After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the Elmira Vintage Guitar Show is back on at the Woolwich Memorial Centre this Sunday.
“We’re thrilled to be getting back into it,” said John Woods, the show’s organizer.
“There’s not really events like this around in Ontario,” he said. “Usually a guitar show is affiliated with a particular music store. But since we’re not tied to just one music store, many vendors want to come.”
The result is that the event is a large draw. The last outing in 2019 saw 1,500 people come to the show, he noted.
Woods says there is something for everyone at the Elmira Vintage Guitar Show with instruments ranging in price from under a $100 for beginners to tens of thousands of dollars per piece for serious collectors. But which vendors and how many Woods did not want to elaborate on.
“We like to keep it as a surprise for people when they come to the show,” he said.
The point is to give everyone who comes to the show an equal opportunity to discover great finds, said Woods. In that vein, another important rule Woods is strict about is that no one is allowed to go inside and take a peek, and they don’t publish a full list of vendors. This is so that people cannot scope out the deals ahead of time, said Woods.
If people arrive at 11 a.m. when the show opens, they have, “as good a chance as anybody else to spot that prize gem,” said Woods. He is adamant this is a feature that stays in place with the Elmira Vintage Guitar Show.
“Some people come from quite a distance to be here. So when they get here, we don’t want them to feel the show’s been undermined by someone,” he said.
He did say that some of the usual vendors will be back again including Folkway music, a company that sells high-end vintage guitars. Woods said he has a vendor coming from Halifax, two from Quebec and patrons coming from Windsor to Montreal. Vendors will be selling guitars, guitar parts and accessories.
One vendor will be selling violins.
This year there will be no live music at the show, as vendors said this made it more difficult to communicate with buyers.
Another important facet is that people can come and get their guitars appraised at the show. Woods remembers a previous year when one guy came with his dad’s guitar that had been under a bed. It ended up being an early 1960s Stratocaster with original parts valued at about $18,000.
It was, “totally shocking for that guy,” said Woods.
“I would encourage anyone to come,” said Woods. “If they’ve never been here, come out and have a look. The guitar people, they all love it and mark it on their calendars year after year.”
The show runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the WMC. Greg Godovitz of the band Goddo will be the special guest. Admission is $10.