Almonte Celtfest is extremely pleased to announce the selection of Cindy Thompson as the first ever Celtfest Fiddler in Residence. Creating the position of Fiddler in Residence is recognition of this festival’s coming of age as it prepares to celebrate 20 years in 2016. Celtfest Co-Chair, Jane Torrance, states, “Cindy has a fun and unique style, full of spontaneity, laughter and musical excellence, and will be an excellent ambassador for Celtfest. We are pleased to have created a position that recognizes the importance of fiddle music in the Ottawa Valley, and honoured that Cindy has accepted the position.”
Cindy Thompson grew up in the Ottawa Valley where she initially learned and competed in fiddle and stepdance regionally. Cindy is now recognized as one of Canada’s premiere combination fiddle player/stepdancers. She has appeared on national radio and television, performed with symphony orchestras, released three recordings, and performed on stage at major folk festivals, art exhibitions and special events throughout Canada and the USA. Some of Cindy’s musical history includes performing on Parliament Hill, on the CBC Rita MacNeil Show, on the Tommy Hunter Show, at the Mariposa and Owen Sound Summerfolk folk festivals, and with Symphony Nova Scotia, the Thunder Bay Symphony, and the Huronia Symphony. Her music has received airplay and critical acclaim on local, national and international media including radio stations across Holland, France, Australia, The Netherlands, Ireland and England. Cindy’s fiddling style draws from Irish, Scottish, Cajun, Country, Bluegrass and Canadian Old Tyme styles, notably that of the Ottawa Valley. Cindy now resides in Almonte where she teaches traditional fiddle and stepdance full time.
In accepting the position, Cindy offered this statement: “I am honoured to be chosen as Celtfest’s first Fiddler In Residence as part of their 20th Anniversary! I look forward to promoting Almonte Celtfest and the traditional and Celtic music that has been a significant part of my life and the cultural fabric of the Ottawa Valley.”
Almonte Celtfest hosted a successful festival in 2015, and decided to spend a bit of the proceeds on a 2016 Fiddler in Residence. Festival Co-Chair, Gavin Donnelly, confirms that Celtfest is going all out for the 20th Anniversary. “We are already planning an amazing festival, including the Fiddler in Residence, a Guinness World Record challenge for ‘largest fiddler ensemble’, a parade, a great line-up, participation in the annual Rose of Tralee event, an enhanced Celtic College, and lots more.”
The popular Almonte Celtfest celebrates the heritage music, song and dance of the Ottawa Valley, and will be held July 8-11 in 2016. More information about the festival can be found at www.almonteceltfest.com. If you would like to offer your ideas to the vision of the 20th Anniversary Almonte Celtfest, you are invited to a community session planned for Monday, September 14 from 7-9 at the Almonte Old Town Hall.