Wilfred Prosper
1927 – 2005

Eskasoni fiddler Wilfred Prosper was born in Barra Head, Cape Breton to Peter Prosper and Clara Young. His grandfather and great-grandfather were both musical, and his mother inherited their love of music. When he was growing up, his family did own any instruments, so Wilfred used to spend many hours during his childhood visiting his neighbours and teaching himself to play on their guitar and fiddle. When he was a teenager, he bought his own guitar and his family gave him a fiddle. He heard many of his strongest musical influences over the radio.

He enjoyed listening to the playing of Tena Campbell, Winston ‘Scotty’ Fitzgerald and Angus Chisholm, to name a few. When he was eighteen, George MacKenzie of Pictou taught him the basics of music theory. When he was twenty, he started to play the Scottish music regularly for house parties. He learned to read music after he became involved with the local Mi’kmaq choir, and started buying tune books for the fiddle. He loved music that had been written by Cape Breton composers and had written several tunes himself by the time of his death in 2005. Wilfred Prosper is one of the many fine Native American fiddlers in the Cape Breton Celtic music tradition. He will also be remembered for his involvement with the Cape Breton Fiddlers Association of which he was a beloved member.