MEDIA ANNOUNCEMENT: Vancouver International Guitar Festival

JUNE 23-25, 2017

Vancouver, B.C. (January 17, 2017) Guitar builders, players, collectors and aficionados will gather in Vancouver June 23-25 for the first Vancouver International Guitar Festival (VIGF). The only festival of its kind in Canada, VIGF comprises three days of live music, master classes and special events during which thepublic will have opportunities to see, hear, play and purchase some of the world’s finest handmade stringed instruments. The festival will take place in the heart of Vancouver at the historic Chinese Cultural Centre.

  • June 23: Canada’s first Luthier Conference, including presentation of the Industry Builder Award to Jean Larrivee.
  • June 24-25: Open to the public, the Guitar Exhibition including instrument demonstrations, master classes and more.

The opening day Conference is a ticketed event for professional luthiers and guitar enthusiasts, with opportunities to meet legendary guitar makers and to network with industry leaders. The full day’s program includes keynote speakers, seminars, roundtable discussions, a social mixer and presentation of the VIGF Industry Builder Award to Jean Larrivee on the occasion of his company’s 50th anniversary.

The two-day Exhibition celebrates the art and craft of contemporary guitar making, acoustic and electric. More than 80 master luthiers from Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia will be on site for one-on-one discussions and demonstrations. All instruments on display (acoustic, electric, ukuleles and basses) will be available for purchase;  commissions welcome.

Festival co-producers Shaw Saltzberg and Meredith Coloma bring decades of expertise to the VIGF team. Saltzberg spent 30 years shaping the live careers of Michael Bublé, Diana Krall, Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan and more as Senior Vice-President of The Feldman Agency. “Writing, recording and performing live music takes talent, creativity and hard work,” says Saltzberg, “and these same qualities are present in the work of VIGF’s master luthiers. Artists working at the highest level possible.”

Coloma is one of the leading next-generation guitar builders in North America. She studied in New York with renowned electric builder Roger Sadowsky and apprenticed with master acoustic builder Michael Dunn in Vancouver. “The festival fills a void in Canada that created when the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal ended its Guitar Show in 2013,” says Coloma.. “Luthiers from around the world loved visiting Canada and VIGF now provides a world-renowned destination in which to exhibit their artistry.”

Tickets are on sale now. Purchase and registration take place at

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VIGF Exhibitors Linda Manzer, Jean Larrivee, Grit Laskin, Sergei de Jonge and David Wren honour Canada's Group of Seven artists in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary

VIGF exhibitors Linda Manzer, Jean Larrivee, Grit Laskin, Sergei de Jonge and David Wren honour Canada's Group of Seven artists in celebration of Canada's 150th anniversary. 

As reported by the Globe and Mail, the Group of Seven Guitar Project is an exhibit commissioned by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and set to open on May 6. The exhibit will feature seven masterwork guitars made by seven of the country’s top luthiers – each instrument an homage to a particular Group of Seven member. 

Read more here:

Industry Builder Award


This award is presented to an individual who has made a significant and lasting contribution to the evolution of the guitar building industry. The presentation will take place during VIGF’s Luthier Conference, June 23, 2017 with Jean Larrivee in attendance and many of his famous proteges, including Grit Laskin and Linda Manzer.

The award is presented on the 50th Anniversary of Larrivee. It’s fitting that the award ceremony take place in British Columbia, the province where Jean launched his company to the international market. Larrivee manufactured guitars in BC from 1977-2013. 


A family affair:

The future of his company according to Jean Larrivee:

VIGF Luthier Conference


VIGF Luthier Conference is designed for professional luthiers, active hobbyists and anyone who wants a deeper look at the fascinating world of handcrafted musical instruments. You will have opportunities to meet face-to-face with the legends of the industry and mingle with your peers in a relaxed but professional setting. You’ll meet the pioneers of modern luthiery and the next generation of forward-thinkers who are shaping the future of the industry. Our one-day program encompasses two keynote speakers, 10 roundtable breakout sessions, our first VIGF Industry Award presentation, a recording artist panel, and a social mixer with live music to end the day.