Dilip Mistry competes in the intermediate category at the 49th Annual Old Time Fiddler’s Association Contest on Oct. 5. Ronan O’Doherty photo

Quesnel fiddle contest celebrates 49th year

Local musician takes top prize in the championship category

Quesnel’s Royal Canadian Legion was alive with music on the weekend of Oct. 4-5.

The sound of string instruments playing classic ditties could be heard from blocks away as the Quesnel Branch of the B.C. Old Time Fiddlers’ Association held its 49th annual contest, dinner and dance over the weekend.

The Friday night saw a packed house of 120 eager fans cheer on Calvin Vollrath, a fiddling virtuoso with almost 70 albums to his name.

The following morning, a contest was held, with fiddlers from Kamloops, Prince George, Kelowna and Williams Lake taking part.

Twenty contestants in five categories aimed to impress three judges, as well as their peers.

Quesnel’s Anita Mamela, who teaches band at Quesnel Junior School, put on an excellent performance to take top prize in the championship category.

In addition to the admiration of her peers, she was able to take home $300 for the big victory.

All winners took home unique clay mugs as trophies.

The mantel pieces were made by Joan Beck, and they all have fiddles on them.

Also shining in front of the hometown crowd was Aryana Langan, 12, who placed first in the junior category.

Jean Gelinas, secretary-treasurer for the Old Time Fiddlers, says 2020 will be big for the Quesnel branch.

“Since this was out 49th [annual contest], we will be planning a special contest weekend for next year,” she says. “I’m not sure what we’re going to do, but for 50 years, we’ll have to do something special.”

She says she is hoping to gather people who have competed and supported the event in the past for a wonderful party with great music.

Coming up beforehand will be a Christmas party on the first Saturday of December and a New Year’s Dance.

READ MORE: Fiddling sensation Calvin Vollrath performing Friday in Quesnel


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