E. Nels Olson to be feted at international fiddle contest

DUNSEITH – The 38th annual International Old-Time Fiddlers Contest is scheduled for today through Saturday at the International Peace Garden, Dunseith. The highlight of the event will be the recognition of the inductees into the International Old-Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame. Prominent in this year’s class is Judge E. Nels Olson, who has been associated with the fiddle contest for more than 20 years.

“He has been instrumental in upgrading and organizing an event that has earned international recognition,” according to a press release.

“His enthusiastic participation has gained the respect of fiddlers on both sides of the border, including the board of directors at the International Music Camp,” said Joseph Alme, former camp director and longtime contest organizer.

Olson was spurred to participate in support as his son and now his granddaughter have been competitors in the event. Other inductees in this year’s class are Mel Bedard and Henri Hince, both of Winnipeg.

Induction ceremonies are scheduled for Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Burdick Center for the Performing Arts, in conjunction with a concert featuring world-renowned fiddler Mark Kreitzer, accompanied by the guitarist in Garrison Keillor’s house band for “A Prairie Home Companion,” Adam Granger.

Multiple workshops are scheduled for today and Friday, beginning at 9 a.m. both days.

The contest will begin Saturday with registration at 7:30 a.m. Following a general meeting with contestants and judges, competition begins at 9 a.m. Finals begin at 7 p.m. Contest admission is $12 for the day, with all events in the Burdick Center.