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What's New

35 years as Musical Director

In 2013 Ivan is marking 35 years as Musical Director of the Sussex Avenue Fiddlers. He has directed the group ever since their beginning in 1978.

Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal - Ivan & Vivian - 2012

In recognition for their contributions to the province of New Brunswick and to Canada. It was presented to them October 13, 2012. It was given to 60,000 Canadians during Her Majesty the Queen's Jubilee year. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal is a tangible way for Canada to honour Her Majesty for her service to this country. At the same time, it serves to honour significant contributions and achievements by Canadians.

New CD realeased - November 2011

A new CD "AN OLD-TIME CHRISTMAS WITH FRIENDS" is available. It is a great re-release that was originally recorded on LP in the 80's. Due to popular demand it is now on sale for the first time on CD. Click here to order.

We're Listening

By Bonita LeBlanc, president of CGMFA

We live in a world that is constantly changing and evolving and as such the Grand Masters over the past few years has been evolving to allow the competitors to grow as musicians. The changes made to the format allow competitors in the preliminaries, who had spent hours over the last year practicing a "tune of choice", the opportunity to get to play it even if they didn't place in the finals. The changes also allow finalists to showcase the different fiddling styles throughout Canada. We feel that the competitors work extremely hard to be chosen to this "Invitation Only" competition and that they should have the chance to show off their expertise. Even though the competitors were given a very big box to play in and the playing is still phenomenal, we do realize that we have strayed from our roots.

Based on comment cards that were returned at the CGM competition and discussion between the Board members and different audience members, we feel it is important to inform our members that we are listening to your comments and that your concerns are not falling on deaf ears.

As most of the comments reflected a lack of Old Time Fiddling in the Finals of the competition, we have asked our Steering Committee to come up with other options in keeping the Traditional fiddling, while still encouraging a mix of the various styles. The original idea behind the current format change to the finals was to allow competitors to show-off the great styles that are present throughout this great country of ours (i.e. Ottawa Valley, Old-Time, Celtic, Métis, etc.) However in doing so, we do agree that other styles have crept into the repertoire that do not necessarily reflect the styles of Canadian Fiddling music (such as classical, jazz, etc.).

Spectators will be pleased to hear that Ivan Hicks and his wife Vivian, from Upper Coverdale, New Brunswick, have been hired as guest artists for the 2011 Competition. Ivan is considered one of the prime "Old Time" fiddlers in this great nation of ours.

We are also in the final stages of naming our three judges for the 2011 competition: Brian Hebert, Troy MacGillivray and Kelli Trottier.

Another comment that came up frequently was that there was too much Celtic music and not enough Traditional tunes. Again, we are encouraging our players to express their own personal styles, which at this time happens to be more Celtic than Traditional. However, we feel that the styles should be more representative of the music throughout Canada in order to fully showcase the talents of these wonderful players. Under the current format, the competitors are able to choose a "tune of choice".

Over the years there has been mention of moving the Canadian Grand Masters Competitions around the country. While the Board thinks this is a definite possibility, there are a few items that would need to be determined at the on-set. First, we would have to find a hosting community; then, bring together an organizing committee in that part of Canada; next, develop a plan and finally, secure a host venue. A proposal would need to be submitted to the Board a few years prior to the competition so that the new organizing committee would have time to plan and raise funds to run a successful competition.

If you, or anyone you know is interested in hosting the Canadian Grand Masters in your community, please feel free to contact us at: for more details.

On June 13, 2010 Ivan and Vivian were both inducted into the Sackville Arts Wall. For information on this event please read the exerpts below from the press release.
Sackville Arts Wall Committee Announces Nominees for 2010

Four new plaques will be added to the Sackville Arts Wall this Sunday, June 13th, in a ceremony that will begin at 3 pm at Live Bait Theatre and conclude, around 4:30 pm at the Sackville Town Hall. Members of the public are cordially invited to attend.

The individuals to be honoured include a poet, two musicians and two arts builders. The process by which they were chosen began with an open call for nominations from the public and concluded with a unanimous recommendation by an independent jury that all the nominees be inducted.

"The quality of the nominees is a reminder of the vitality of Sackville as a centre of cultural and creative activity," states committee member and councilor Virgil Hammock. "Sackville may be a small town, but when it comes to the arts, we stand tall alongside communities many times our size."

The Arts Wall project was begun last year as a legacy of Sackville's designation as one of Canada's "Cultural Capitals" in 2008. It celebrates widely recognized artistic excellence and personal dedication to the cultural enrichment of the community.

In the first year, four plaques were installed on the York Street side of the Town Hall, honouring the accomplishments of poet and novelist Sir Charles G. D. Roberts, painter Alex Colville, musician Ray Leger, and cultural builder and philanthropist Pauline Spatz.\

"This year's nominees once again reflect the creative diversity of Sackville," says committee member Janet Crawford. "I can hardly wait to see who may be nominated next year.

"For 2010, the new inductees are:
Douglas Lochhead, Arthur John Motyer, Sharon MacIntyre & Ivan and Vivian Hicks

The Sussex Avenue Fiddlers left with Ivan and Vivian for their US Tour on Wednesday, February 27, 2008. Click on the line below to visit the
Sussex Avenue Fiddlers US Tour BLOG.

Ivan Hicks Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

On August 25, during the evening finals of the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship, Ivan was recognized at Nepean , ON where he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his accomplishments in fiddle music. Ivan was a judge the first year The Canadian Grand Masters began in 1990, also in 1998 and again this year.

Lifetime Achievement Award candidates are selected by the Board of Directors on the basis of their having made an outstanding contribution to old time fiddling throughout their life. Along with his playing ability and wonderful connection with his audience, Ivan is well known for his work in the promotion and preservation of old time music. Past recipients include noted fiddlers such as Calvin Vollrath, AB, John Arcand, SK and New Brunswick fiddling legend, Ned Landry.

The purpose of The Canadian Grand Masters fiddling event is to give recognition to top fiddlers from all across Canada and to help promote and preserve old-time fiddle music. Competitors are by invitation only and must have placed in the top three of at least one major fiddling contest in the province or territory in which they live and are representing.

For over 60 years Ivan has been sharing his music and experience with fiddling fans throughout North America .

Country Frolic

Ivan and Vivian moved into their new home on March 11, 2005. They have welcomed many friends and visitors including motor coach tours. If you are going to be in the Moncton , New Brunswick area, plan to visit with them. They can accommodate up to 60 people, provide a lunch or full course meal, and a rousing house party. Bring your instruments, songbooks and dancing shoes and join in the fun.

Reservations required.

Contact Ivan or Vivian for further details.
ph/fax: (506) 386-2996

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