VIGF Newsletter - July 25, 2018
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VIGF Update

The 2018 Vancouver International Guitar Festival is just a few weeks away and it’s solidly on track to be an even bigger success than last year’s inaugural event. The 2017 festival was hailed by participants and media as Canada’s largest boutique exhibition of stringed instruments.

“It isn’t easy following that up,” says co-producer Shaw Saltzberg. “VIGF was a hit out of the gate so of course we asked ourselves what can we do to make 2018 even bigger and better?”

The answer: present an even more ambitious program of exhibits, master classes, workshops and concerts, add a craft beer and wine bar with live music, and stage it in a sparkling new state-of-the-art venue overlooking False Creek and downtown Vancouver.

Response has been swift and strong for the event which takes place August 11-12 at Creekside Community Centre in the former Olympic Village. More than 80 exhibitors have signed on, including luthiers from Canada, the US, Europe and Japan. Pre-sale admissions are brisk, and a number of the workshops and master classes are full or getting close.


A highlight of last year’s festival was the presentation of the 2017 Luthier Industry Builder Award to Jean Larrivée. From left, Shaw Saltzberg, John Larrivée, David Ionnone, Grit Laskin, Jean Larrivée, Linda Manzer, Sergei DeYonge, Meredith Coloma. Right, the exhibition floor at VGIF 2017.

Free Master Class
Ervin Somogyi demonstrates the principles of guitar design in a free master class Aug.12.
An exciting addition to the schedule is a free master class with world-renowned luthier Ervin Somogyi on Sunday, August 12, 12:30 to 2:00. Somogyi has been making steel stringed acoustic guitars for more than half a century, each one taking him a full month to build in his studio in Berkley, CA. They typically sell for more than $40,000 to collectors and expert players. Among recording artists who play Somogyi guitars are Michael Hedges, Alex de Grassi and the late John Denver.
In his two-part class Ervin Somogyi will elucidates his principles of design and construction based on two seminal books he has written on the art of luthery. This class is sponsored by Creative BC. Admission is limited: click here to RSVP
Mingle, Network & Raise a Glass at the Time Out Bar
New for 2018: festival goers are invited to take a break for refreshments and outstanding free entertainment at the beautiful Time Out Bar & Lounge. Some of BC’s best craft wine and beer will be served while VIGF’s musical all-stars will perform non-stop 30-minute sets from noon to five on both festival days.
On the menu: Vancouver’s own Faculty beer and Penticton’s Time Wine.

On stage: Don Alder, Itamar Erez, Mark Lemaire, David Martone, Adam Miller, François Pelletier, Paul Pigat and Terry Robb. (Sponsored by Rock 101)
Time Out is located in the Creekside festival venue on a scenic indoor-outdoor deck with stunning water, city and mountain views.
Don’t Miss Manx
VIGF is privileged to have Harry Manx on board this year. “Canada’s most versatile and expressive blues player,” according to Billboard Magazine, the multiple-award-winning guitarist has garnered an avid international following for his style that melds east and west traditions, from classical Indian ragas to deep Mississippi blues.

Manx is offering a rare master class Saturday, Aug. 11, 3:30-4:45 (limited tickets still available, click here for tickets). He will also perform an evening concert later that night at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music - follow this link for tickets
The amazing “Mysticssippi” blues artist Harry Manx with his raga-style 20-string Mohan Veena. Don’t delay buying tickets for his master class and Saturday evening concert.
Masterful Style
The VIGF master-class series, a highlight of the 2017 festival, returns with a lineup of stellar talent to guide and inspire guitarists of all levels and stylistic leanings. On offer: Latin Grooves, Guitar Blues and Ragtime, Guitar Recording Techniques, Fingerstyle Techniques, Writing for the guitar, Fusion Rock Styles, and more. Tickets for the one-hour classes are $25 + GST (festival entrance ticket required).

To reserve tickets for the master classes click here.
Renowned Quebec guitarist/composer Francois Pelletier offers a Sunday morning master class in Writing for the Guitar.
Hands-on Workshops
Also new this year, and totally unique on the guitar festival circuit: Lee Valley, Canada’s premier supplier of woodworking products, has partnered with VIGF to offer a ground-breaking series of hands-on guitar-making workshops. 

The 60-to-90-minute workshops, taught by woodworking experts and professional luthiers, will utilize Lee Valley’s extensive line of luthier resources including tools, guitar parts and finishing supplies.
Workshop tickets are $25 + GST (entrance ticket required). The Beginners Guitar Set-up Guide scheduled for Saturday, August 11, is sold out. Other workshops are filling up. Click here for tickets.

Vancouver-based restoration expert Nicole Alosinac offers a class in guitar set-up for beginners as part of the VIGF Lee Valley Workshop series.
Guitar Builders Unite
Another first for Canada: VIGF is collaborating with Creative BC to launch the Association of Stringed Instrument Builders of British Columbia (ASIB-BC). Guitar builders at all levels are welcome, from novice to master luthiers, as well as specialists in stringed instrument repair and restoration, and suppliers of tone woods and parts. The first organizing meeting will take place at the festival venue, 4:00 to 6:00, Friday, August 10 – the day before the festival opens to the public.

Online registration is required: click here to register. All who attend the ASIB-BC launch meeting will receive free admission to the two-day festival including free concert and master classes (on an availability basis).
There is no obligation to join ASIB-BC until membership details are presented at the Aug. 10 meeting.
Among the goals envisioned for ASIB-BC:
  • creation of media/marketing content;
  • fundraising to assist members to attend industry events;
  • semi-annual seminars on building technique and craft, social media, new markets;
  • professional development, including certification programs and ethical guidelines;
  • implementation of trade discounts;
  • advocacy on public issues including protected woods trade regulations.
Contact for more information.

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Vancouver International Guitar Festival Ltd. · 186 6th Street West · North Vancouver, BC V7M 2M2 · Canada

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