One of the main mandates of the Cape Breton Fiddlers' Association has been to preserve and promote traditional Cape Breton fiddle music. Since its inception, it has provided workshops and opportunities for its members to learn new tunes and techniques, it has encouraged and published tunes written by its members, and it has provided venues for musicians to perform for thousands of people. It has nurtured and supported its members to excel; actually, many of them are now performing world wide. Our membership has increased to include both local, national, and international members. We have had several publications of our events, and we have several recordings to our credit. Cape Breton fiddle music is alive and flourishing, both on the island and throughout the world; the Fiddlers' Association has played a significant role in this resurgence.
Festival of Cape Breton Fiddling, 1998 202 fiddlers take the stage at the Gaelic College concert
This was an exciting year for the Cape Breton Fiddlers' Association! Thanks to the dedication and hard work of numerous musicians and supporters of the Celtic tradition, the Association celebrated its 25th anniversary! the Festival of Cape Breton Fiddling saw grassroots fiddlers playing next to world famous fiddlers on the same stage. The festival attracted media attention from across the country. Some of the performers who had participated in past years are the Barra MacNeil's, Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, Howie MacDonald, Buddy MacMaster, Carl MacKenzie, etc., etc., etc. A unique aspect of our association is the fact that all performers donate their time and talent, there is no monetary gain for them. The Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts, St. Ann's, is the home of all our activities; therefore, it is fitting that the festival of Cape Breton Fiddling takes place on that site. The Final extravaganza featured two hundred fiddlers on stage, performing in true Cape Breton traditional style!