Victoria Guitar Show set for its second coming

Teredo wood electric guitars with unique historic spruce tops from Vigilant Guitars. (Runegate Photography)Teredo wood electric guitars with unique historic spruce tops from Vigilant Guitars. (Runegate Photography)
A gentleman playing the bouzouki at a past Victoria Guitar Show. (Runegate Photography)A gentleman playing the bouzouki at a past Victoria Guitar Show. (Runegate Photography)
Jordan Hart poster for Victoria Guitar Show at Victoria Conference Center.

Hot on the heels of its debut show in 2022, the Victoria Guitar Show (VGS) will strum to a higher rhythm in 2023. Co-founder and event director, Trevor Woodland, said last year’s event was a great success given COVID-19 capacity restrictions had only just been lifted.

“The big victory was in showing Victorians there’s a vibrant and diverse group of instrument builders right in their backyard and for the exhibitors, it was confirmation they don’t have to sell themselves in New York or Toronto. We learned Victoria can become a hub for a guitar-centric festival in a ‘Goldilocks Zone’ of potential growth.”

For the 2023 edition, VGS will feature more vendors and exhibitors who encompass the whole of the instrument building industry at the Victoria Conference Centre on May 6th.

“We’ve made an effort to reach out to an eclectic mix of local wood suppliers, electric engineers, leather workers, repair technicians, finishers and photographers.”

Meanwhile, the crowning attraction of this year’s show will be the evening concert where Jordan Hart will headline at 9 p.m., with Emily Schultz and Calum Graham warming things up. “We weren’t able to feature artists last year due to the pandemic, but we’re planning to make the concert a staple of the VGS.”

Reflecting on how guitar-making has changed in the last 12 months, Woodland said smaller shops and luthiers have become just as competitive as industry leaders following supply chain issues with artists returning to touring post-lockdown.

“Because finished product inventories are still low, customers have become more open to trying new brands and experimenting with higher end gear. Advances in technology have also increased builder options.”

Woodland said VGS welcomes “all skill levels of guitar builder” though exceptional makers Nicole Alosinac ( and Wayne Irvin will be showcasing their talents this year.

When it comes to current guitar trends, Woodland said: “On the electric side, I’m seeing a trend towards “maximalism” with futuristic shapes that bring something new, punchy colours, and lots of dynamic contrasts between woods and hardware.

“On the acoustic front, we’re seeing real ingenuity. Riversong Guitars won the 2022 Best Acoustic Guitar of the Year with the new “brace-less guitar”, while local talent Sam Houston is merging carbon and wood veneers into ultra strong, lightweight and adjustable necks on arch-top guitars.”

Going forward, Woodland said VGS’s main goal is to create a “holistic” event.

“We’ve actively focused on the small builders who really lead the charge in bringing new ideas, technology and sounds to the hands of local players.

“For 2023 our goal is to introduce a “farm-to-table” approach by having the spotlight on the raw materials and makers in the morning and professional musicians performing in the evening. For future shows we’d also love to add seminars into the mix.”

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