Aurora Fiddle Society promotes fiddling in Yellowknife and throughout the North Slave region. We work cooperatively with other organizations, such as the Kole Crook Fiddle Association; which has a territory wide mandate.
The Society owes its origins to the "Strings Across the Sky" program. The program was founded in 1987 in Inuvik by Andrea Hansen of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Hansen had identified an interest and aptitude for fiddling in the North and worked tirelessly to provide youth with the opportunity to learn to play the fiddle. Throughout the communities, many people volunteered countless hours through workshops and performances to revive the history of fiddling. Twenty years later, the Yellowknife chapter of "Strings Across the Sky" decided to develop a Yellowknife-centric fiddling organization and opted for independence. So, in January 2008, Aurora Fiddle Society was registered under the NWT Societies Act. The Kole Crook Fiddle Association, one of our partners, continues to deliver fiddle programs outside of Yellowknife.
Bi-weekly fiddle jam sessions are held at Music Space YK (5016-50th Ave) on Friday evenings, from September to June. These jam sessions provide a unique opportunity for fiddlers of all ages and skill levels to come together and learn from each other. We spend the first hour playing beginner tunes; then the advanced fiddlers take over. These sessions are open to the public. While we do not charge a fee, we do accept donations toward the rental fee. These sessions are tremendously popular and we appreciate Bob Bromley initiating this idea in Yellowknife. Our northern "kitchen parties" are great fun.
We offer weekend workshops 3-5 times a year; with professional musicians from the north and across Canada providing instruction. These workshops are open to fiddlers of all ages; we have "first timer" classes, advanced classes, and several classes in between. Many of our members also attend workshops in other areas of Canada - from Cape Breton to Vancouver Island and points in-between.
Our Fiddle Cat and Junior Fiddle Cat programs offer children, aged 7 and up, an opportunity to learn to perform fiddle tunes by playing in a group. The performing Fiddle Cats are a group of 8 very talented musicians, led by Andrea Bettger. They can be booked for private and public events.
There are two performing groups associated with the Aurora Fiddle Society
- The Aurora Fiddlers are a multi-age group of fiddle enthusiasts. Depending on the event, there may be as few as 6 and as many as 30 fiddlers. They have performed at; Canada Day, Aboriginal Day, International Music Day, "Let Your Spirit Fly" concert at NACC and we have played at functions hosted by the Legislative Assembly, YK Rotary Club, Aven Manor, YK Seniors Club, Ecology North, Anglican Church 70th Anniversary, and Yellowknife's 75th Anniversary concert.
- The Fiddle Cats perform on their own and with the Aurora Fiddlers. The Fiddle Cats have performed on CBC radio, at the Snow Castle, the Legislative Assembly, the annual Carolfest, numerous City of Yellowknife functions, and at local schools. For the past 3 years, they have been asked to perform NACC as part of the Yellowknife Music festival showcase concert.
For all inquiries, please contact the Society at:
Aurora Fiddle Society
P.O. Box 2071
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2P6
Bylaws & Policies
Board of Directors 2023-2024
& AFS Instructor
Directors may be reached through the Society's email address.