Victoria Trad Weekend - Feb 15 & 16, 2019

A weekend of traditional music and fun for all ages and all levels! Trad Weekend starts with an epic concert of Canada's award winning top traditional musicians in one concert. This inaugural festival put on by Victoria's own Ivonne Hernandez, brings together the best of the best in celtic, metis, bluegrass, folk and jazz from across Canada. Kicking it all off is a showcase mini-festival concert of all these amazing internationally acclaimed artists. For the trad music lover, this is a once in a lifetime show, not to be missed!

CONCERT Friday, Feb 15, 2019 - 7:30pm (doors at 7pm) - First Church of Christ, Scientist -1205 Pandora Ave, Victoria, BC 

WORKSHOPS Saturday, Feb 16, 2019 - 9am to 6pm - Esquimalt United Church- 500 Admirals Rd

Friday Concert $25 adult / $20 Youth & Student

Combo Concert & Workshops: $140

Saturday Workshops: $125

Online Tickets and Registration

Tickets available in person at Ivy's Bookshop, Long & McQuade, and Lyles Place

My hope is that everyone who would like to participate and learn from these masters during the Trad Weekend can have that opportunity. If you need support please contact

Workshop info

 Learn from the master musicians all day Saturday at Esquimalt United Church, 500 Admirals Rd, Victoria, BC.

Workshops - Please sign up for your fiddle level and if you sign up for any electives (mando, guitar, singing, trad band), you will be put in the elective class and miss that block of fiddle class.

Beginner Fiddle (Miriam Sonstenes) (must be able to play 5+ tunes and learn by ear) - You will learn by ear a few tunes and technique to help you become a great fiddler!

Intermediate and Intermediate + Fiddle - You will learn tunes by ear, and techniques to help you play in different styles, and learn how to speed up your playing in group or performance settings.

Advanced Fiddle - You will learn new tunes in different styles, by ear. Talk about some of the history of the tunes, and stylistic ornamentation in tunes, and touch on practice ideas to hone your playing.  

Beginner/Intermediate Guitar - You will learn some new chords and some rhythmic patterns common in trad fiddle accompaniment styles as well as some new technique ideas.

Advanced Guitar - You will learn different strumming and chord choices for accompanying trad tunes and styles. You may even learn to start picking a tune!

Mandolin - (Tad Ruszel) You will learn how to chord and different picking and cross picking ideas on tunes depending on what tune and style of trad music you are playing.  

Singing - Everyone can sing! You will learn how to sing together in harmonies on some great traditional songs!

Trad Band - Learn how much fun it is to play in a big band and learn and arrange a piece together in an hour and a half! All levels and instruments welcome!

*Beginner Fiddlers, we don't want to overwhelm you, so you will have a half day of fiddling and in the afternoon singing (or guitar) and back to fiddling in Trad Band

*People interested in Guitar/Mando/Singing may sign up for individual classes. Please email to register.

All workshops will be lead by ear. Music may or may not be available. Please bring a recording device!

Sample Schedule:

Workshop Registration: 2 steps

1) Registration for workshops: REGISTER for 2019 Trad Weekend

2) Pay for workshops (and/or concert): PAY for 2019 Trad Weekend


Meet the Musicians


Calvin Vollrath - FIDDLE

Calvin Vollrath is a veteran recognized for his performing, teaching, judging and composing abilities. To date, he has composed over 600 tunes, many of which have become standard contest and dance tunes across North America & Europe. His influence in the fiddle world is very evident. Calvin was commissioned to compose 5 fiddle tunes for the Vancouver Winter Olympics 2010 Opening Ceremonies to represent the various styles of fiddling our country has to offer. He has 65 albums to his name, and is now producing recordings for fiddlers from across the country. In 2011, Calvin was inducted into the 'North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame' and is one of Canada's most saught after fiddle teachers and performers. He is a living legend and his playing and tunes have shaped the Canadian fiddle landscape.


Shane Cook - FIDDLE

A multi-Canadian and US National fiddle champion, Shane Cook is a master of the Canadian old-time fiddle tradition. Noted by The Canadian Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame as one of the “finest fiddlers in the world today,” Cook captivates audiences with technically thrilling and adventurous performances. Shane is a graduate of Western University and resides in London, Ontario. Most recently, Shane has been touring with the Grammy winning Claire Lynch band.


Troy MacGillivray - FIDDLE, PIANO & STEP DANCE

Nova Scotia's Troy MacGillivray is one of Canada's trad music gems. He has a musical prowess that can be attributed to an especially rare combination of commitment and bloodline. From a young age, Troy was impressing audiences with his fiddle, piano and step dancing, skills. To this day, Troy is one of Canada's most saught after musicians on both fiddle and piano for performances, teaching and recording. He has 6 critically acclaimed albums and is a recent recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal! Whether playing piano or fiddle, or showcasing his step dancing capabilities, Troy MacGillivray displays an intense commitment to the Celtic heritage he inherited from his Highland ancestors.



Victoria's own favourite multi-instrumentalist, Daniel is in high demand as both a performer, session musician and teacher. Head of the newly founded 'contemporary music' program at the Victoria Conservatory of Music through Camosun College, Daniel also has lead the community 'Joy of Life choir' for 20 years, adult folk band 'Folkestra', and for 25 years, the BC Fiddle orchestra. Growing up in Prince George with a strong old time fiddle tradition, Daniel honed his trad skills on fiddle, piano and guitar and has even carried that over to his many other instruments like the Trumpet! Daniel received a Queen's Diamond Jubilee "Service" Award, and in 2013 was the recipient of the Canadian Folk Music Association "Innovator" Award for his contribution to Canada's fiddle culture.


Oliver Swain - VOCALS, BASS & BANJO

Has been a celebrated musician for years, held in high regard in acoustic and folk music styles for both his astonishing instrumental and vocal abilities, though he seldom gives the genre a fully traditional treatment. JUNO & WCMA nominated, winner of multiple "M" and Times Colonist music awards.




Ivonne Hernandez - FIDDLE & STEP DANCE (Organizer)

One of Victoria's most in demand performer, teacher, arranger and session fiddler and most decorated musician, Ivonne has been one of Canada's best fiddlers for many years now and her mantle proves it - 2017 JUNO award winner, 2014 & 2012 Canadian Folk Music award winner, 2014 & 2012 Western Canadian Music award winner, 5X Grand North American Fiddle Champion.


Charlie Gannon - GUITAR

One of the busiest guitarists in Victoria, Charlie was a top jazz guitarist following in the footsteps of his legendary uncle, Oliver Gannon until being introduced to trad music in 2014. Charlie has since become engulfed in the trad genre and regularly performs around Victoria with many local fiddlers & bands. His experience growing up playing jazz, folk and rock has shaped his trad accompaniment style that makes him arguabley one of the best in Canada. 


Miriam Sonstenes - FIDDLE

Having started as a classical violinist, she earned a music degree at the University of Victoria in 2006, and has been teaching and playing professionally for the past 10 years. Her innovative, patient and intuitive style has made her a highly sought after teacher, both in Victoria and across Canada. She regularly leads workshops at fiddle camps in BC and in the North West Territories, and at home, she has a full teaching studio. An original member of the bluegrass/old-time band The Sweet Lowdown as well as the new country-bluegrassy band The Unfaithful Servants and Border Ride, Miriam is one of Victorias Favourite bluegrass fiddlers. 




A born musician, Tad has grown up singing and playing bluegrass mandolin and guitar with his father at local sessions and bands. This naturally led to songwriting, and now Tad is known as one of Victoria's best songwriters and bluegrass pickers. Tad is the newest member of the well known bluegrass trio The Sweet Lowdown,  he performs as a high energy folk duo with Ivonne Hernandez as well as his own solo shows and with the Riverside Bluegrass Band.




Coastline is a string ensemble comprised of BC's top young musicians ranging from ages 14-22, coached and mentored by internationally acclaimed fiddler, Ivonne Hernandez. With intricate arrangements of traditional, original and contemporary fiddle tunes from around the world, Coastline is pushing boundaries and always having a great time whenever they play. From the farthest island on the West Coast of Canada comes a new tradition that is Coastline!