Brianna Lizotte(left) performs with two drummers during the 2019 Canada Winter Games Opening Ceremonies on Feb. 15. Lizotte performed as part of a quartet during a spoken word segment of the evening. The Opening Ceremonies was a sold out event. Photo by Robin Grant/Black Press News Staff

Sylvan Lake fiddler says performing at Canada Games an amazing experience

Brianna Lizotte performed with three drummers during a segment of the Opening Ceremonies

The Opening Ceremonies for the Canada Winter Games showcased the talents of Central Alberta. From dancers to singers, storytellers to musicians, Central Alberta proudly showed all of Canada what they could do.

And, for one Sylvan Lake resident it was the chance of a life time.

For 18-year-old fiddler Brianna Lizotte, playing an event like the Opening Ceremonies was never something she truly thought of doing, but jumped at the chance when she was asked.

“I had never really dreamed of playing something this big,” said Lizotte after the Opening Ceremonies.

“It may have been in the back of my mind but, it never something I thought would be possible.”

READ MORE: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Lizotte was part of a quartet who performed during the spoken word segment of the event which promoted sportsmanship and competition.

She was the only fiddler on stage and was joined by three drummers.

The segment was amazing, according to Lizotte.

“I think it went really well. It was all so exciting and playing with the other drummers was just great, they are so talented.”

Lizotte said she was incredibly nervous in the lead up to the Games. With each rehearsal and practise she began to get more and more nervous.

The most terrifying thought going through her mind in the lead up to performing was the entire ceremonies were televised across the country.

“I suffer from pretty bad stage anxiety… all that kept going through my head was there were so many more people watching me than just the audience. This was being broadcast across the country,” she said.

The fear of messing up almost had her stepping back, but she recognized she had made a commitment.

“I realized I just had to go out there and play, because there were people depending on me,” Lizotte said. “If I made a mistake no one would know but me, that’s what I kept telling myself.”

The terror didn’t just end at playing the wrong note for the fiddle player, who has been playing for less than 10 years. Lizotte and each of the drummers had one line to say during the segment.

Lizotte said she was terrified of forgetting her line. Luckily this didn’t happen.

“In dress rehearsal I completely forgot my line… so I just kept repeating it to myself over and over again so I hopefully didn’t forget it again.”

Performing was the highlight of the evening for the 18-year-old but, she says everything about that night was great.

She enjoyed seeing all the athletes come together, experiencing all the hard work that went into creating the show itself and watching her younger sister take to the stage with the Red Deer Royals.

However, her absolute favourite part was watching Brett Kissel perform.

“I love Brett Kissel, and seeing him perform was probably my favourite,” she said with a laugh.

Next for the Red Deer College student is to finish up her first year at the college. She hopes to attend MacEwan University next year, studying music.

Lizotte says she plans to either become a elementary school music teacher or a full-time performer.


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