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Passing: Top Canadian Fiddler and Supporter of the Music Dies at His Festival

The man who helped turned an empty farm field into one of the top fiddle festivals in Atlantic Canada has died.

Peter Chaisson of nearby Bear River collapsed Sunday while doing what he loved – playing or listening to fiddle music, wrote the Guardian of PEI.

He was 72.

The heavy downpour on the final day of the 39th annual Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival had driven the stage shows inside the ceilidh barn and it was just after 2 p.m. when Chaisson toppled over in his chair.

“We’ve lost Peter….such a shame,’’ said friend and festival goer Fran Stewart.

Before collapsing, a family member said the renowned fiddler was listening to his son perform and was telling someone how proud he was of Andrew, who had just returned home from Australia after travelling the past year.

Ironically, it was the last day of the three-day festival and it could be its last day period.

The 60-acre grounds were listed for sale earlier this month with Chaisson acknowledging he wasn’t a youngster anymore.

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