In 2007, Don Alder of Vancouver, BC, Canada placed 1st in this prestigious contest. Don says he is getting younger each year. In real life he is the Technical Production Manager for the Rick Hansen Foundation. This is his fifth time attending the Festival. He is also a songwriter and has placed three years in a row in the instrumental portion of the Songwriter’s Showcase here at the Festival. At the age of 13 he was given an electric guitar when he got sick and had to miss school for 6 months. In addition to the guitar he also plays the harp guitar. Alder and Rick Hansen were good friends as teenagers and after a day of fishing, the two were returning home when they had an accident and Rick suffered a spinal injury, but Don came away without injury. Rick went on to become a world-class wheel chair athlete and now Don is quite proud of the fact that he was a member of the Rick Hansen “Man In Motion World Tour.” Rick wheeled almost 25,000 miles in a wheelchair through 34 countries raising awareness and raised $26 million for spinal cord research and quality of life initiatives. Don still works with Rick Hansen today at his Foundation. A movie for the theaters will be released in 2008 on Rick Hansen’s life. Don’s character will be in the movie and some of his original music will be used in the film. As you can see, Don is a talented man and music is a major part of his life. Many of his videos can be seen on youtube.com. Don chose the Larrivee LV-10 Guitar by Jean Larrivee Guitars USA Inc of Oxnard, CA. He also takes back to Vancouver, BC the 1st Place Trophy and $3,000.