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Monday, August 13, 2012

Tom Fitzgerald wins the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship in Shelburne

Tom Fitzgerald a First Timer in Shelburne

For Immediate Release

Despite rain and some well-timed claps of thunder, the 62nd Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Championship just finished in Shelburne, Ontario was a great success.

Tom Fitzgerald of Bancroft (left) with Shelburne Mayor Ed Crewson
This year’s Canadian Open Old Time Fiddle Champion, Tom Fitzgerald of Bancroft, Ontario, was crowned at the finals on Saturday, August 11.

This was Tom’s first Championship, following his sister Julie’s Championship in 2010, which was also the year his sister Kerry won the Canadian Tune of Choice Award. Award results for all of the competition classes are attached and will also be available at www.shelburnefiddlecontest.on.ca.

Julie Fitzgerald, also of Bancroft, Ontario, came second in the Championship and won the Canadian Tune of Choice trophy and award with Black Jack Whiskey by Graham Townsend.

With 70 contestants registered from as far away as Port Alberni, BC, and 1,500 audience members joining us over the course of the event, another successful edition of Canada’s premier fiddle championship has passed into the history books.

Sandra Gallaugher, Chair of the Shelburne Rotary Club’s contest organizing committee, said, “This year’s Championship once again demonstrates that Canadian Old Time Fiddle Music is alive and well in Shelburne. Thank you to all of our contestants, judges, audience members, sponsors, helpers and supporters for helping us to make it such a success.”

The Saturday night entertainment included a clear audience favourite - the Judges’ Showcase, giving Webb Acheson, Karen Reed, and Kelli Trottier, a chance to demonstrate their fiddling skills – and their humour.

The youngest competitor this year was five year old Gibson Lemelin; the oldest was 82 year old Scotty McHardy.

The tradition of the last several years continued with the most hotly contested Class being the Junior Championship (13 - 18 year olds), which had 14 competitors (double that of the Championship Class) and was won by Emily Yarascavitch of Oshawa, Ontario. The 9 & Under class had 13 competitors, a recent high water mark, and was won by Joelle Crigger of Toronto, Ontario. Look for both of these young ladies in the Championship class at future contests.

The Invincible Vince Mountford Memorial Trophy for “Most Entertaining Fiddler” was presented to six-year old Paul Jacob Lemelin (son of Paul and Melika Lemelin). It was a crowd-pleasing choice as the winner became fascinated by his reflection in the plate that is the award.

After a heartfelt plea to the Saturday night audience, Miss Teen Canada International Nikita Singh was able to raise $752 for the Teddy Bears of Hope Foundation to send teddy bears to underprivileged children in Haiti.

Garry Ballagh, the Master of Ceremonies, was able to find one person in the audience who had attended all 62 contests – although she admitted that she had missed the Saturday night show one year due to an illness in the family. That’s a true love of old time fiddle music!

The Saturday afternoon show at the arena featured Cape Ceol (the Jenish sisters and the Provencher brothers with special guests Duncan McDougall and Tessa Bangs) fiddling, stepdancing, and singing for a crowd of over 250. The crowd was so thrilled that the performers were given a standing ovation and had to come out and perform an encore.

On Thursday night, the Blazing Fiddles were a hit, with a crowd of close to 300 treated to a variety of tunes ranging from old time to jazz.

Mark your calendar now for the 63rd Championship: August 7-11, 2013.

For more information visit www.shelburnefiddlecontest.on.ca.


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