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The BC Old Time Fiddler's Association and Changing Attitudes About Prince George

Posted on 23 July 2010

BC Old Time Fiddler's Association

One thing I love about working at CBC is having the onus to contact random people and talk to them about what they do. You never know what you might learn.

Take, for example, a story I just did on the 41st Annual BC Old Time Fiddler’s Competition here in Prince George. What sparked my interest in this was that it was number 41– meaning this competition dates back to the sixties. Based on the age and the name of the group “old time” I expected this to be a small group of older people carrying on their tradition.


As it turns out, the organization has anywhere between 140 to 160 members in Prince George alone. That’s a sizable force in a city of 80,000. There’s older members, yes, but every age group from under 10 to over 80 is represented. And while the BC Old Time Fiddler’s Association is a province-wide community, it turns out that Prince George is its historic headquarters:

The British Columbia Old Time Fiddlers’ Association was formed in 1969 in Prince George by a group of individuals dedicated to promoting and preserving the Canadian style of old time fiddling in British Columbia. By 1978 other fiddlers from throughout B.C. were interested in forming a provincial association and approached the Prince George group with the proposal to turn the name British Columbia Old Time Fiddlers’ Association over to the provincial body. After some discussion, it was agreed upon and Prince George became Branch #1.


So here we have an organization founded in Prince George over forty years ago that has spread throughout the province and continues to have a strong presence in the city– but how many people in the city are more than vaguely aware of it?

Prince George has so many stories, yet you continuously run in to people who feel like there’s nothing here, there’s no history, and there’s no ability to have an effect beyond the city limits. The more I learn about what’s going on here and what’s come before, the more it becomes my goal to eradicate this attitude as much as possible.

Filed under: Prince George

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