Valley Youth Fiddlers

Tanglewood Fall Performance

Posted on July 28, 2023

After an extremely successful spring BC tour of Tanglewood we have decided to do a couple more shows in Smithers in the fall before we retire the show. The performances will take place on September 22 and 23 with doors opening at 6:30 and the show starting promptly at 7pm. This will be your last chance to catch this amazing show before we move on to new and amazing things.

Tickets will go on sale soon. Follow us on Facebook for ticket release date.

Press Release

Posted on April 12, 2023


We are doing everything we can to get the word out about our show. If you know someone who can help promote, maybe pass on this press release.

Valley Youth Fiddlers to Embark on Tour for the First Time in Six Years with Their Production of Tanglewood

Smithers, BC - The Valley Youth Fiddlers are proud to announce their upcoming tour featuring their latest production, Tanglewood. The tour will mark the first time in six years that the talented community-based ensemble of 65 musicians will perform on the road.

Tanglewood is a beautiful tale about the music of place, showcasing the sounds that have been shaped by mentors and the natural resonance of land itself. The story is told through the lens of woodland characters that inhabit Tanglewood. The Valley Youth Fiddlers' performance elements are carefully woven together to carry the audience along an imaginative journey through Tanglewood, featuring a playful mix of storytelling, animation, music, and dance.

Tanglewood features music written and arranged by renowned Canadian composers, including Lea Kirstein, Gordon Stobbe, Jaron Freeman-Fox, Oliver Schroer, James Stephens, and Ivonne Hernandez. The Valley Youth Fiddlers are excited to showcase this remarkable collaboration of well-known musicians and local fiddle families.

The tour will have seven stops, starting in Smithers, BC on May 5th, 6th, and 7th, and ending in Victoria on May 20th. Other stops include Prince George, Williams Lake, Vancouver, Courtenay, and Parksville.

“The Valley Youth Fiddlers are thrilled to take Tanglewood on tour and share our passion for music and storytelling with audiences across the province,” said Leslie-Jean MacMillan, Artistic Director of the Valley Youth Fiddlers. “We're excited to bring our community-based music and culture to a wider audience and showcase the talents of our incredible musicians.”

“We have worked so hard on these tunes, I can't wait to perform them live”, said Fiona Brienesse, 13 and a veteran VYF'er. “I love being on the road with all my friends; we have so much fun.”

The Valley Youth Fiddlers are known for their captivating performances, playing contemporary and old-time fiddle music and telling stories to the delight of audiences from Victoria, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver, to Prince George, Prince Rupert, and Whitehorse.

Tickets for the tour are available on the Valley Youth Fiddlers website, along with more information about the tour and the Tanglewood production. Do not miss this chance to experience the enchanting music and storytelling of Tanglewood by the Valley Youth Fiddlers.

For more information, visit or watch the official video trailer on YouTube at

For media resources such as radio promo spot, posters, photos, songs and more visit

Media contact – Phil Brienesse –

Tanglewood Trailer Release

Posted on March 5, 2023

It's 2 months until the first show of our BC tour of Tanglewood. To mark the event we are pleased to release the official trailer.

Tanglewood is a story about the music of place. It is about the sounds that layer one over another to make a unique musical landscape. These sounds have been shaped by the mentors that have brought their tunes to share, and by the natural resonance of land itself. The story is told through the lens of the woodland characters that inhabit Tanglewood. Hiccup, the flying squirrel, finds herself swept away in a terrible storm hanging desperately to a string attached to a boat-shaped kite. To make her way back to Tanglewood, she seeks the help of musical acquaintances she meets in unfamiliar surroundings: an owl, a fox, a lynx, a bear. Together, they must listen their way through forest and field—piecing together the sounds and melodies that echo Hiccup’s Tanglewood home.

Tanglewood is a playful mix of storytelling, animation, music, and dance. These performance elements are carefully woven together to carry the audience along an imaginative journey, a journey through Tanglewood. Tanglewood features music written and arranged by Lea Kirstein of the celebrated Toronto folk band Medusa, Order of Canada recipient Gordon Stobbe, Canadian Folk Music Award winners Jaron Freeman-Fox and Oliver Schroer, Juno nominated James Stephens, and five-time Grand North American Fiddle Champion and Juno winner Ivonne Hernandez.

Many thanks to Soniquinn Studios Studios for the excellent filming and video production. We would also like to thank James Stephens, who with our new equipment recorded the audio track.


Smithers May 5

Smithers May 6

Smithers May 7

Prince George May 12

Williams Lake May 13

Vancouver May 15

Courtenay/Comox May 17

Parksville May 18

Victoria May 20

James Stephen’s Workshop

Posted on January 16, 2023

Valley Youth Fiddlers recently held a weeklong workshop with guest mentor James Stephens, and it was an experience to remember! The fiddlers were preparing for our upcoming BC provincial tour of Tanglewood, and James was there to help us polish up our pieces and reach their full potential. Not only is James a talented fiddle player and mentor, but he also brought his expertise as a professional sound engineer to the workshop.

One of the highlights of the week was the opportunity for the group to record an audio track of the Tanglewood song, which will be used in a future video trailer for the tour. James worked closely with the fiddlers to capture the perfect sound and ensure that the recording was of the highest quality. It was a valuable learning experience for the fiddlers to work with a professional sound engineer and see firsthand the process of recording and producing a piece of music.

But the workshop wasn't all about hard work and practice. The fiddlers and mentors also had a lot of fun together over the weekend, with competitive games and activities that kept everyone engaged and energized. One of the highlights of the weekend was a game where shaving cream was put on the heads of four of the mentors, and teams competed to see who could get the most cheezies to stick to their heads.

It was a great reminder that learning and growing as a musician doesn't have to be all serious and formal. Having fun and being light-hearted can actually help to create a more relaxed and comfortable learning environment, and it was clear that everyone at the workshop was having a great time.

At the end of the session, James was honored with one of the coveted Valley Youth Fiddlers mugs, which he took back to Ottawa as a keepsake of his time with the group. It was clear that he had made a real impact on the fiddlers, and that they all appreciated his guidance and mentorship.

The Tanglewood song is a special piece for the Valley Youth Fiddlers, and it was an honor to have James be a part of the recording process. The final product is sure to be a beautiful representation of the group's talent and hard work, and we can't wait to share it with the world.

This workshop with James Stephens was truly a memorable one for the Valley Youth Fiddlers. Not only did they get to perfect their fiddle skills and bond as a group, but they also had the unique opportunity to record a piece of music and work with a professional sound engineer. We are so excited for the group's upcoming tour of Tanglewood and can't wait to see what the future holds for these talented young musicians.