Kendra MacGillivray


For over twenty years, Kendra MacGillivray has brought fiddle music to life with her incredibly energetic performances with the fiddle. As a former Highland dancer, Kendra aims to make her fiddling lively and dancable with upbeat jigs, polkas and hornpipes, beautiful swaying waltzes and slow airs or selections of rhythmic strathspeys and reels that build in speed and intensity. She’s even been known to make a few steps while fiddling at the same time in high heels!

With numerous awards under her belt, including two prestigious East Coast Music Awards, including “Female Artist of the Year” and “Instrumental Artist of the Year” in 2002, Kendra travels the country, playing the traditional fiddling style from Eastern Nova Scotia. Performances have also taken her into the United States and as far away as Japan, Australia, Iceland, Europe, Barbados and of course, Scotland, where many of her favourite tunes were composed by fiddlers such as James Scott Skinner in the 1800s and 1900s.

Kendra also composes tunes to compliment her Scotch rooted music and she also loves to incorporate tunes that are written by Cape Breton and Canadian composers and ones that her grandfather, Hugh A. MacDonald made popular in the 1930s on some of the early Canadian Celtic fiddle recordings.

Since 1989, MacGillivray has also found time to pass on her Scottish traditions in fiddle, piano accompaniment, Highland and Step dance by teaching private and group lessons, workshops and master classes. She has been invited to teach at the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts & Crafts in Cape Breton, NS and in Vermont, USA, the Pacific Institute of Celtic Performing Arts on Vancouver Island in BC and at various fiddle camps such as the Emma Lake Fiddle Camp in Saskatchewan. In 2003, her efforts were rewarded with the “Educator of the Year” title by the Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia.
March Break Youth Session 1