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The Red River Jig

I was watching a few of Patti Kusturok’s 365 days of fiddle tunes on YouTube tonight. Since I started to learn some fiddle, I’ve been watching a lot of videos featuring fiddle music. I think the more I immerse myself in it, the better. Here’s day 19 in which she plays two versions of the Red River Jig. This is a traditional Métis dance tune, perhaps the most famous Métis tune . Although it has “jig” in the name, I’d call this one a reel, rather than a jig.

We have some great fiddlers here in Canada and they deserve more attention.

Back when I worked at Canada Post, I made some suggestions to the Stamp Advisory Committee for stamp images, and one of them was to do a series on great Canadian fiddlers. I suppose my suggestions were not the most commercial or mainstream and unfortunately none of them were selected. I thought it would be really interesting (and important) to profile fiddlers who were known for playing in regional styles (such as Ottawa Valley, Cape Breton, French Canadian, Metis).

As an aside, another of my unsuccessful stamp suggestions (I gave up after that) was to create 5 stamps honouring 5 Canadian abstract painters – the so-called Regina 5: Ron Bloore, Ken Lochhead, Doug Morton, Ted Godwin, and Art McKay – on the 50th Anniversary of their ground-breaking 1961 exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada.

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