Mission Statement

Sherryl Fitzpatrick – Founder/Event Director

The Canadian musical heritage event, “Fiddles on the Rideau” was formed in May 2021 to promote and preserve Canadian Fiddle music and to raise awareness and financial aid for local mental health organizations in Ottawa.  In May 2015, the National Fiddling Day Act was passed and officially became a bill.  An excerpt from the bill states, “the art of fiddle playing has a significant role in the cultural and social history of Canada and is practiced in all provincial and territorial regions.  It is in the interest of all Canadians to become more familiar with the traditional and contemporary importance of fiddling, to Canadian Heritage and Canadian Society.” 

On Saturday July 23 and August 27 2022, we present our second annual “Fiddles on the Rideau”.  In the afternoon, we will have several pontoon boats carrying fiddlers performing music representing various regions in our great Nation.  Boaters (motorized watercraft, kayaks, canoes and Stand up paddle boards) have an opportunity to paddle up and safely enjoy the music.  Bystanders have an opportunity to participate along the banks of the Rideau to enjoy this unique culture and heritage.  We will play at two locations: Mahogany Harbour dock from 1:00pm-1:45pm and Long Island Locks 2:30-3:30pm. There is paid parking available at the Long Island Locks. You can park along Main Street by the Mahogany Harbour dock.  If you will be launching a canoe, kayak or paddle board to accompany the flotilla, you can use the Mahogany Harbour dock, the public launch at the Manotick Bridge, the public launch at the end of Van Vliet Rd. in Manotick or the public launch at the Long Island Locks site.  On the committee are prominent local musicians, Anna Ludlow from the Toronto production, “Come From Away”, and local fiddler and step dancer, Chad Wolfe.

The FOTR board is passionate about supporting mental health initiatives in Ottawa. In 2021, we supported Rideauwood Addiction and Family Services in Ottawa. This year, the board has chosen to support Serenity Renewal for Families, www.serenityrenewal.ca.

In addition, we are excited to announce that we are planning a major festival in Ottawa in 2023 which will include not only our musical river run, but also concerts and workshops featuring prominent Canadian fiddle performers.  Mark your calendars for July 14, 15, 16, 2023!  We will be posting details in the spring of 2023.

If you would like to donate to Fiddles on the Rideau, click on our “Donate” page.

Do you own a pontoon boat and would like to host a fiddler for the afternoon from 1:00-3:30pm?  Are you a fiddler that would like to participate in Fiddles on the Rideau?  All musicians and pontoon boat owners must pre-register for the event by contacting me by email.  All waiver forms for pontoon owners and musicians will be available in advance by email. We want to hear from you! 

It’s going to be a safe celebration with limited capacity and unlimited joy.  Get on Board! Send us an email from the “Contact Page” for more information.

You can also follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/fiddlesontherideau