[SK] Dance, Sing, and Jam at John Arcand Fiddle Festival

Buckle up and get ready to for a cultural experience of a lifetime cause The John Arcand Fiddle Fest is back! This awesome four-day festival is going to feature lots of workshops, concerts, showcases, old-time dances and more! Find out more below.

Event Date: Thursday (Aug. 8th) to Saturday (Aug.10th)

Location: Highway 60 (Pike Lake Highway), Saskatoon, SK S7K 3J6, Canada

The History Behind The John Arcand Fiddle Fest

John-Arcand-Fiddlecredit: John Arcand Fiddle Festival

The John Arcand Fest was first established in 1998. It all began when the infamous John Arcand, also known as the master of the Métis fiddle, decided to give back to his community. Thus, he decided to inspire the younger generation to learn about the traditions behind the music and dance of Métis culture. With this in mind, John Arcand held the very first fiddle fest which has now grown to be a four-day long festival featuring a wide variety of activities.


John-Arcand-Fiddlecredit: John Arcand Fiddle Festival

There are over 100 workshops ready to serve the attendees at this year’s festival. Furthermore, all the workshops are in a drop-in format and last for an hour. In each workshop, you will learn a tune(s) in the level and style chosen by each instructor. All instructors are well-known fiddlers, dancers or/and guitar players ready to instruct you from Thursday-Friday. Overall, This hands-on music and dance workshops offer space and time where real learning occurs. The best part is, all the workshops are part of your admission fee so you don’t need to spend any extra money as long as you have a ticket. What’s more, The workshops help support the survival of the lively Métis culture.

More Info: Workshop Schedule (2019)


John-Arcand-Fiddlecredit: John Arcand Fiddle Festival

Dance and music are powerful vehicles for storytelling. Hence why live performances are so impactful in maintaining the Métis culture. There is a number of vibrant concerts planned for this year’s John Arcade Fiddle Fest. The concerts will feature professional Saskatchewan musicians, fiddlers, and dancers.

More info: Schedule of Events

Cultural Camp

John-Arcand-Fiddlecredit: John Arcand Fiddle Festival

The John Arcand festival features a Métis Cultural Camp which is a series of interactive hands-on workshops that explore a variety of traditional Métis Art forms. Some of which include, beading, embroidery, finger weaving, storytelling, etc.  This is the perfect camp for kids and adults to have fun, learn about the Métis culture and meet new people all at the same time.

More info: Cultural Camp Schedule

Fiddle Contest

John-Arcand-Fiddlecredit: John Arcand Fiddle Festival

Are you a competitive person? Want to experience the thrill of winning prizes and cash? It turns out, John Arcand Fiddle Fest got you covered. A number of unique contests are scheduled that will help you develop technical and performance skills as well as a chance to win cash prizes and trophies. The different categories of the contests include; John Arcand, Junior, Novice and Championship categories.  The judges will place the contestants in different categories depending on their skill level and age. Thus, making the competition more intense and fair at the same time. Moreover, depending on your contest’s category you will have a chance to win anywhere between $20 to $800 prizes!

More info: Fiddle Contest Schedule, Prizes, and Rules


ticketcredit: John Arcand Fiddle Festival

As for almost all festivals you are required to pay the admission fee to enter. But the good news is, the tickets for the John Arcand Fiddle Fest are very affordable and range from free to $60 per person. However, the tickets will be available for purchase only on the event’s site and not online.

Ticket fees:

  • Weekend Pass: $60 per person
  • Daily Pass: $25
  • Children 12 & under: Free when they come with a parent or guardian

Places to stay

place-to-stayTenting is available onsite and included with your festival admission. /credit: John Arcand Fiddle Festival

Unless you are planning to stay for less than a full day, you should consider where to stay for the four-days worth of festivities. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for your stay. For instance, there is a free unserviced camping area as well as tenting sites available. Moreover, RV parks and additional campgrounds are also nearby. But if you are not comfortable with the lack of showers or hot water that comes with camping, Heritage Inn is around 15 minutes away from the festival’s site and many stay there during the festival.

Dance, jig, fiddle, compete and learn about the Métis culture in a warm and friendly festival. The Métis community attending The John Arcand Fiddle Fest each year are known to be super welcoming and friendly with each other and newcomers. In fact, more attendees of this event are close friends. So if you are looking for a fun and affordable festival filled with new experiences check out this lively Métis festival.

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