About Us

“To Encourage the Development of the Art of Violin Making”

Who we are: A group of amateur and professional violin (and other instrument and bow) makers who provide mentoring and instructions to fellow members.  The Association welcomes guests and those new to making, as well as players and the plain curious.  The goal of the club is to reduce the barrier for those interested in violin making by providing resources (books and videos), as well as mentoring and instruction.

Our constitution, as revised on January 16th, 1981:

  1. The name of The Association is the Violin Makers Association of British Columbia.
  2. The objects of the Society are:
    1. to encourage the development of the art of making violins, violas, cellos and stringed instruments played with a bow and the making of bows.
    2. to hold competitions for the making of stringed instruments played with a  bow and the awarding of prizes and recognition for the makers of the instruments.
    3. to hold exhibitions, displays and shows of the instruments.
    4. to assist and encourage the members by lectures and holding workshops.
    5. to provide a library and books for the use of the members and to publish books.
    6. to affiliate and become a member of associations and organizations having object in whole or in part similar to those of the society.
  3. The operations of the Society are to be carried on chiefly in British Columbia.
  4. In the event of dissolution of the Association, under the Board of Trustees, all library books and sales books, all the money assets, less $100.00 shall be given the Vancouver Public Library, the Secretary to receive the $100.00 to cover clean up operations.


The Violin Makers Association of British Columbia was established 21 Mar 1957 in Vancouver, with the assistance of the Rev George Wright.  The founding members included Wright, George Friess (first president), Ragnar Helin, Martha Kozak, and Pete Swindsay (all from Vancouver) and Clarence Cooper (from Victoria). The object of the association has been ‘to encourage the development of the art of making violins and the violin family’ and bows. The group has expanded over the years and in 1990 had 66 members, including persons from the USA (Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) as well as from British Columbia.  The association possesses a substantial library on the history and art of violin and bow making, and also published monthly (1957-64) The Violin Makers’ Journal.


City of Vancouver Archive: Violin Makers Association of B.C. display in 1957 P.N.E. Hobby Show

In 1957 the Association sponsored an exhibit at the Pacific National Exhibition Hobby Show.  The exhibit received much favorable comment and was one of the hgiliights of the Hobby Show.  The display was awarded a bronze medal by the P.N.E.  It was agreed that all instruments put on display would be in competition and thirty five instruments were shown.  This show marked the beginning of the competitions which the Association held annually for over 30 years following.  Competitions continued into the early 1990’s.

Contact Us

The club now meets monthly most months either virtually or in the lower mainland area.  For more information please fill in the contact form below: