John Arcand, born on July 19, 1942, in Debden, Saskatchewan, is one of Canada’s most accomplished fiddle players. The son of Emma and Victor Arcand, he was born into a large musical family and learned to play the fiddle at an early age. He was taught in the Red River style by his father and his grandfather Jean-Baptiste Arcand, both master Métis fiddle players. By the age of 12, Arcand was already an exceptional musician, playing at school and community dances. To date, he has composed over 250 original fiddle tunes, and is known internationally as the “Master of the Métis Fiddle.” In 1998, Arcand founded the “John Arcand Fiddlefest” in order to expose Métis fiddle music and dancing to a wider audience and to provide a venue where people can gather every summer to share their love and appreciation of old-time fiddle Music. He has increasingly been recognized for his efforts to revitalize, preserve and promote Métis fiddle music. In 2003, Arcand obtained a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and in 2004 he received the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, awarded for his efforts in preserving and promoting Métis fiddling traditions. Arcand has recorded nine fiddle albums, and is regularly featured at community events such as “Back to Batoche Days.”

Cheryl Troupe

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