Gillbilly is intended as a relaxed weekend with some informal opportunities to learn more about your instrument of choice as well as fishing-related subjects in the Elk River area. 2018 will include fly-fishing workshops as well as the usual banjo, guitar, singing and whatever workshops! Signups for the workshops will be on a first-come basis, with space limited in some. Let us know in your registration comments which workshop you are interested in… that will help us organize the workshops for space.

Workshops: Saturday 10am-12noon

Paul Silveria • Intro to Dance Calling • The lost skill of teaching others to dance on the fly. Learn to call a dance at a school or community gathering to help pass on this fun, community-minded pass-time!
John Lowell • Bluegrass Guitar – Take your pickin’ chops to the next level with hints and tips from this veteran performer. Includes work on some rhythm elements as well as some melodic ideas with cross-picking and flat-picking.
Nico Humby • Bass – Learn to love the low-end. BYOB to this workshop and get some great ideas and technical tips to make playing bass easier.
Bill Humby • Bluegrass Song Jam – Beginner/intermediate song circle/jam. I’ll start things off by teaching the chords to a few of my favourite songs and then we’ll pass it around the circle. We shall hopefully build your understanding of the Nashville Numbering system for learning chord changes!
Craig Korth • Inspirational Banjo – In this two hours, we will explore some possibilities the banjo has beyond the wonderful Scruggs style. Will learn some swing chords, have a peek at double C tuning, try some single string techniques, and learn to move about the neck a little more easily. Come and have some fun with the party in that case, the banjo.
Miles Zurawell • Dobro – Techniques and Tunes – an exploration of proper left and right hand technique to achieve the best possible intonation and tone.
Katrina Nicolayeff • Fiddle – We will start by playing through a few of my favourite tunes and then we will walk through some technical aspects to make playing the songs easier.
Clayton Parsons • Songwriting – Whether you are an active songwriter, or want to become one, this workshop is open to all. We’ll try touch on everything from the inspiration to the nuts & bolts of song structure and completion. Feel free to bring along anything you might be working on!
Michael Hepher • Mondo Mando – Who has the most strings? We do! Intermediate mando workshop… work on your chop, tone, and let’s talk about some new ways to think our way around the fingerboard. We may even learn a tune and jam a couple.
Jon Bisset • Intro to Fly Casting – Always wanted to try fly-casting? Or want to step up your game a bit? The basics to this addictive sport will outlined by this experienced fisherman and teacher. He will have several rods available for use if you don’t yet have your own setup.
Beth Millions • Know Yer Bugs – Beth is the program manager at the Elk River Alliance. She’ll be taking a group to the river to showcase the local bugs, giving you information about when and why they are so tasty to the fishies. Dress for the weather. Meet at the Arts Station.

Other Workshops:

Tyler Carson • Elk River Primer (Friday reception 5:30pm-6:30pm)
Peter Harrison-Edge & Jon Bisset • Fly Jam (6pm Friday before the concert. Bring your fly-tying stuff or borrow use some of ours for fly jams!)
Fishing Buddies • Not a workshop, but just a great way to find out more about the Elk River. Grab a local friend and find someone to share Saturday afternoon with on the river!

Workshop Instructors:

Katrina Nicolayeff hails from Meridian, Idaho. She is a 7 time US National Champion. She won her 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th titles (including one this year!) at the National Old-time Fiddler’s Contest where she won the title of National Grand Champion. In 2014 Katrina won her third (yes, THIRD) world title of Grand Master Fiddler Champion. We are pleased to welcome Katrina to Gillbilly!

Miles Zurawell is an up-and-coming banjo and dobro accompanist hailing from Ardrossan, Alberta. He has performed throughout western Canada with his current project Nomad Jones, as well as the Greg Blake Band. Performances include the Sooke River Bluegrass Festival, Blueberry Bluegrass Festival, Shady Grove Bluegrass Festival, NimbleFingers Bluegrass and Old-Time Festival, and Wide Cut Weekend. Miles discovered bluegrass and the banjo while studying biology in university. Since the he bought his first banjo and heard Earl Scruggs for the first time, he has developed a passion for the genre that runs deep and has studied the masters intensely ever since. 

John Lowell Is a nationally-renowned guitar player, singer, and song-writer from Livingston, Montana. Most recognized for his work with Kane’s River and The Growling Old Men (a duo with Gillbilly fixture Ben Winship) and recently touring Western Canada with the John Lowell Band. John is an experienced performer and teacher, as well as an avid fly-fisherman. We’re looking forward to having John up to scope out our river and pick a few tunes!

Paul Silveria is a unique and versatile performer who engages audiences of all ages with interactive traditional music! Paul has been playing banjo and calling square dances across the west coast for over 15 years. Paul will be joining us to perform, to call our dance, and to teach a workshop or two!

Beth Millions • Elk River Alliance – Program Manager Restoration and Stewardship • MSc Environmental Science Whether paddling the rapids in the Elk River canyon or sampling the Benthic invertebrate populations in one of its many tributaries, I feel most at home when I am outside and near the water. I work to combine my passion for the outdoors with my background in scientific inquiry and education to help protect wild spaces. Working with ERA has been extremely gratifying and varied; our work involves everything from reclaiming eroded stream banks to educating youth on riverine ecosystems to developing a flood strategy for the Elk Valley. There is never a dull moment with this organization!