IMPORTANT MESSAGE: We were sad to receive the news that NimbleFingers Bluegrass and Old-Time Musical Workshop and Festival will not be coming to the Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre in 2024.

For more than two decades, NimbleFingers has been a wonderful musical celebration and one of the highlights of our summer. This was a very difficult decision for organizers of the festival to make, especially coming after NimbleFingers 2023 was cancelled due to the Bush Creek East Wildfire.

What is Nimblefingers? A highlight in the Centre’s events calendar was the two weeks in August when we welcomed the NimbleFingers Bluegrass & Old-Time Workshops and Festival.

We will eagerly await word for 2025 and will keep our fingers crossed that this beloved event will return to the Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre!

Some participants have been coming for years. 


Workshops: Participants would meet in their workshop group each morning for 1 hour and 45 minutes and each afternoon for 1 hour. The workshops were facilitated by an instructor, have a specific instrument focus, and target different playing levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced). It might have been tempting to choose a workshop to spend time with a favourite instructor; however, participants were encouraged that they could get the most out of a workshop when they selected one that matched their playing level. Participants were highly encouraged to sign up for a workshop, but also offer the option of  ‘Picker & Grinner’ for those who want to join in on the NimberFingers fun without attending a workshop.

Pickers & Grinners: This was an option that would include everything except a workshop and participation in the Student concert. Pickers & Grinners were welcome to attend the student concert, but only registered workshop participants would play in the student concert. Organizers always did their best to provide opportunities for Pickers & Grinners to meet up with each other.

Arriving at NimbleFingers: First stop, check-in at Sorrento Retreat and Conference Centre’s main office. If you arrived on a Sunday, you might have headed over to the Kekuli for Camp Orientation at 4 p.m., which was followed by the first workshop, followed by the Welcome BBQ for all!

Lunchtimes: Outside of the dining hall, each day at lunchtime a fun bluegrass-inspired activity was featured. The activities might include the world-famous ‘Bluegrass Karaoke,’ The Thursday Sidewalk Sale, and many more! Meals are always a great time to connect with old friends and make new ones, in particular lunchtime with all the fun activities. Everyone was welcome to eat in the dining area, even those not on a meal plan.

Afternoons: The afternoons would consist of two 1-hour long drop-in sessions, and 1 hour of your workshop.

Drop-in Sessions: There would be a variety of elective drop-in sessions covering a broad range of interests such as, ‘BYI’ (bring your instrument), artist lectures or masterclasses, zany and fun themed jams, and sometimes just a chance to learn with another instructor, or another instrument, for an hour.

Evenings: The nights were always pretty action packed, filled with SO MUCH jamming. Every evening would include a concert (the Week-at-a-Glance itinerary would have the details), instructor-led jams and dances, and then tunes and songs into the wee hours for night owls! We could say more, but you probably get the picture!

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