In 1994, Bill Miller took a lone fiddling friend named Ivan Hicks plus a few other paddlers in his handmade, wooden canoes down a section of the Tobique River from his family’s historic shop in Nictau, New Brunswick. So delighted was the small crew at the harmonious combination of river, music, and canoe that the group decided to meet again the next year, adding another fiddler and keyboard with the help of a local playing group. Dubbed Fiddles on the Tobique, the low-key event quickly grew in size, peaking in years where canoes would number in the thousands, and the sound of fiddles would echo through the scenic wooded valley in a joyful celebration of music and nature. After a quarter-century and now 24 iterations, Bill Miller beams at the mention of the days when his small hamlet of 10 people would swell into the thousands, and his log cabin over-flowed with laughter and song. When asked to quantify the indescribable (or to at least measure it somehow), year after year, Miller would have the same response. He would insist, “This was the best Fiddles on the Tobique ever.”


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