Edmonton Guitar Show

September 30, 2023
EG News
edmonton guitar show-Feature image for post of guitar and show poster
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The Edmonton Guitar Show For 2023

Starting in 2015 and due to its popularity, this annual Guitar buy-sell event is a place where vendors, collectors, builders, and enthusiasts meet to showcase new/used stringed instruments, amplifiers, pedals and accessories.

The show also has its fair share of presentations, education, demonstrations, new guitar makers/luthiers, and tonewood providers offering various models and materials.

Read on as we share some of our highlights from the show.

Custom/Vintage Guitars

First, walking through the show, you will see what one expects: Used custom/vintage Fenders & Gibsons designed for targeting collectors and players alike. (See Image)

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of Vintage and Custom Fender and Gibson guitars

Vintage, Custom Used Fender & Gibson’s-Image taken by Gstringuitars.com

Moving through the halls, we came across…

Signature Models

Artist-inspired guitars like the…

  • Zakk Wylde Audio Model – with Mahogany body, Maple neck, Black hardware, Rosewood Fingerboard, 22 frets, ABR-1 bridge and EMG Pickups.
  • Yngwie Malmsteen – MIA Fender Strat with scalloped Maple neck, YMG Fury pickups and oversized headstock.
  • The 1977 Steve Miller Ibanez 2622 MIJ Artist model- with an Ebony Fingerboard, Pearl/abalone block inlays, and a violin sunburst finish. (See image)
Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of Signature model guitars

3 Signature Model Guitars- Image by Gstringuitars.com

Some of the unexpected “Jems” of the show were the…

Duesenberg Guitars

Company History

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of Logo for Duesenberg guitars

Duesenberg Guitars Logo – Image courtesy of Wikimedia and is under the Fair Use.

Founded in 1986 and located in Hannover Germany, this company produces electric guitars, basses, amplifiers and effects pedals.

The general production of the instruments is in Croatia, with the final setup and assembly done in Germany, following up with a branch in Fullerton, California in 2004.

These guitars are known for their classic and distinctive Art Deco Designs, attracting top names to their brand like Johnny Depp.

The one that stood out for us was the…

Alliance Series James Bond 007 Signed/Numbered David Arnold Edition

Inspired and co-created by Duesenberg and David Arnold (a 5-time 007 composer), this James Bond guitar was first played live by the co-creator for the “Sound of 007” concert in October 2022. (See Image)

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of a Duesenberg 007 model guitar

The Dusenberg 007-inspired Guitar/ limited edition – Image courtesy of Gstringuitars.com

Limited to a run of 75, the guitar is individually numbered, handmade, and personally signed by Arnold.

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of a Duesenberg 007 model guitar back view

The Dusenberg 007 guitar with 32/75 number on the back-Image by Gstringuitars.com

Another interesting find was the…

Cigar Box Guitars

Handcrafted by Winston & Fidel

After a chat with owner and builder Mark Kost, he explained the origins of the Cigar box guitar and how they came to be; immediately, I was interested.

His talent has taken him to build instruments for the likes of Jesse Cook, so why build Cigar Box guitars?

(Read on)

Early Days

This Calgary Company, with a name inspired by well-known cigar-smoking figures in history, Winston Churchill and Fidel Castro, is making cigar box guitars in 3 and 4-string configurations with standard 25.5″ scale lengths, 21 frets, pickups, control knobs, Mother of Pearl markers, Oak fretboard, Chrome or Gold coloured tuners, and Oak & Steel Bridge appointments, this is not your ordinary Cigar Box instrument.

Created from recycled stock, what started as a few-day project and a one-off model has become a passion. (See Image)

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of some cigar box guitars

Cigar box guitars in 3 and 4-string configurations-Image by Gstringuitars.com


This simple stringed musical instrument produces sound from vibrating strings on an empty cigar box as resonators.

In the 1800s, Cigars were originally packed in boxes, crates, or barrels as much as 100 per case.

After 1840, manufacturers provided smaller, more portable boxes of 20-50 cigars.

First Instruments

From this more individual-size packaging, the original cigar box instruments started in the Civil War with Soldiers making handmade models with strings connected to the end of a broomstick or an 1×2 inch wood slat added to a resonator.

These soldiers would make fiddles, banjos and guitars using the same concept, with the earliest models having 1 or 2 strings; and more modern instruments typically having 3 or more.

First Exposure

The first exposure of cigar box instruments goes back from the 1840s to the 1860s, found in illustrations copyrighted in 1876 from the Frank Leslies Illustrated Newspaper.

One of the illustrations by artist Edwin Forbes displayed two American Union Army Civil War soldiers playing a cigar box fiddle, showing the brand “Figaro.” (See Image)

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of an illustration for Edwin Forbes

An Edwin Forbes illustration of CW Soldiers playing a cigar box fiddle -Image courtesy of cigarboxstringband.com

Edwin Austin Forbes (born 1839 – March 6, 1895) was an American landscape painter and etcher who first gained fame during the American Civil War for his detailed and dramatic sketches of military subjects, including battlefield combat scenes.-Wikipedia

Early Models Were “Well Built”

The Cigar Box Museum curator and author William Jehle acquired 2 cigar box fiddles built in 1886 and 1889.

He was surprised to see that earlier string instruments were very playable and well-built, with the 1889 Fiddle having a well-carved neck and slotted violin headstock made for serious playing.

The Cigar Box Guitar Museum –is a free displaying company dedicated to cigar box guitars and is located in Speal’s Tavern, a small blues club in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, and contains over 60 antique and modern cigar box guitars.-Wikipedia

Rise Of The Cigar Box Blues

Most early players lived in poverty and, along with the Great Depression of the 1930s, could not afford “Real” guitars, so instead opted to use homemade cigar box instruments to play blues,

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of an a musician playing a cigar box guitar

Delta Silvertone playing a Cigar Box Guitar – Image courtesy of  AncientPoint.com.

Modern Guitars

With the modern revival gathering momentum and an increase of cigar box guitar builders and performers growing,  local luthiers are adding these guitars to their items for sale and implementing various personal touches such as pickups and resonator cones. (See Image)

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of an a cigar box guitar body with resonator holes

A 3-string Cigar Box Guitar by Winston & Fidel w/plug in jack, pickups, toggle switch and sound resonator openings- Image courtesy of Gstringuitars.com

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of an a cigar box guitar body with resonator holes and full scale with jack and controls

An Electrics Winston & Fidel 3-string Cigar Box guitar with Full 25.5 scale and 21 frets-Image courtesy of Gstringuitars.com

To See More Cigar Box Models From Winston & Fidel Tap Here

Guitar Clinics

Matty McKay, An Alberta Music Success Story

The Guitar Clinic for the day was topped up with 5 Time CCMA Guitarist of the Year Matty McKay.

Spending almost two decades in the Canadian music scene and having performed on such stages as the Grand Olde Opry and Canadian Country Music Awards, he has been inducted into the CCMA Musician Hall of Honors, along with performing and winning a JUNO for Country Album of the Year in 2019.

He was there to perform, talk Guitar, discuss his career, touring, music production, take questions, offer tips and tricks and share experiences as a pro from his years on the road.

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of poster for Matty McKay at the guitar show highlighting his clinic.

The Edmonton & Calgary Guitar Show Clinic 2023 presents a 5-time CCMA Guitarist of the Year, Matty McKay -Image courtesy of The Edmonton Guitar Show.


He is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist; while continuing to tour his focus has started shifting to the studio, where he has found a passion for music production, engineering, and mixing.

Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of Matty McKay at the guitar show highlighting some his playing

Matty McKay’s guitar clinic Edmonton-Image courtesy of Gstringuitars.com


Being a Telecaster Player for many years, PRS has recently made him a Telecaster-style Model which he showcased for the show.

Check out Matty playing in the video below.

Video Highlights

Wrap Up

Hosted regularly at the Italian Culture Center. Being in this building brought back some beautiful memories; this is where I grew up performing and cutting my teeth onstage.

So, outside of being surrounded by guitar vendors and enthusiasts, it was a real trip down memory lane.

What’s so good about these shows is that you find pieces of information and talk with other enthusiasts or professionals on almost everything Guitar, which is never a wasted effort.

Some Honorable Mentions

I was able to get my hands on…

Did You Like This Article?

Check out our post on the Slash Gibson Firebird


Please leave your comments in the section below, and if you have a favourite player or Guitar you would like us to review, leave a note below.

Stay the course, keep playing, and see you in a few weeks.

Feature image of guitar courtesy of  PIRO from Pixabay
More minor guitar images courtesy of the Edmonton Guitar Show
Edmonton Guitar Show- Image of the company logo

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Starting A Journey At 7 Years Of Age, The Love For The Guitar Only Became Stronger Going Into My Teens. This Leading To An Exciting Time Of Teaching, Performing, And Recording. Join Me Now As We Can Bring The Love Of This Instrument To Other Musicians Globally.

  • Very engaging and interesting article. It’s great to take part in something that gives you more than expected. Well done!

    Fran September 30, 2023 8:01 pm Reply
    • Hello Fran

      Thank you for your positive feedback on our post.

      And you are correct, it was a nice surprise to get exposed to deferent brands and builders that normally unless you are in one of these shows would never know about them.(i.e. the 007 Duesenberg)

      Also getting to play some of the signature models are always a joy, like the YM Signature Strat with scalloped frets.

      Again we appreciate you and do not hesitate to read more of our content and leave us your thoughts.


      Dino Paniccia October 3, 2023 6:45 pm Reply
  • Attending the Edmonton Guitar Show is a great way to immerse yourself in the world of guitars. I found it to be a great event to learn more about, as I know some people who’ve gone before.

    What aspect of the show are you most excited about? And if not, what interests you the most about this guitar showcase?

    I’m curious to know what you think. Thank you for sharing.

    Eric October 6, 2023 7:42 pm Reply
    • Hello Eric 

      Thank you for coming by and leaving your comments and thoughts.

      You are correct; these conventions or shows help expose you to several facets of this world that one would usually never experience. 

      What excited me the most was holding brands and models that most guitar shops never carry and talking to their owners about how these instruments perform, feel, etc.

      Like the Cigar box, Duesenberg and Signature guitars.

      Again, thank you for your feedback, and please visit some of the other blogs.

      Cheers from Dino@Gstringuitars

      admin October 7, 2023 8:08 pm Reply
  • Hi there,
    I just went through your article about the Edmonton Guitar Show, and it’s packed with so much information! I was particularly intrigued by the history and craftsmanship behind the Cigar Box Guitars. It’s incredible how such a simple concept has evolved over the years.
    I’ve always been a fan of unique and vintage guitars, and it’s great to see events like this that bring together enthusiasts and professionals. It’s also cool to learn about the different signature models and the stories behind them.
    How do you see the future of guitar shows evolving, especially with the rise of digital platforms? Also, are there any upcoming guitar makers or trends we should watch?
    Thanks for sharing all this knowledge. It’s always great to learn more about the world of guitars!
    Warm regards

    Makhsud October 6, 2023 7:50 pm Reply
    • Hello Max 

      First off thank you for coming by and leaving your encouraging comments on our site.

      The Cigar Box Guitars are a niche instrument, and Mark Kost has found passion in creating these beautiful guitars.

      About the signature models, I also agree that they always have a lot of stories in the collaborations between the manufacturers and the Artists that inspire the signature instruments, like the YM Signature Strat.

      In terms of Trends, despite the digital environments growing, like the recording platforms and social media, guitarists like to talk and show off their collections (i.e. the Duesenberg line collector); he was very friendly and full of information on his passion for this line of instruments. So I think that will continue, for we are still naturally social.

      About guitar makers, I like the Ormsby guitars out of Perth, Australia; their overall concepts and craftsmanship are on point.

      I was first exposed to this company in an Australian version episode of “Shark Tank or Dragons Den” and started to follow them.

      In the future, we will post more on their guitars and Duesenberg.

      Again, thank you for your comments, and feel free to visit again and leave your thoughts.

      Regards from Dino@gstringuitars

      admin October 7, 2023 6:43 pm Reply

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