The Stettler Variety Showcase (SVS) brought award-winning Canadian fiddle group Everything Fitz to the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) for two shows, matinee and evening on Sunday, March 26.
Everything Fitz is a family group featuring three-time Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Champions and Ontario Open Step Dance Champions Tom, Kerry and Julie Fitzgerald. The siblings were joined by parents Pam and Paddy on keyboards and bass guitar, along with Kyle Waymouth, guitarist and multi-award winning step dancer.
The group presented their unique blend of traditional and contemporary tunes from classics like Danny Boy and Orange Blossom Special to modern pop and country tunes by artists like Billy Joel and Lyle Lovett.
“People knew the songs, they knew the music, and even if they didn’t the talent was just so awesome,” said Rose Fenske, the PR voice of SVS and the announcer for the show.
According to Fenske, the biggest takeaway of the night was the sheer talent of the performers.
“The show was very well received,” Fenske said. “I heard several comments saying ‘best one ever.’ Everybody just really loved it.”
Tickets were sold out for the afternoon show, while the evening show had above-average attendance, according to Fenske.
Everything Fitz’s mix of fiddle music and step dancing is always especially well received in the prairie provinces, explained Julie Fitzgerald.
“We always love coming to Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta,” Fitzgerald said. “People love fiddle music here and the dancing always goes over well. People enjoy the music a lot and we love to play for those kinds of folks.”
This concert fit well with SVS’s goal to bring a variety of music styles to the community.
“Our mandate is to present variety,” Fenske explained. “We try to expose the community to different types of entertainment, different genres of music, while keeping in mind our audience.”
In keeping with the theme of diversity, the next SVS concert will showcase two-time JUNO nominees and triple Canadian Folk Music Awards winners Sultans of String, who will bring an eclectic mix of Celtic reels, flamenco, gypsy jazz, along with Arabic, Cuban and South Asian rhythms. The matinee and evening shows will take place on Sunday, April 9 at PAC.