Music Camp – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSSharday Torgerson

2018 Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Time Music Camp Dates are:

August 12-16 2019

Very few camps offer so many inclusions at such a reasonable price.  Northern Lights subsidizes the cost of all youth registrations.  We love to see young people benefit from master level instruction.

We feel that gathering together for at least one daily meal really helps camp participants get to know one another. Therefore, we’ve packaged our rates to include meal plans. You may choose packaged pricing that includes either *Lunches Only or *Full Meals.  All registrant packages include our Monday night BBQ, instrument or vocal instruction, full access to programming, daily snack breaks, onsite camping space.

*Lunches Only Plan – includes Monday Night BBQ, Lunches Tuesday to Thursday, Friday Brunch and all snacks.

*Full Meals Plan – Includes Monday Night BBQ, Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner on Tuesday to Thursday, Friday Brunch and all snacks.

Northern Lights offers registrants onsite open camping spaces at no extra cost with access to well lit, indoor washroom/coin operated shower facilities.

Onsite accommodations are assigned to house our instructors, however there may be a limited number available for rent on a first come-first served basis.  Please contact Gord Olson by email at or (306) 227-9453

There are a number of accommodations in the local area that are a short drive from our site.  The town of Big River links to several options for accommodations.

The Northern Lights Bluegrass & Old Time Festival takes place on August 17-19th,2018 immediately after our music camp. Our organization has benefited from the support of our music camp patrons year after year and as such, we are excited to announce that festival passes will be included with camp registration again this year!  That’s right – your camp wristband also gets you into the festival! 

We are always in need of volunteer help. We know a number of our music camp students always pitch in and volunteer at both camp and festival each year.  We’d like you to know that we appreciate your help and would like to encourage everyone to do a little bit of volunteer work this year. This need not be a full volunteer shift, but we encourage you to offer some of your time. We need you!  Please contact Deenah at to schedule a shift.

Festival passes are for camp registrants only and are non-transferrable. Guests at camp will still be required to purchase festival tickets or sign up as a full festival volunteer.

Our society appreciates the fact that cost can be a barrier to attend a music camp such as ours. We seek to help provide as many funding opportunities as possible.

Creative Kids is a Saskatchewan-wide program that creates opportunity for children and youth with financial barriers to participate in art and cultural activities. Since 2010, Creative Kids has supported more than 1,800 applicants in 100 Saskatchewan communities, and several of our camp alumni have benefitted from this wonderful program.  Apply to Creative Kids in your local area here:

Although each youth registration is subsidized, the Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Society started the Send a Kid to Music Camp program in 2009.  Successful applicants will have a portion of their registration costs covered. To apply for assistance please complete the form found here  Eligible participants will be between the ages of 5 and 17 on JULY 31, 2018. Application deadline is May 15, 2018.

Our society is also seeking funding for older youth (18-25) and even adults who are playing at an intermediate/advanced level and require some financial assistance to attend camp.  Please email Michelle at to inquire about the status of this funding or fill out the form found here. Eligible participants will be 18+ on JULY 21,2018.  Application deadline is May 15, 2018.

Please email and we will guide you through the process of renting an instrument at a reasonable rate.

While Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Time Music Society has a strong focus on introducing people to and educating people about the instruments that inform bluegrass and old time music, we caution against coming into the camp as a new beginner for most classes. A new beginner is defined as someone with an interest in an instrument, but with no experience on it. We recommend renting or buying an instrument several months prior to the camp and spending considerable time familiarizing yourself with how it is strung, how to tune it, and how to form simple chords. Knowing as much as possible about your instrument, and in particular, listening to songs that feature it, will go a long way toward making your camp experience a much more positive one. Northern Lights seeks to provide learning opportunities to all ages and we understand that people learn differently. Please note that there is a considerable amount of focused class time that some young children find difficult to remain engaged in. We offer our Fungrass program for children ages 5- 9, as we believe that music education is best interspersed with play at that age.

Regarding children ages 9 and up, we appreciate that some younger musicians have lots of experience with longer learning sessions and will be just fine, however there are some that may not be ready or prefer not to spend these longer periods of focused learning time. With this in mind, we do ask that parents give considerable thought as to whether their child is ready for a full class.

We are happy to assist with questions about how classes are scheduled at the camp. To get a better sense of how involved a class might be for a younger child, please contact us at

Absolutely not.  Maybe your main genre is rock and roll, jazz or country; that’s just fine! You will be exposed to skills and offered tips and tricks that you can apply to any genre.  You may be taught in a particular style, however that will only add to your skill level when playing your instrument or singing your songs.

Please attend the first session of the class you have chosen and if you are not comfortable, please speak to your instructor or the camp host and they will guide you.

Participants must choose only one class and remain with their instructor for the duration of camp.  It is very difficult for the instructor to build on the skills taught during each previous session if the class does not remain together.  To help you enjoy a full musical camp experience, several special interest workshops or ‘mini workshops’ on various topics are offered throughout the week.  So for example, if you take the banjo class, but you also like to sing, you may be able to sit in on a vocal harmony mini workshop.  If you play guitar but are curious about a dobro, sit in on a resonator guitar workshop.

Cancellations prior to July 15th are subject to a $75 cancellation/administration fee. Cancellations after July 15th will be considered 50% refundable.

Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Music Camp is a private event intended to foster an intimate learning environment for registrants.  Of course, children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and spouses/partners of adult registrants are welcome to attend as guests. We close the camp and its activities to people who are not registered or who have not made themselves known to us as a parent or a spouse of registrants. Guests are encouraged to purchase guest meal packages so they can eat together with their family members and the rest of the camp.  Guests will receive wristbands giving them access to their purchased meals and our evening programming.

First preference for contact:  Email
Second preference: Call or text Tracy @ 306.370.7360