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Visiting luthier is kept busy during Ajijic stay

Throughout the two-week run of the Scotiabank Northern Lights Music Festival, another key player has been working tirelessly behind the scenes – Leyland Hiphner, a luthier who is in Ajijic by courtesy of his employers, Geo. Heinl & Co of Toronto.

Derived from the French word for lute, a luthier makes or repairs stringed instruments: violins, violas, cellos, basses, guitars, etc.  These are usually divided into two categories, instruments that are plucked and instruments that are bowed. (A bow-maker is an archetier ... but that’s another story.)

Heinl was founded in 1926 and now boasts four generations of conservators and restorers of, and dealers in, fine and rare instruments. 

The company and its team of luthiers are responsible for restoring and maintaining the instruments for the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank.

One of six luthiers, Hiphner is the latest to join the George Heinl family. After obtaining his joinery degree at the British Columbia Institute of Technology, he spent the next two years making custom furniture for select clientele.

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