Past Musicians-in-Residence

Sponsored annually since 2011 by the Friends of McDougall Cottage, the Musician-in-Residence Program is designed to support the efforts of area folk musicians, and to celebrate Scottish and area musical traditions. 

During the course of the year the folk musician hosts workshops, performing concerts, and presenting lectures or demonstrations.

 2011 Musician-in-Residence, Robin Aggus
 Robin Aggus, Piper, 2011
 2012 Musician-in-Residence, Bob MacLean
 Bob MacLean, Celtic Guitarist, 2012
 2013 Musician-in-Residence, Dan MacDonald

Dan MacDonaldDan MacDonald is from a family of musicians from the small village of Ironville, Cape Breton and began playing fiddle at a very early age. His fiddle education came mostly from his father, Lloyd MacDonald, who is a well-known and respected Cape Breton fiddler, and from the surrounding musical culture of Cape Breton Island.

Cape Breton Fiddler's Association practices in Baddeck, the Gaelic Maud in St. Ann's, playing for dances in Glencoe and playing for Highland dance and Cape Breton stepdance groups formed the basis for his music. The big Cape Breton concerts: Big Pond, Cheticamp, Highland Village day, Broad Cove and many others were the backdrop of his childhood.

In the late 1980s, MacDonald, and his family formed Scumalash, a traditional Cape Breton band, with whom he toured throughout the United Kingdom between 1988 and 1992, culminating in the release of a self-titled album. Scumalash recently returned from a reunion tour of England.

In 2001 MacDonald moved to Bowling Green, Ohio where he began playing with a traditional Irish group, Toraigh. Toraigh toured the Celtic festivals of the Midwest, including the Cincinnati Celtic Festival, Dayton Celtic Festival, and the Newport Irish Festival. During this time period MacDonald was also able to compete twice in the Midwest Fleadh (regional Irish Music competition) in the senior fiddle and ceilidh band competitions with a band involving some of Detroit's foremost Irish musicians, placing second in both categories.

MacDonald moved to Toronto in 2003, where he became a co-host at the Irish music session at Dora Keogh Irish pub and later became a member of the traditional Irish group, Spraoi. Spraoi has played to sold out audiences at the Tranzac, Hugh's Room and the Brampton Folk Festival. In 2006, MacDonald became music director of The Magic of Ireland, an Irish dance and music show, with which he toured the UK, Canada, the USA and Europe.

In recent years, MacDonald has been a mainstay at the Irish music session at Dora Keogh and Ceili Cottage Irish pub in Toronto as well as producing an Irish/Scottish dance and music show called "Brogue", which plays at folk clubs and festivals and theatres all over Ontario and the United States. 

MacDonald still tours with his brothers Paul and Shawn and his father Lloyd, playing at several festivals and school performances in Ireland over the last two years and most recently playing several shows for the Celtic Colours festival in Cape Breton. MacDonald's newest project is North Atlantic Drift, a Toronto based trio including himself on fiddle, Brian Taheny on guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle and Ross Griffiths on Scottish pipes, Irish pipes and whistle. This group features the blending of Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton in many different combinations of instruments, having released a self titled CD and performing at festivals and other events in Ontario and the United States.

 2014 Musician-in-Residence, Allison Lupton
 Allison Lupton, Flutist, 2014
 2015 Musician-in-Residence, Dave Neigh
 Dave Neigh, Fiddler, 2015
 2016 Musician-in-Residence, NUA
 James Law, Fiddler, Graeme McGillivray, Guitarist, Jacob McCauley, Bodhrán, 2016 See website. 
 2017 Musician-in-Residence, Ruth Sutherland
 Celtic harper/singer/songwriter, 2017
 2018 Musician-in-Residence, Tyler Bridge

Tyler BridgeTyler is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist whose main instrument is the highland bagpipe. He also plays guitar and drums and is a graduate of the University of Guelph Music Program where his area of concentration was Jazz guitar. 

Tyler has been teaching guitar and bagpipes in Guelph for the past twelve years and is currently one of the managers at JamSchool, a performance based music school with 600 students in Guelph and the surrounding area. 

In September of 2013 Tyler took over as Pipe Major of the Guelph Pipe Band and now instructs and leads the band in competitions and performances throughout the year. Tyler was also a member of the 48th Highlanders of Canada from 2008-2015 and has performed with them throughout North America and in Scotland. 

Tyler is an active competitive solo piper and placed first overall at the top level of amateur piping in Ontario in 2014 and 2015. This earned him invitations to two of the top amateur piping competitions in North America, the Nicol Brown Competition in Albany NY, and the George Sherriff Memorial Competition in Hamilton ON. Click here to see Tyler competing at the Sherriff Invitational in 2014. 

After two years in the top amateur circuit, Tyler was promoted to the professional competition level. He won the overall B grade Piobaireachd category in 2016 during his first professional competitive season. This moved him into the A grade piobaireachd and puts him in the top level in Ontario. 

Tyler's piping students have also had great competitive success. Some of their achievements include winning the B Division Strathspey/Reel at the Toronto Piper's Society Knockout contest in 2013 as well as making it to the finals of that same knockout series. Three of Tyler's students have also placed first in their respective grades after a successful competition season in the Ontario Highland Games circuit this past summer. One of them qualified for the same top amateur piping competitions (Nicol Brown and George Sherriff contests) that Tyler competed at in 2014 and 2015. 

Between managing the music school, teaching, running the Guelph Pipe Band, and competing in the solo piping circuit, Tyler also plays in two folk ensembles called The Final Nine (with Dave Neigh and Mark Fletcher of the Steel City Rovers) and Stringymajig (with Fiona McCairley who is director of the Guelph Celtic Orchestra). In these ensembles, Tyler usually plays Scottish Border Pipes. This instrument is similar in sound and technique to the Highland bagpipe but is operated through use of a bellows under the right arm instead of blowing into the instrument. 

Combining border pipes with other instruments and musicians, Tyler draws on influences from artists such as Hamish Moore, Alan McDonald, Angus McDonald, Kenneth and Angus Mackenzie, Daihm, Breabach, and Seudan to combine Cape Breton, Ontario, and Scottish piping styles in an upbeat Ceilidh atmosphere.

 2020 Musician-in-Residence, Alicia Blore

Alicia BloreMcDougall Cottage is pleased to welcome Métis fiddler, Alicia Blore, as the 2020 Musician-in-Residence. Join Alicia and her guests for a great line-up of events throughout the year!

Born and raised in Toronto, Alicia has never forgotten her Manitoba Métis roots. Alicia's great-grandfather, Philip Zastre, was a well-known Métis fiddler from St. Rose du Lac, Manitoba.

 

In 2008, Alicia was asked to join the Fiddle Stories: Elder Youth Legacy Project, which was a performing group of Indigenous Elders (Lawrence ‘Teddy Boy’ Houle, James Cheechoo, John Arcand, Colin Adjun) and youth from across Canada. Alicia traveled with the Fiddle Stories group to Newfoundland to participate in the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in 2008, as well as Aberdeen, Scotland in 2010 and 2018. She has performed and provided workshops at schools, festivals, powwows, and rendezvous locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally.

 

Some of her performances include the Indian Residential School Survivors Legacy Celebration, Louis Riel Day at Queen`s Park in Toronto, and she was a performer in the Cirque de Soleil’s production of the Pan Am Games Opening Ceremony in Toronto in 2015. 


New Nominations:
Know a great local folk musician you would like to nominate? Applications are accepted year-round. Visit the Musician-in-Residence page for the application form.