Barrie fiddler first 5-time winner of national contest

August 12, 2015   ·   0 Comments

A 25-year-old Barrie fiddler is believed to be the first in the 65-year history of the Canadian Open Old Time Fiddlers’ Contest to win the title for a fifth time.

Kyle Charron accomplished the feat Saturday night, walking off with the $1,500 top prize following the competition finals in the Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex (CDRC).

Finishing ahead of Greg Henry of Corunna and Julie Fitzgerald of Bancroft, the second- and third-place finishers, Kyle had won previously in 2007, 2009, 2011 and last year.

His first win came when he was just 17, and made him the youngest fiddler ever to win the championship. Kyle also won the Canadian Tune of Choice trophy and award with the late Graham Townsend’s Maytime Swing.

 With close to 70 contest entries from as far away as Coill Dubh, Ireland, as well as from Nova Scotia and the USA, and over 1,500 audience members attending the event, it was a successful fiddle championship.

However, the fiddle festival was marred by tragedy when a 12-year old girl died in an accident during the staging of the annual fiddle parade, leading to the parade being cancelled. A collection for the girl’s family was taken up during the Saturday evening contest finals.

The youngest competitor this year was six-year-old Savannah Leahy. the oldest 85-year-old Webb Acheson of Bancroft.

The Junior Championship (13-18 year olds) was won by Andrew Dawydchak of Etobicoke. It was Andrew’s first Junior Championship.

The Invincible Vince Mountford Memorial Trophy for “Most Entertaining Fiddler” went  Lucas Candelino, from Barrie, who was also the suave winner of the 9 and Under Class.

Other winners included Kyle Burghout and Emily Yarascavitch of Oshawa in the Duet category; Andrew and Diana Dawydchak in the Gospel competition and Julie Fitzgerald of Bancroft in the Novelty class.

Encouraged by MC Gary Ballagh, three people in the audience admitted that they had been to all 65 fiddle championships. Scotty McHardy, who competed at the first contest, was in the audience this year, having last competed in 2013.

The Saturday afternoon show at the arena featured Kelli Trottier in a crowd pleasing fiddling, stepdancing, and singing show for a crowd of over 200. On Thursday night, the Beckett Family were a huge hit, with a crowd of over 400 treated to a variety of fiddle tunes.

Proceeds of the Fiddle Championship support Shelburne Rotary’s many charitable projects, including: development of, and major financial contribution to, new BMX riding area in Greenwood Park; renovation and expansion of the CDRC; Headwaters Health Care Centre; re-development of the Shelburne Library; Girl Guides and Boy Scouts; minor sports, such as: hockey, baseball, figure skating, lacrosse, soccer and the Shepherd’s Cupboard food bank.

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