HALIFAX -- Cape Breton fiddling icon Buddy MacMaster has died at the age of 89.

MacMaster was born in Timmins, Ont., but grew up in and lived in Judique, N.S.

In 2000, he was awarded the Order of Canada and credited with leading a Gaelic renaissance in the country and beyond.

MacMaster's citation for the honour says he began playing the fiddle as a child after finding his father's instrument in a trunk and went on to become internationally renowned for his talent.

Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie says MacMaster was a musical ambassador for Nova Scotia and Canada.

MacMaster's son, Allan MacMaster, is the Tory member of the legislature for Inverness