Mentors and Instructors – AlgomaTrad Spring 2021 Virtual Learning and Sharing Program
Born and raised on the densely rain-forested Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Chelsea Sleep’s musical upbringing was fostered by the local youth fiddle association, the Coast String Fiddlers. Chelsea grew up performing for local Scottish Country dances and events, attended fiddle camps and workshops immersing herself in every style of fiddling she could get her hands on, and studied closely with prolific Canadian fiddler and composer, Oliver Schroer. She has taught at fiddle camps and workshops throughout British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, and in remote towns in Northern Canada. She has become a well-known advocate for teaching Schroer’s music, and being exceptionally gifted working with young children, beginners of all ages, and arranging music for large group ensembles. Chelsea was the well-loved Musical Director for Bad to the Bow Youth Fiddlers in Gibsons for 15 years. In 2016 she moved into the Rocky Mountains to Canmore, Alberta, where she is now building a quickly-expanding new community of enthusiastic new fiddlers.
Kerry Fitzgerald is a fiddler and step dancer originally from Bancroft, ON, Canada, now based in Toronto. Her musical roots are Ottawa-Valley fiddling and step dancing. She has also explored various Celtic and folk styles. Most recently, Kerry is pushing the boundaries of Celtic music with her solo “electro-fiddle” fusion project Fiddle Beatz, where she writes, arranges, and produces electronic arrangements of original fiddle tunes. She released her debut Fiddle Beatz album in May 2018, and most recent singles,Think You Know and Beauty&The Beatz in 2020. Read more about Kerry!
A singer and multi-instrumentalist, Hannah Naiman plays clawhammer banjo, fiddle, ukelele and guitar. Her work as a singer/songwriter earned her the Canadian Folk Music Award for Traditional Singer of the Year (2017). Hannah’s voice has appeared on many children’s albums: Hannah’s first children’s album, “Savez-vous plantez des choux?” (2002) was distributed to more than 10,000 babies across Ontario as part of the Early Years Literacy Kit. “Here We Go Zodeo”, an album recorded with Kathy Reid-Naiman, was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, and a SiriusXM Indie Award, and was awarded a 2012 Parents’ Choice Gold Award. Read more about Hannah!
James Stephens has been part of the AlgomaTrad family since the beginning and is a much heralded teacher and performer. As well as being a performer and recording engineer, James has taught at numerous music camps across Canada and some in the US. He is presently involved in a Canada Council funded mentoring, teaching, and recording process in Smithers, BC known as the “Truffles” project. This project was co-created by well known fiddle innovator and composer, Oliver Schroer and the local fiddle ensemble, The Valley Youth Fiddlers. Read more about James!
Julie Schryer grew up in a Franco-Ontarian home that was filled with traditional music and song. She began playing piano in 1972. Having four brothers as fiddle players gave Julie ample opportunity to develop as a piano accompanist. During her youth she played for hundreds of fiddle players at competitions and events throughout Ontario and the rest of Canada. Although her style of playing is unique, there have been key influential piano players along the way – including Violet Tulloch, Felix Dolan, Yvan Brault and Josephine Keegan. As a family, Pat, Julie, her two sons, Zach and Benoit, and Áine (Pat and Julie’s daughter) play concerts, dances, and events as “The O’Schraves”. Julie is a founder and administrator of AlgomaTrad. Read more about Julie!
Pat O’Gorman began playing bagpipes 53 years ago in the Ontario Highland Piping world and has studied traditional music in Ireland, Brittany and Cape Breton. He has been playing traditional music on wooden concert (Irish) flute for over 40 years and plays Irish Uilleann pipes and whistles as well. Pat has been at the cutting edge of Canadian Trad/Celtic music for 40 years with Na Cabarfeidh, Rare Air, Morgaine Le Fay, Windbags, and with The Brian Pickell Band. He performs regularly with his family band “The O’Schraves” (the O’Gorman/Schryer/Lefebvre Family). He has lived in the Algoma region for 18 years and is a founder and artistic director, with Julie Schryer, of AlgomaTrad. Read more about Pat!
Hannah-Lee Lawrence enjoys being creative in the kitchen and making both comfort foods and adventurous international dishes with plant-based ingredients. She has lived all over the world, in places like Singapore and Turkey, and many of her flavours and techniques are inspired by her past travels. Hannah-Lee has received training in vegan nutrition, and in 2018 she started her own vegan catering company called Black Cat Kitchen which she operates from home. Hannah Lee has been the vegetarian chef for the AlgomaTrad Family Camp and other AlgomaTrad events for many years.