Over 80 Master Luthiers at the Vancouver International Guitar Festival Exhibition

Master luthiers and guitar enthusiasts from around the world will descend on Vancouver June 24 for the opening of the Vancouver International Guitar Festival Exhibition, a celebration of the art and craft of contemporary guitar building. 

Located at the Chinese Cultural Centre Event Hall in downtown Vancouver, this inaugural event is the only one of its kind in Canada. It is an interactive experience merging exhibitions, master classes, live performances and demonstrations by renowned and emerging guitar makers. Exhibiting at the two-day event will be more than 80 master luthiers displaying their collections of electrics, acoustics, basses and ukuleles for purchase as well as offering their services by commission. A select group of vendors will display specialized tone woods and custom parts. 

A series of Master Classes will be a highlight of the VIGF exhibition, bringing together legends of the industry to offer expert tips and inspiration on topics including guitar-making technology, marketing and performance techniques. The lineup includes: celebrated luthier Grit Laskin; father of the Canadian guitar industry Jean Larrivee; master luthier Bruce Sexauer; and consummate musicians Don Alder, Shaun Verreault, Jim Campilongo, Itamar Erez and Paul Pigat. 

William “Grit” Laskin will conduct two master classes, June 24: “Welcome to Grit Laskin’s World! How Does a Guitar Maker Get Music Out of a Wooden Box;” and June 25: “The Stories Behind Groundbreaking Inlay Art: The 2017 Group Of Seven Project.” 

Jean Larrivee, recipient of the 2017 VIGF Industry Builder Award, offers a master class on June 24: “Larrivee Guitars: My 50-Year Journey.” Since 1967, Larrivée has been building some of the finest guitars in the world. His legendary craftsmanship can be found on every instrument that bears his name. His deep passion and lifetime of experience continues to inspire and inform a new generation of talented guitars makers. 

Veteran luthier Bruce Sexauer’s master class is a must for anyone interested in tuning up their technical knowledge. Sexauer, a luthier for almost half a century, will discuss “Guitar Duality: How the modern guitar is different than the traditional guitar (and why it matters).” The class focuses on the differences between the traditional "living" guitar and the modern soundboard isolated from its support structure. 

You don’t want to miss the live demonstrations with acclaimed Vancouver musicians David Martone, Don Alder, Shaun Verreault, Itamar Erez and Paul Pigat. These dynamic artists offer unique performance styles mixing rock, blues, jazz, fingerstyle, classical, flamenco to suitably showcase the amazing collection of instruments on display at VIGF.