Luthier, Michael Whitney specializes in building custom Gypsy Jazz Guitars in the Selmer-Maccafferi style, as well as other stringed instruments from his workshop in Summerland, BC Canada. His small batch ‘boutique’ building ensures a focus on quality craftsmanship to produce timeless instruments.


We offer varying on-site guitar building courses to suit both your schedule and depth of interest.

Michael Whitney | Luthier






Every Whitney Guitar is handmade to our customer’s specifications. We use only the best hardware from manufactures such as Miller, Schaller and Waverly, as well as hand-selected tone woods such as maple, mahogany, pau ferro and black walnut. Coupled to a design background of over 20 years, every Whitney Guitar embodies a high standard of craftsmanship and detail.

We believe that a guitar should not only sound great, but should also posess an elegance and aesthetic that excites and inspires the player. That is a Whitney Guitar.

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Gypsy Jazz Guitars - Made in Canada

Ever since hearing my first Django Reinhardt recording, I’ve been inspired to both play and build gypsy-style guitars. Any connoisseur of the genre will often speak of the distinctive sound of Gypsy Jazz or ‘Jazz Manouche’ as being a marvellous blend of classical, Gyspy, dance music (such as waltzes, polkas, tangos, etc.), and American jazz.

Expressed through an acoustic all-string ensemble of lead guitar, violin, string bass and rhythm guitar, once heard, you’ll experience something you’ll likely never forget. The style speaks to most tastes, infusing a little romance, a bit of mystery and plenty of fireworks.

It is this very music that inspires me to build gypsy jazz guitars.


Have you ever wanted to learn how to build a your own guitar? Perhaps you’re a musician yourself with a ‘makers’ heart. Or, maybe you would like to kick off a career as a luthier and want to learn the basics of guitar building. Whatever your creative goals may be, the Whitney School of Guitar Building has a guitar building program that will align with your goals.

From one-month, on-site guitar building workshops to three-, six- and twelve-month inclusive guitar building programs, we’ll help you to establish a solid foundation and light a fire within you to continue on with your own guitar-building journey.

Learn more about our Guitar Building Courses


Guitar Building Courses for Veterans & First Responders

This is a program I’ve created to teach the art of guitar making to military veterans and first-responders who may be suffering from PTSD or other depressive disorders.

Being a veteran myself, I am acutely aware of the far-reaching effects that depression can have. I am also equally aware of how when the correct support systems are in place and one has the creative freedom to learn and apply new skills that speak to their interests, the healing process can truly begin.

Guitar Building for Veterans‘ is a program that welcomes military veterans and first-responders to learn how to build one or several guitars (depending on the guitar building course one chooses) and in turn, help a fellow veteran by donating a guitar to them. The program is reciprocal in that the student gets to learn the art of guitar making while experiencing the gift of ‘giving’; the recipient of the guitar gets to enjoy the therapeutic gift of music.

In short, the program helps to create guitars for vets, by vets.


I’ve had a passion for guitars since the age of fourteen. Coupled with over 25 years of experience in graphic design and visual arts as well as having a lifelong interest in woodworking, marrying my passions and immersing myself into the art of guitar building was a natural progression.

Recognizing that others also share a passion for guitar building is what led me to open a guitar building school in the Okanagan, BC. It is here that I now build my own line of custom guitars while teaching, inspiring others to follow their own creative passions.

That is the fire behind Whitney Guitars.

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Whitney Guitars Customer Reviews

Tommy Davy - Django Guitar Store
Tommy Davy
Guitarist, Historian & Guitar Technician / Django Guitars

Michael is a highly skilled guitar builder…

Michael is a highly skilled guitar builder with a LOT of capabilities. I have already worked with him on one project and his product, services and attention to detail are top notch. I look forward to collaborating more with him in the future!!

Hazel Morley
Hazel Morley
Life & Business Coach / Think Smart Training & Coaching

Dedicated to his craft…

Dedicated to his craft and passionate about music, Michael is keen to share his love of guitar building and support for Veterans. He has built a niche business from grass roots in a short time, and gives back to Vets through his workshops. If you have ever wanted to build your own guitar he has a program that will suit.

Carolyn Riha

As beautiful as the day it was made…

I brought two guitars to Mike for some TLC. One of them was a very unique 50 year old Brazilian acoustic that had been neglected for at least 30years. Mike was able to work his magic on it and make it look and sound as beautiful as the day it was made. He completed the work fairly quickly and all for a very fair price.I will continue to trust Mike with my instruments and have already recommended to him to others.

David Beauchamp
Purchasing Manager / Rimex Supply Ltd.

Came back mint!

Mike gave my 2009 Washburn N2 a complete overhaul and string change. Went the extra mile with a fret polish! Came back mint!

Randy Jones

Better than I expected…

I would like to tell you that I am very happy with the guitar. The look and feel are better that I expected. I feel confident that it will play well for years to come and I wanted to say thanks again for what you did.

Randy Bencke
Website Developer / Military Veteran / Electric Silk

Highly recommended!

Excellent job repairing the crack and tuning up my Martin, Sigma and Hagstrom guitars by Mike at Whitney Guitars. Highly recommended!

Jason Biggs

Very satisfied…

Michael is one of the best luthiers I have ever come across. I have been very satisfied with the work that he has done for me. Whether it has been setting the action, putting in a pickup or general repair on my guitars, his work has always been clean and professional and gets things done in a timely manner.

Jill & Kevin Fai
Musicians / Timbre Wolves

Went above and beyond on his work…

My mother gave us her beautiful guitar and it needed some restoration to sound great again, so we entrusted Mike at Whitney Guitars to bring it back to life. Knowing his careful attention to details and wonderful craftsmanship, we asked for his help. In no time we had the guitar ready to go and he went above and beyond on his work. We are very happy with the results. Trust him to handle your guitar needs or buy one of his own amazing creations.

Scotty Brown

The best guitar setup I ever had…

The best guitar setup I have ever had. The attention to detail and care that was given to my guitar brought it back to better than new. Perfectly polished frets, action that was bang on and the bone nut and saddle that the guitar has been begging for! A great service at the right price. Thanks Mike!

Bob Farmer

Surpassed her expectations…

I had the pleasure of having Mike do a set up on my wife’s lovely little guitar, and the touch, resonance and ease of play for her has more than surpassed her expectations. Thank you Mike, for your expertise and sensitivity to expression of personal taste. Nicely done!

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‘Whitney Guitars’ and the ‘Whitney School of Guitar Building’ specializes in creating custom archtop and Gypsy Jazz guitars as well as teaching the art of guitar making from our workshop in the Okanagan, BC Canada.

Learn more about our guitar building courses, guitar repair and restoration services and how to get your very own Whitney Guitar.