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A weekend featuring some of the province’s best fiddle players and musicians kicked off today.

The John Arcand Fiddle Festival opened for its 20th anniversary. The festival has grown through the years to include all aspects of Metis culture, in addition to fiddle and dance.

Executive Director Vicki Arcand says the original goal of the festival was for her husband John to share his love of music with a younger generation to appreciate.

“John’s vision was that traditions had to be passed on to the young people, so that they would be carried forward,” she said. “If you don’t expose the youth, it won’t be carried into the future.”

Arcand says when the festival first started, they didn’t think it would grow into the event it is today.

“It is a huge milestone, and one we didn’t think was going to happen, but here we are,” she said

She says it’s not just about fiddle music, as there is also a place for several cultural camps and workshops to learn about all aspects of Metis culture in addition to fiddle and dance. She says her husband is still involved in the festival, but not in the same capacity as when it first started 20 years ago.

“John looks forward to it every year, and while he doesn’t take part in the workshops anymore, he still plays in the evening concerts,” she said.

The festival is located 10 kilometres southwest of Saskatoon. A free shuttle service will be taking participants from the city to the location of the event.