Thursday, July 10, 2008

Maritime Fiddle Festival

I don’t take much vacation or get away with V and the boys very often. My line of work keeps me tied up all summer long. So, my heart rate bumped up there a bit in booking the Ramada Park Plaza Hotel with the fancy pool and 105’ waterslide. I knew the boys would love that!

We spent most of the weekend in Halifax at the 59th Maritime Fiddle Festival, Canada’s longest running fiddle contest. My little Jonny competed in the 10 – 12 age group category and both he and Chris were entered in the Novelty Class. I have some video but it’s terribly out of focus and the sound is pathetic so I won’t trouble to upload it.

Nope, the boys didn’t win any trophies or cash. Let me just tell you, there were some good fiddlers there. You know me well enough by now that I am not prone to serving up too much negative mush. My only complaint, being new to the event, is that there was little or no orientation for newbs.

Plenty of volunteers – clearly visible wearing crisp matching t-shirts…but were busy among themselves being…busy. I’m not a shy person and so I asked for help. My issue is that somebody should have initiated contact with us (or at least handed us a package with a FAQ Sheet) - taken a minute to smile, say hello, welcome and ask us if there was anything we needed. I was shocked, quite honestly, at how stuffy and self-serving it all appeared to be - quite opposite from what I expected from a ‘fiddle contest’. There’s a touch of irony there my friend.

I emailed the organizers this morning and suggested that I would prefer to be part of the solution. I got a nice note back, so there is some good dialogue. I don’t think we’ll go back though. Meantime, Jon and Chris’ music teachers emailed to say they were pleased to hear that the boys didn’t fit in! I’m pleased too. And, therein lies the lesson and value for me.

Other than the waterslide at the hotel, the highlight was the $250. the kids made in less than 2 hours…busking on the Halifax waterfront. Here are some sunny pics for you!


Backofpack said...

Interesting weekend for you. Was the waterslide fun? It's funny that you are all glad they didn't fit in, and it makes sense to me. There is more to it than just the music, the whole vibe of the place is important too.

Did I tell you that Web has been earning his way busking? He's playing the accordian and singing, and he paid for his bus fare for a recent trip, and now is paying his share of gas on another trip through busking. Pretty cool!

Legs & Wings said...

There has always been a negative stigma attached to busking because some view it as bumming or begging. It's not the same. I know of a guy who busked for 10 years, saved the cash and bought his house and land with cash.

Halifax hosts an annual "Buskers Festival" with entertainers from all over the globe. There are designated 'busking' stations set up around the city. C & J were playing at one of those spots.

I noticed that Web was playing the accordian in one of your recent photos BOP - I think that is cool. Good for him.

Mama S said...

Sorry I missed you while you and the family were in town... :( Maybe next time. :) You should bring the boys in busking more often - they could save for their college educations. :)

Darrell said...

I'm glad you were able to get some time away. That is a very nice bonus for the boys, doing something they seem to really enjoy.

stepping over the junk said...

Can you adopt me? I just learned two chords on the guitar!

robtherunner said...

Hey, you taught me a new vocabulary word ;) Sorry the trip didn't go quite as planned, but you have a great attitude about the whole thing.

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