The Coast String Fiddlers Association (CSFA), a non-profit group, is committed to promoting the understanding and learning of traditional fiddle music through the support of fiddle instruction and related activities. CSFA is the umbrella association for two fiddle groups: the Coast String Fiddlers & Bad to the Bow. This is the website for the Coast String Fiddlers.
The Coast String Fiddlers was founded in 1993 by Michelle Bruce. Michelle retired and was succeeded by the wonderful leadership of Karen Van Bemmel and then Sara Fitzpatrick, but now Michelle has been lured out of retirement to once again teach the group. This time she will be co-teaching with Holly Beckmyer.
Many of the youth in the current group have been playing with CSF for six years, and we often refer to them as 3G, which stands for the third generation of the Coast String Fiddlers. Players in 3G have been playing for at least two years and also take private lessons. The group practices on Friday nights at Roberts Creek Community Elementary School from 5:30 – 6:30. Fiddlecats is our newer CSF group that has been together since January 2017. They practice from 5:00-5:30 and are just beginning to learn the CSF repertoire.
The Coast String Fiddlers play an international mix of traditional fiddle music, including Scottish, Appalachian, Shetland, and Finnish as well as compositions by Canadian Fiddlers and members of the group, some of which defy categorization! The energy of our fiddling is supported by piano, guitar, cello, bagpipes and highlighted with Highland and Cape Breton Step dancing.
CSF rehearse on Fridays at Roberts Creek Elementary School.
5:00-5:30 – Fiddlecats for musicians who have been playing their instruments for about 1 year.
5:30 – 6:30 – 3G for musicians who have been studying their instruments at least 2 – 3 years. Musicians should be comfortable learning by ear and playing tunes up to speed.
Over the years the different groups of CSF have played at many different venues and have travelled to Vancouver, Iqaluit, Nunavit, Washinton State, Scotland, and Belgium as well as all over the Sunshine Coast.
The Coast String Fiddlers’ first CD, All Strings Considered, has sold more than a thousand copies since it was released November 2002. A second CD, Look to the Mountains, again featuring a mix of traditional and original tunes, was released June 20, 2004.
As Michelle Bruce says:
“I am so proud of these fiddlers who, with the help of parents and supporters, have revitalized fiddling on the West Coast of Canada.”
We’re proud and happy to carry on the tradition!
To become an associate member of the Coast String Fiddlers Association, please go to our “get in touch” page.
Donations to assist with the development of the CSF fiddler association would be gratefully accepted, and can be mailed to the Coast String Fiddlers Association, Box 366, Sechelt BC, V0N 3A0.