by Noreen Young
Performers for the Fiddler’s Friends benefit concert shook the rafters and rattled the windows of the old hall to the delight of the many supporters who attended. All proceeds go to the Community Foundation of Ottawa’s Danny O’Connell Memorial Fund. Established in 2004 in memory of Danny, this fund provides annual scholarships for young fiddlers who are following in his footsteps.
Hosted by Father Bill Penney, the program began at 12:30 with a rousing set of Celtic tunes performed by the well-known local band, The Barley Shakers, who played for half an hour while people came into the hall and took their seats. Charlie Dunlap, the “Grand Poobah” of the group kicked off the fundraising with a $300 contribution to the fund. Following the Barley Shakers, the program continued with featured recent recipients of the cash award as well as friends, colleagues and supporters of Ottawa Valley traditional music.
This popular benefit concert sets the scene for the 15th annual Almonte Celtfest which takes place this year in Gemmill Park from July 8th – 10th. There’s no better way to spend a summer’s day than sitting under the trees in the beautiful natural amphitheatre of the park listening to the best of our Ottawa Valley musicians. Be sure to come this year and don’t forget to bring your chairs, refreshments and a thermos of martinis! If you prefer something else, you can always take advantage of the Beer Tent, provided by the Almonte Legion For more information, check the Celtfest website at almonteceltfest.com.
Photo © Noreen Young 2011