Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships

Right now, one of the largest accordion festivals in the world is in full swing up in beautiful British Columbia — the 32nd annual Kimberley International Old Time Accordion Championships (or KIOTAC, as it’s known). All this week, accordionists are squaring off in such categories as old time, diatonic, light classical, popular music, and jazz. In case you’re wondering what qualifies as “old time” accordion, here’s the rule book definition:

“For the purpose of these competitions, ‘old-time’ shall refer to the manner and style in which the selection was written or is being played, not to the selection’s age or ethnic origin. Old-time music is fittingly described as the style and tempo that has been predominantly and successfully used for dancing the polka, waltz and schottische throughout a broad cross-section of Western Canadian communities during the past century.”

But it’s not all cutthroat competition — there are also featured performances from Bernadette Conlon, Murl Allen Sanders, the Ulster Accordion Band, and more. And just to give you an idea of how big this festival is: last year, they broke the Guinness Record for the largest accordion ensemble, with 644 accordionists playing together. 644! (Kinda puts the old Accordion Invasion to shame.)


  1. Hi Webmaster I just came across your site during a search.
    Thought you might like to attach the website for Bernadette Conlon Australia.
    Perhaps you might also like a look at
    The latter 2 are from her USA tour in 2005.
    She is currently in the Spokane (I think that is the way it is spelt) on the first leg of her homeward journey from Kimberley.
    Keep up the good work promoting our beloved instrument.

  2. Thanks for the links, Thomas. I added one to Bernadette’s name in the post above.