Pictured is legendary Cape Breton fiddler Dan R. MacDonald.

MABOU: It’s coming back to Strathspey!

On Wednesday, October 4 at 7:30 p.m., Strathspey Performing Arts Centre will present The Return of the Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler, featuring Rodney MacDonald, Shelly Campbell, Donna Marie DeWolfe and up and coming young performers.

Way back in 1972, Ron MacInnis wrote and narrated a CBC national television program called The Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler as a sort of lament for what he saw as the passing of an era, and specifically the art of traditional Cape Breton fiddling and its associated culture.

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Once the lifeblood of any Cape Breton Highland Scot, fiddle music had been supplanted by easy-access to modern music on radio and television, and only a few young people had an interest in taking up the art. The beloved Scottish fiddle music of Cape Breton, at that time, was fading away but the national release of this 1972 television documentary ignited a controversy among the local people who eventually brought the music back to world-class status.

The Return of the Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler at Strathspey Performing Arts Centre will be a celebration of the dramatic, inspirational story of the 40-year volunteer effort that led to the revival, based not only on a passion for traditional music and culture, but on entirely new ways of thinking. This debut event will consist of inter-woven live performances by Shelly Campbell, Rodney MacDonald and Donna-Marie DeWolfe on fiddle, plus some fantastic contributions of a few select local youth who are working diligently to maintain and preserve their unique style of music and language.

There will be a question and answer segment with Ron MacInnis plus many excerpts from Ron’s brand new documentary The Return of the Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler.

Tickets are available on-line at: www.strathspeyplace.com or by phoning (902) 945-5300.

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A St. FX graduate and native of Arichat, Jake Boudrot has been the editor of The Reporter since 2001. He currently lives on Isle Madame.