VIGF in the news

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Music agent turned guitar maker talks craft
Vancouver courier, August 3, 2018

Ordinarily, it’s tough to fire someone close to you – but not this time. Shaw Saltzberg was a newly minted booking agent but, inexperienced as he was, he knew who to keep and who to release. It was the early 1980s. Saltzberg was working with a small stable of singers who all showed promise except for one: Shaw Saltzberg. For the previous two years Saltzberg had been singing pop songs and folk tunes in pubs, bars and restaurants all over B.C. But when Saltzberg started representing himself as an agent, he began to question his choice of clientele.

“My big turning point in my early career was when I had to drop myself from my own roster,” he recalls. Nearly 40 years after sending that lonely guitar man down the road, Saltzberg laughs and re-imagines the final conversation. “Hey man, you can’t cut it . . . We had a good relationship but it’s time for you to move on,” he imagines telling himself.

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The Vancouver International Guitar Festival returns to the city next month
The Daily Hive, July, 2018

Guitar fanatics and music lovers will be flocking to the Vancouver International Guitar Festival, an annual celebration taking place in August. The two-day event celebrates and showcases the art and craft of the world’s finest acoustic and electric guitar makers.

Master luthiers (makers of stringed instruments) from across Canada, the United States, and Europe will have an array of electrics, acoustics, ukeleles, and basses on display, as well as the ability to do custom commisions. Master classes will also take place throughout the weekend, where industry leaders share their expertise on different techniques, new technology in the industry, maintenance and repair, as well as transforming theory into practice.

2017 PRESS


A New Era For Guitar Shows: The La Conner Guitar Festival and the Vancouver International Guitar Festival
Fretboard journal, july 2017

What makes a great guitar festival? I suppose it’s a bit like a good dinner party: You need a decent turnout (preferably with actual buyers), you need memorable servings (that would be guitars, in our case), a good, organized layout, but—just as important—there needs to be some positive energy in the air. And that last part, the true x-factor, is nearly always the hardest to pull off.

The Pacific Northwest has been lucky enough to have two great guitar festivals recently – both brand new and totally different. On Mother’s Day weekend 2017, La Conner, a sleepy little waterside hamlet in Washington State, held the La Conner Guitar Festival, an all-acoustic showcase featuring some of the country’s finest luthiers. (We sponsored it and covered it extensively here.) And then a month later, 100 miles to the north in Canada, we attended the debut of the Vancouver International Guitar Festival.... 


Creativity Meets Sustainability at the Vancouver International Guitar Festival
Reverb, June 29, 2017

It used to be that the question “Who played it?” was a key determinant in gauging the caliber of an item of guitar gear. These days, however, we’re fronting better, more incisive questions, like “Who built it?” and “Where did it come from?”

From June 23 to 25, guitarists had both questions answered at the first ever Vancouver International Guitar Festival. The event gathered a diverse group of sage and startup luthiers alike, whose handicraft told the vibrant story of Canadian guitar builders on the national and international stage....


Exhibitors showcase handcrafted guitars at Vancouver Int'l Guitar Festival
Xinhuanet, june 26, 2017

Luthier Michael Greenfield displays his handcrafted guitar valued 26,000 US dollars at the Vancouver International Guitar Festival in Vancouver, Canada, June 24, 2017. The 2-day Vancouver International Guitar Festival kicked off here on Saturday with more than 60 exhibitors showcasing their handcrafted guitars from around the world.


Meredith Coloma, Vancouver's luthier extrordinaire

Before she was old enough to vote, Meredith Coloma had apprenticed under the likes of Rodger Sawdowsky who has built guitars for some of the world's biggest rock stars, including Bruce Springsteen and Prince...


Festival international de guitares à Vancouver
Phare Ouest de Radio-Canada à Vancouver, June 22, 2017

Québec-based luthier Marc Saumier discusses the upcoming Vancouver International Guitar Festival in this French-language interview.


Guitar festival shines spotlight on luthier’s craft
Westender, June 20, 2017

From the student dorm to the stadium stage, the global popularity of the guitar is indisputable. So it’s curious that their construction remains something of an unrecognized art.

Perhaps that’s because it takes a certain type of person to build a guitar from scratch; someone like Andy Powers, who has been doing it since he was a kid....



Guitar heroes: Vancouver festival to celebrate luthiers and their craft
vancouver sun, june 20, 2017

Linda Manzer remembers it like it was yesterday, even though it happened in 1996. She moved her spray gun slowly from side to side, passing a blue mist over the soundboard of the guitar with hypnotic precision, gradually layering colour on the instrument she had painstakingly built. Manzer, a master luthier, had already toiled more than 100 hours on the project....

  Meredith Coloma

Meredith Coloma

VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL GUITAR FESTIVAL players and makers come together in the tone zone

Meredith Coloma is a luthier. She meticulously handcrafts her instruments, shaping British Columbian wood into magnificent stringed boxes of expression. Side-by-side with students, Coloma teaches her fine skills and shares her experiences. It was in one of her building classes where she met Shaw Saltzberg. He asked Coloma what was next on the young and experienced luthier’s list of aspirations...

  Vancouver guitarist Don Alder will perform and lead master classes as part of the inaugural Vancouver International Guitar Festival. Photo Dan Toulgoet

Vancouver guitarist Don Alder will perform and lead master classes as part of the inaugural Vancouver International Guitar Festival. Photo Dan Toulgoet

A celebration of strings, shredders and the wonder of wood
Vancouver Courier, June 16, 2017

Jean Larrivée has a pretty sweet set-up for a guy in his golden years: constant California sun, a huge yard and a golf course right across the street from his home.

And yet he prefers to putter around an indoor shop, covered in dust and wood chips from head to toe.

“I don’t like golfing and gardening is not for me even though I have a big garden,” Larrivée told the Courier from his home in Oxnard, Calif. “It’s one of those things where you become addicted — after 50 years of building guitars, you don’t just walk away from it.” ...

  The Vancouver International Guitar Festival will showcase a wide variety of instruments, including these Prisma guitars made from old skateboards by Nick Poufard.

The Vancouver International Guitar Festival will showcase a wide variety of instruments, including these Prisma guitars made from old skateboards by Nick Poufard.

Vancouver International Guitar Festival celebrates six-string art
Georgia Straight, June 14, 2017

It’s bringing builders and buyers from all over the world into town; features workshops, performances, and master classes; and is aimed at celebrating the world’s most popular musical instrument. So, as a title, “Vancouver International Guitar Festival” seems perfectly appropriate—if a little subdued, for what’s really going on could just as easily be called “The Art of the Guitar”...

  A three-neck guitar by Linda Manzer

A three-neck guitar by Linda Manzer

Guitar-makers from around the world gather for the first Vancouver International Guitar Festival
Inside Vancouver, June 13, 2017

From June 23-25, guitar makers, players, collectors and aficionados will gather for the first event of its kind in Western Canada. The inaugural Vancouver International Guitar Festival is three days of master classes, workshops, exhibitions and special events taking place at The Chinese Cultural Centre (50 E. Pender St.). There’s also live music, including a show from Hayley McLean. Fender recently listed the former Vancouverite as #1 of the Top 10 Guitar Goddesses, calling her “the notable Canadian beauty [who] is positively bursting with talent.”...