Fiddlers. On. The. Loose.

From Churchill and Snow Lake to Flin Flon, the MCO’s Fiddlers on the Loose are all over the province playing and work-shopping fiddle and folk music.

The six musicians and librarian/stage manager travel by van, plane, and train to the more remote regions of the province, providing music education and performances to young people and communities facing economic and geographic challenges.

The musicians who make up our group bring the rigour and experience of internationally trained professionals who’ve spent years developing their craft.

At the same time, we are deeply respectful of such Manitoba traditions as Red River fiddle music, in which many of the young people with whom we work are steeped. We strive to support traditions and programs that already exist in the communities we visit.

And so, our approach is as collaborative as it is instructive: we have a blast performing and sharing fiddle tunes with students in community centres and schools, while also offering technical and professional advice about musicianship. We work closely with music teachers and fiddle instructors, and they have commented on the program’s impact beyond the classroom.

Children develop and hone skills like self-discipline, team building, musical techniques, presentation skills, confidence, and awareness of different career opportunities in music.

Fiddlers on the Loose strive to create performance opportunities for young people too. So far, the Frontier Fiddlers, a group of talented young student musicians from the Frontier School Division, have twice performed alongside the MCO as part of our regular concert series.

We constantly seek to expand our program, which currently reaches over 7,500 children and provides 30-35 in school / in-library presentations each year, and are looking into adding online services like live streaming and Skype workshops, and expanding the program beyond the provincial borders.

This initiative is made possible by the Community Fund for Canada’s 150th, a collaboration between the Winnipeg Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast to coast.