are part of the Sussex Avenue Fiddlers in New Brunswick flew out to attend the competition.  We greeted them at the airport with fiddle music and then spent a week taking them to various WROTFA events in Edmonton to socialize and play their fiddles. 

Well!!!! These people reciprocated by organizing a jam at a campsite for anyone who wanted to play or sing.  We had been communicating via email and Hazel and Lorne of the Sussex Avenue Fiddlers arranged to bring a fiddle for my friend Bonnie Cox to play at the jam.  An extra keyboard was also provided, so I had an opportunity to play as well.  We were joined at the jam by Frank Grell and his wife Rachel. Vivian & Ivan Hicks were there, as well as other fiddlers from the area.  Many people from the campsite came to listen or play.  It was a grand way to kick off the weekend.

On Friday evening, the CGM Truro Committee hosted a dance to a sold out crowd.  The house band consisted of Jeremy Rusu on accordian or guitar, Daniel Koulack on stand up bass and Trent Bruner on keyboard.  Various fiddlers took turns on stage including Mark Sullivan (President of the CGM), Kimberley Holmes (Chair of the CGM Contest Committee), Calvin Vollrath (one of the Judges) and many other fiddle legends from Nova Scotia.  The dance floor filled in no time.  Then Rhea Labrie organized a mixer dance.  The evening ended with the “Alberta” hotshots – Ethan Harty, Jackson Corry, Samuel Corry and Anna Smilek (from Ontario but as Samuel said she is an “adopted Albertan”) playing for the dancers.  The Corry boys called a couple of square dances to the delight of the dancers and then ended the evening with some schottisches, polkas and waltzes.  It was a wonderful evening of socializing and getting re-acquainted with friends from afar.

The contest began at noon on Saturday, August 26th  with opening remarks from Mark Sullivan and Kimberley Holmes,.  Then Ivan Hicks took over as Master of Ceremonies.  The Judges were Julie Fitzgerald (Toronto, ON), Troy McGillvray (Lanark, NS) and Calvin Vollrath (St. Paul, AB).  

The competitors listed in the program booklet were as follows:  

Alberta competitors were Shade Clark, Samuel Corry, Ethan Harty, Alex Kusturok and Brianna Lizotte.  

British Columba competitors were Michael Burnyeat, Max Francis, Kai Gronberg, Raymond Knorr and Kayla Payne.  

Manitoba competitors were Caitlin Armstrong, Veronique Boissonneault Demers, Kyle Burghout, Nya Chapman, Jane Cory, Ryan D’Aoust and Danika Hutlet 

New Brunswick competitors were Janelle Melanson and Martha Pitre. 

Nova Scotia competitors were Kyle Charron, Andrew Kent, Amelia Parker, Anthony Rissesco and Ben Rutz 

Ontario competitors were Celina DiCecca, Lia Gronberg, Paul Lemelin, Aine Schryer-O’Gorman, Anna Smilek, Dan Stacey, Charlotte Van Barr,  Chad Wolfe and Emily Yarascavitch.

Quebec competitor was Danny Perreault.

Saskatchewan competitor was Austin Castle.

Yukon competitor was Jack Walcher-Wegmann 

Once the preliminaries were over, the Judges had to select ten of those competitors to go on to compete in the finals.   After those ten competitors played their four tunes, this is the final result:

First Place: Kyle Charron from Halifax, Nova Scotia

Second Place: Ethan Harty from Lougheed, Alberta

Third Place:  Alex Kusturok fron Sherwood Park, Alberta

Fourth Place: Kyle Burghout from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Fifth Place: Max Francis from Victoria, BC  (age 12)

Sixth Place: Aine Schryer-O’Gorman from Desbarats, Ontario

Seventh Place: Paul Lemelin from Val Therese (Sudbury), Ontario

Eighth Place: Michael Burnyeat from Vancouver, BC

Ninth Place: Anna Smilek from Waterloo, Ontario

Tenth Place: Samuel Corry from Red Deer, Alberta

People’s Choice award went to Samuel Corry.   Winner of the Best Waltz was Charlotte Van Barr from Ottawa, Ontario.

Morgan Koncur from Ardrossan, Alberta was one of the Junior Showcase performers.   She not only delivered a stellar performance of her tunes, but her public speaking skills showed as she thanked the CGM for this opportunity as well as the ASF and WROTFA for their contributions to her fiddle music journey at camps and other performances.  The other Junior Showcase performers were Taryn Morrison from Whitehorse, Yukon, James Nelson from Lower Cloverdale, New Brunswick and Kameron Tellier from Sudbury, Ontario. 

We had a very good representation from our Alberta fiddlers, as well as several Albertans who made their way to Truro to support this competition.   Some of the Albertans that I shared time with were:   Randy Jones (President of ASF) and his wife Barb Haney-Jones, Frank Grell and his wife Rachel Jean, Mike Gilmore, Susanne and Rick Blundon with daughters Veronica and Evelyn, Bonnie Cox from Calgary, Dianne and Lawrence Koncur, Dan, Cheryl, Haley and Morgan Koncur, Dave & Tonya Corry, Marie Harty, Ethan Harty, his wife and their born baby.  

Next year the CGM is in Whitehorse, Yukon on August 23-24, 2024 with a Pan Northern Youth Fiddle Summit being held on August 21-24, 2024.  The Yukon Committee was there to promote their event and let us know they have their own airline – Yukon North.    Judging from the excitement and spirit the fiddlers from Yukon put forward I am sure it will be worth attending – put it on your calendars!!  Check it out at

Submitted by Barbara Rehn or as I am referred to by the people from New Brunswick “Alberta Barb”.