The Fiddlers of James Bay

Canada, 1980

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Scots from the Orkney Islands came to trade in Northern Quebec during the 17th century. They brought fiddles with them and introduced a new form of music to the Cree of James Bay. The music survived long after the Scots returned home. In this film two Cree fiddlers travel to the Orkney Islands, the birthplace of the music they learned from their fathers and grandfathers. The film captures the warmth and good will of this reunion.



Bob Rodgers


Mark Zannis

production company

National Film Board of Canada







ACMI Identifier


Subject categories

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Cree Indians

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Ethnicity

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Indigenous peoples - Canada

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Indigenous peoples - Social life and customs

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Ontario

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Quebec (Province)


Documentary → Documentary films - Canada

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Cultural relativism

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Ethnicity

Educational & Instructional

Educational & Instructional → Educational films

History → Canada - History

Music & Performing Arts → Folk music - Canada

Music & Performing Arts → Music - Scotland

Music & Performing Arts → Music and dance - Cross-cultural studies

Music & Performing Arts → Musical instruments - History

Places → Ontario

Places → Quebec (Province)

Short films

Short films → Short films - Canada




16mm film; Limited Access Print (Section 2)

16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)

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