Fiddle Festival – Our Adjudicator

We are very pleased to announce that our adjudicator for this year will be Calvin Cairns! Please read Calvin’s bio below.



Calvin Cairns, Joyful Fiddler.  

Calvin is a graduate of Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, where he studied violin technique, theory, arranging and composition. He has also received intensive private training on violin with teachers in Canada and England. A multi- instrumentalist, Calvin plays Violin, Piano, Concertina, Accordion and Musical Saw.

Calvin brings with him to the teaching studio a rich background of international performing experience and musical studies. His love of music began at an early age in a house filled with the sounds of classical piano music played by his Scottish grandmother who was a professional organist, choirmaster and music teacher. Calvin would often fall asleep on the couch beside the piano listening to her play the Moonlight Sonata, Brahms, Bach and Chopin late into the long prairie winter nights. The love of music was passed on from grandmother to grandson in the form of classical piano lessons.
Against a backdrop of endless wheat fields and clear blue skies, the fiery folk melodies of Eastern Europe were played at all the Ukrainian weddings and cultural celebrations that Calvin attended as a young boy. On his mother’s side of the family the singing, playing and dancing at these gatherings would go on for days at a time filling everyone’s head with the gypsy airs and driving rhythms of the Eastern European homeland. Calvin was inspired to play the violin and began to learn the fiddle tunes from both sides of the family.

Calvin traveled to England where he studied classical violin and Alexander technique with Paul Collins. Upon his return, Calvin joined the Caravan Stage Company performing outdoor theatre and touring western Canada by horse and wagon.

He fiddled his way from Moose Jaw to Moscow with the Canadian folk music institution Stringband, a completely Canadian band that did countless

concert tours including performances in The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Moldavia, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus and Baker Lake. From there Calvin formed his own band, The Romaniacs. Along with partner Steve Bengtson, he combined his Ukrainian background with other eastern European folk influences to create a unique style music they called ethno-fusion. This non-stop tongue in cheek polka party performed at every major folk music festival in Canada. Other highlights include the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and appearances with the Halifax and Thunder Bay Symphonies.

In 1996 Calvin moved to Victoria BC. He teaches fiddle both privately and at theVictoria Conservatory of Music where he has established the Conservatory Fiddles, an ensemble of over fifty fiddlers aged six to eighty-six. Calvin has also been making regular visits to remote communities in Northern Canada where he teaches with the All Nations Arts Society. He has played with the Victoria Civic Orchestra, The Bills, The Original Stomp Club, Stuart Maclean, and currently performs in a Celtic duo with Paul O’Brien.

For complete details on Calvin’s musical activities, please visit: