Darth Fiddler and his violin – can we help?

Warning: Undefined array key "width" in /home/janislac/public_html/wp-includes/media.php on line 1622

Warning: Undefined array key "height" in /home/janislac/public_html/wp-includes/media.php on line 1623

Warning: Undefined array key "width" in /home/janislac/public_html/wp-includes/media.php on line 1622

Warning: Undefined array key "height" in /home/janislac/public_html/wp-includes/media.php on line 1623

2pm June 14th, please read below for an update

It started as a mention on Twitter:

(#yyj is Twitter shorthand for Victoria BC).

And before you knew it, everyone was weighing in.  Within minutes, we had the official news from the Victoria Police Department via their website. And while the site does not specifically name “Darth Fiddler” as the victim of this assault, nor mention that his means of livelihood – his violin – was damaged, it would appear that this is indeed the case.

VicPD believes there may be video of the assault and is asking for people with information to step forward. Witnesses attempted a pursuit of the perpetrators, but lost sight of them.

Darth Fiddler plays Voyageur

photo: Flickr – Lisa Cole

In the meantime, the consensus seems to be that we (on Twitter at least) find a way to get a violin for Darth. To that end, any suggestions are welcome.  I have a contact at a local music store who I will be approaching.

Why is this issue so important to me?  Our family is friends with the well known street performer Plasterman. One summer he mentored my younger son Elliott Loran, who then went on to perform as Son of Plasterman. In my personal experience, it takes courage aplenty to perform, “out there” in front of a group of complete strangers, without the benefit of a stage and the common apparatuses (and relative safety) of the “theatre” as we know it.

Darth’s loss is a loss to our collective. We cannot stand or sit idly by and let him be victimized. There are other young performers around the inner harbour. All buskers deserve to be safe.  How can we allow this to happen in the very year that our city is hosting the Victoria International Buskers Festival?

Stay tuned for more developments.

You can find Darth Fiddler on Facebook too.

2pm update:

A hashtag sprang up almost immediately #helpyyjvader.

Kirsty Sheldon has a contact at Larsen Music. When she approached them, they kindly and generously donated a violin.

And now Cabin 12 has contacted me, offering to host a fundraiser to help Darth (Randy) replace his lost income. More details to follow.

And, in the meantime, please remember, there may be video of the assault floating on the interwebs.

As of 2pm, “fiddler” is trending nationally on Twitter in Canada.  That is no small feat, given the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Here is the video from A Channel:

About @lacouvee

Community Builder. Catalyst. Speaker. Writer. Arts Advocate.

Passionate about bridging online and offline communities to effect positive change.

I truly believe that one person can make a difference and that we all have our own lives to live, creatively, while respecting the unique nature of others.


  1. Wonderful of you to promote this, Janis.

    • @lacouvee says

      Thank you Raul, it came about from the chat on Twitter last night. And, as well, I have lived with a busker and know just how difficult it is to perform in public like this. If we want to have a successful Victoria International Buskers Festival, the perpetrators must be found, and dealt with.

  2. Community support is needed form everyone—especially when the act is senseless. Thanks for writing this Post Janis.

    • @lacouvee says

      As the mom of a young busker (Elliott was 15 at the time and looked about 11) I will admit that I worried about this scenario. Yes, we must all step up to ensure that everyone feels safe downtown, including the performers that give Victoria a wonderful “feel” at this time of year.

  3. Thanks for putting this out there Janis! I love seeing the community come together. I am hoping Randy (Darth) is ok.

    • @lacouvee says

      Yes Jen, so are we. If you have a way to reach him, please let him know about the violin. We’ve emailed his manager Lisa.

  4. I live in Victoria and always look forward to going downtown to the waterfront and seeing Darth Fiddler!

  5. Sooo happy a solution (namely Larsen Music!) has been found, and mostly thanks to Twitter. Our kids look for him each and everytime we go by his ‘spot’ and will rest easy knowing Darth will fiddle another day 🙂

    • @lacouvee says

      Yes Erin, we’re all very happy a solution has been found. Now we need to let Darth (Randy) know how much people care about him. He hasn’t surfaced since the assault. Hopefully all will turn out for the best in the end.

  6. i saw this happen and helped tip off the police as much as i could. unfortunately his violin went flying and some strings on his bow were broken. it was completely out the blue – the kid just tackled him for no reason, throwing him into a steel garbage can and to the ground. it was awful.
    i’ve heard rumours that larsen music is donating a new violin for him, though i have no evidence to 100% back that up.

    • @lacouvee says

      Yes, Kirsty Sheldon sprang into action when she learned of this through Twitter, and Larsen Music has agreed to donate a violin. Now we just need to reach Darth (Randy). Thanks for letting the police know what you saw.

    • It’s important that the Victoria community know that this type of behavior is not going to be tolerated. It’s unacceptable.

      • @lacouvee says

        It is very important Raul! It is unacceptable. Buskers are vulnerable. We, the passersby, don’t see it like that, but they are completely exposed when they perform. They deserve our respect, and a safe community.

        Victoria is hosting the Victoria International Buskers Festival in July. Downtown must continue to remain safe for all, no matter the time of day.

        Thankfully people stepped in when the busker was assaulted, and people were willing to be witnesses and provide reports to VicPD. It remains however, that there is perhaps video of the assault. Hopefully it will surface, and the perpetrators apprehended.

    • Lori Beauvais says

      Hello JB: If you read this, please contact me at 250-995-7256. I am still investigating this event and need more witnesses! I do not believe we have spoken so would love for you to help me identify the assailant. Thanks…

  7. Warms my heart to read about the helpful bystanders, Larsen Music’s dontaion and your support Janis. What a caring town!

    • @lacouvee says

      Yes, it is good to know that people care enough to intervene as they were able and in a safe manner too.

  8. Jonathan McKenna says

    I just heard the news, I am shocked and relieved to hear that no serious harm was done. Acts like this justifies my social phobia. It will take a long while to surmount the trauma from this assail, hopefully the perpetrators will receive their comeuppance. It’s a shame that such a scenic place like Victoria BC is not devoid of morally squalid individuals such as the fiends that bum-rush a street entertainer. Convalesce well Randy, and just filter out this disgraceful ordeal this best you can.

    –Best Wishes
    – Jonathan

    • @lacouvee says

      Thanks for the comment Jonathan. We still hold out hope that the video the assailants apparently filmed will surface, and that they will be apprehended.

  9. @lacouvee says

    Thanks for posting this to your blog! All the credit goes to Kirsty Sheldon for taking the idea to Larsen Music, and of course, to Larsen Music for their very generous donation. Hopefully people will remember when next they need instruments or lessons!

    I am thankful we live in a community where people truly care. I’ll let you know about plans for a fundraiser (at Cabin 12) to help Darth (Randy) replace his lost income.


  1. […] alot about on twitter, and “fiddler” currently trending across Canada, my friend Janis has suggested we try to use this crowdsourcing to get a new fiddle for the infamous Darth Fiddler. How can we […]

Speak Your Mind