Musician, instrument maker join forces

Phil Dwyer and Claudio Fantino combine efforts to create Sea Wind Instruments in Qualicum Beach

Award winning saxophonist Phil Dwyer and renowned instrument technician Claudio Fantinato have created a new musical instrument company called Sea Wind based in Qualicum Beach.

Award winning saxophonist Phil Dwyer and renowned instrument technician Claudio Fantinato have created a new musical instrument company called Sea Wind based in Qualicum Beach.

A new company in Qualicum Beach combines the musicality and passion of a home-grown music star with the brains and brilliance of a local instrument technician.

It’s called Sea Wind Musical Instruments, a Phil Dwyer Edition line of tenor and alto saxophones, adorned with the designs of a local first nations artist and assembled by local musician and instrument technician Claudio Fantinato.

Dwyer and Fantinato were friends years ago, playing in bands together in the early 1980s before they both moved away from the area to pursue music-related careers. They became reacquainted about 10 years ago when they were both back living in the area, and Dwyer learned Fantinato had other skills beyond playing music.

“I didn’t realize this when we were kids but he’s a mechanical wizard, it’s just ridiculous,” Dwyer laughed.

Fantinato approached Dwyer, a multi-Juno-award-winning saxophonist, with the idea to go into business last year, to produce quality instruments and accessories, and Dwyer agreed. Within a month the two were on a plane to Taiwan, which Dwyer said has become the hub of quality musical instrument manufacturing.

After a number of meetings with factory owners and musical instrument company representatives, the pair found all the components they were looking for to make their ideal saxophones.

The body of all the saxophones have First Nations engravings on the bell, designed by award-winning Aboriginal artist Jeremy Humpherville, from Coastal Carvings in Coombs. Dwyer said the design depicts the true life story of Luna the Killer Whale from Nootka Sound.

“It’s a really interesting, heart-wrenching story about Luna the baby killer whale, so that’s the design on the bell, a beautiful picture of an Orca.”

All the parts are shipped to the Island where Fantinato assembles them and tweaks them with custom features, and then Dwyer tests them out.

Dwyer said they are an extremely well-built, high-end horn at a mid-end price.

See the instruments and read more about them at

Just Posted

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Map of the site of a proposed 60-unit building project in French Creek. (RDN map)
Legal counsel wants board to award development permit for French Creek project

Issue is on agenda for RDN board meeting on June 22

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read