Meet Prince Edward Island-based award-winning fiddler Richard Wood.
This interview has been edited.
20 Questions with Richard Wood
1. Your first job.
I have been so fortunate to still hold my first and only job. I will never forget the first time I stepped up to perform on the stage of the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown in front of a capacity crowd at the age of nine. The energy I felt from the audience during my performance was matched only by the energy I felt during their standing ovation soon after I started. It was a feeling that still drives me today. Plus, they paid me $200 for my four-minute dance performance.
2. The job you always wanted as a child?
As a child, I dreamed of being an NHL goalie. Also, since I’m an army brat, I had aspirations to follow in my father’s footsteps and join our Canadian Armed Forces.
I am very proud to have travelled to the North Pole, Bosnia, and twice to Afghanistan to perform for our troops.
3. Your pet peeve.
That cereal still doesn’t come in Ziploc bags.
4. Your hero.
5. Your biggest indulgence.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
6. One thing no one knows about you.
I’m actually quite shy.
7. Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.
My fiddle. The other two would be people, not things: my wife and our son.
8. The one word your best friend would use to describe you.
Passionate or perhaps precocious, as Prince Charles put it after my performance in Ottawa for him and Adrienne Clarkson.
9. If they made a movie about your life, who would it star?
10. Hero or villain?
11. Your life’s motto/mantra.
It’s better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.
12. The last book you read.
I’m in the process of reading John Grisham’s “A Time for Mercy.”
13. The song getting the most play on your Spotify playlist right now.
I don’t have a Spotify list. However, I support musical artists by buying their CDs, and if I can’t do that, I buy my music on iTunes. I’ve been listening to a lot of Talisk, who are out of the UK and are making some really cool and cutting-edge arrangements with Trad music.
14. If you were a cartoon character, what cartoon character would you be?
15. What will it say on your grave marker?
A lifetime dedicated to bringing joy to the world through music.
A devoted husband and father.
16. Who would you most like to have dinner with?
Mozart, the Dalai Lama, and my beautiful wife.
17. Your idea of happiness.
18. If you could go back in time, what would you tell your twenty-year-old self?
Try not to get into your own way too much. Life will always find a way of working itself out exactly how it is supposed to. Trust the journey.
19. The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.
It’s hard to choose just one thing, but I would have to say that what makes me most proud is that my family is proud of me. They have always stood by me, supporting me and my music.
20. To be or not to be?
Always be respectful, kind, honest, and true to yourself.
Meet Richard Wood
For over three decades, five-time ECMA, multi-Music PEI Award-winning Richard WOOD has blown away sold-out audiences around the globe with his traditional-born, fiery brand of Celtic music.
Performance highlights include Epcot at Disney World, The Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. Wood has also performed on Good Morning America, The David Letterman Show, Rita and Friends, and on Parliament Hill for a nationally televised Canada Day celebration in front of a live audience of over 100,000.
From winning countless step dancing and fiddling championships to being named by MacLean’s Magazine as one of the Top 100 Canadians to watch in the 21st Century, Richard has shared stages and tour buses with heavyweights like The Chieftains, Rita MacNeil, and Shania Twain.
Wood has played for Prime Ministers, Governor Generals, the Queen, princes, princesses, and the Emperor of Japan. Still, he is most proud to have entertained Canada’s Armed Forces in the North Pole, Bosnia, and twice in Afghanistan.