Fiddle and guitar workshops for all ages and levels of playing are held throughout the weekend.

We offer more than 100 workshops – all FREE and all included with your admission.

Have you ever wanted to learn to play an instrument? Or dance? The John Arcand Fiddle Fest offers two full days of workshops.

  • Instructors are renowned and respected fiddlers, dancers, and guitar players who come from all over Canada.
  • Red River Jigging, one of the mainstays of Métis culture, is also taught here.
  • Our festival has a strong Métis theme but also promotes fiddle, music and dance from other cultures.
  • You'll have many informal learning opportunities as you network throughout the weekend in conversations and spontaneous jam sessions.

If your interests are in visual arts and story telling, be sure to take in our cultural camp.

Here’s the 2018 Schedule:

Thursday Workshop Schedule
9:30 – 10:30  FiddleWorkshops
10:30 – 11:30  Jigging and Guitar Workshops
11:30 – 12:30  Fiddle Workshops
12:30 – 1:00  Lunch Break
1:00 – 2:00  Jigging Workshops and Guitar Workshops
2:00 – 3:00  Fiddle Workshops
3:00 – 4:00  Jigging and Guitar Workshops
4:00 – 5:00  Square Dance Workshop
Friday Workshop Schedule
 9:30 – 10:30  Fiddle Workshops
10:30 – 11:30  Jigging Workshops and Guitar Workshops
11:30 – 12:30  Fiddle Workshops and Square Dance Workshops
12:30 – 1:00  Lunch Break
1:00 – 2:00  Jigging Workshops and Guitar Workshops
2:00 – 3:00  Fiddle Workshops
3:00 – 4:00  Jigging Workshops and Guitar Workshops
Learn fiddle, guitar and dancing from our renowned instructors.


Absolute Beginner: Instructed by Fay MacKenzie

Never picked up a fiddle? Always wanted to try it? Here’s just the workshop for you. The Absolute Beginners Workshop will have fiddles available for you to use (but bring your own if you have one), and a qualified instructor to teach you the bare necessities: how to hold the fiddle, how to hold the bow, and finger placement. Try it out – what have you got to lose?


  • Metis and Old Time – Instructed by Lucas Welsh
  • Metis and Old Time – Instructed by Tahnis Cunningham


  • Metis Style – Instructed by Daniel Gervais
  • Metis/Old Time – Instructed by Patti Lamoureux
  • French Canadian/Old Time – Instructed by Rodney Krip
  • East Coast Style – Instructed by Gord Stobbe

Intermediate/ Advanced

  • Metis and Old Time – Instructed by Calvin Vollrath
  • 2018’s Guest instructor is Karrnnel Sawitsky  – an innovative fiddler with deep Saskatchewan roots


Learn the basics or if you’re already playing, get some advanced instruction. Instructors will divide classes to meet demand.

  • Beginner – Instructed by Shelia Pelletier
  • Intermediate – Instructed by Freddie Pelletier AND Benjamin Knorr
  • Advanced – Instructed by Clinton Pelletier


Instructors: Yvonne Chartrand and Raymond Shumi

The John Arcand Fiddle Fest offers traditional Red River Jigging. Beginner to advanced, these workshops will show you traditional styles and steps. Learn the basics if you just want to give it a try, or think of it as a refresher course if you’ve already taken jigging in the past.