An NWT artist says a fiddle he has played since the start of his career has been found, a week after it was lost in downtown Yellowknife.
After a rehearsal on Tuesday, July 23, Wesley Hardisty and his bandmates were out on the town when a fight broke out in the area of 51 Ave and 50 St in Yellowknife.
Hardisty left his fiddle with a friend and tried to intervene to stop the fight. When he returned, the fiddle was gone and no-one could tell him what had happened to it.
Having shows upcoming, Hardisty said there was a bit of a panic – but he managed to purchase another fiddle for a good price.
"I don't know what to make of the situation. I was very shook and I'm still very shaken," he said about the past week.
Hardisty appealed for help via Lawrence Nayally at the CBC and, on Tuesday afternoon, heard his beloved instrument had been found.
"A kind fellow" had picked up the fiddle from Hardisty's friend, he said. The instrument was back in Hardisty's hands on Wednesday.
Wesley Hardisty, left, pictured with Billie Woods. Wesley Hardisty/Facebook
The instrument came into Hardisty's life at the age of 14, a year after he had begun playing music. A birthday gift from his parents and his musical mentor Zavallennahh Huscroft, the instrument has been with him for the 11 years since.
"I've done all my travelling with it. I've played all of my pretty major, milestone gigs with it. I've had it everywhere," said the fiddle player, who was born and raised in Fort Simpson and has since performed at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, during the visit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Inuvik, and on numerous festival stages and television sets.
Hardisty is also a winner of an Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Award for best fiddle CD, for his album 12:12 released in May 2011.
"It's weird to not have it. It's almost as if a piece of me is missing," he told Cabin Radio on Tuesday morning, before the news of the fiddle's reappearance had been shared with him.
"If it's gone forever, that's the way it goes. But I do hope to have it back, it's my home."