Winter Festival Jigging Contest draws enthusiastic crowd to Friendship Centre

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Competitors in the Men's Category took part in the Prince Albert Winter Festival Jigging Contest at the Prince Albert Indian and Metis Friendship Centre on Sunday afternoon.

The Prince Albert Winter Festival Jigging Contest drew a large crowd on Sunday afternoon at the Prince Albert Indian and Metis Friendship Centre.

Trina Joseph, the vice president for the Prince Albert Winter Festival, acted as host for the afternoon. She said it’s always great to have an enthusiastic audience.

“We still get a great crowd coming out,” Joseph said. “They just enjoy coming to watch the jigging and see all the families come out and support their loved ones who are going to come dance.”

Sunday’s event saw a smaller number of participants than in many past years, although it was a larger group than in 2023. The dancers include Tiny Tots, who are age six and under, all the way up to seniors. Joseph said as long as dancers can get on stage and move to the music, the jigging contest is happy to have them.

“It (jigging) has been a part of the Winter Festivals for as long as I can remember,” Joseph said. “It used to take place outside. When we had the King and Queen Trapper, it used to be part of that, but then we moved it inside and you know, we had that while for it was when it was online and now we are back here.”

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald A group jig with all participants concluded the Prince Albert Winter Festival Jigging Contest at the Prince Albert Indian and Metis Friendship Centre on Sunday afternoon.

Each event features judges, including local artist LJ Tyson this year.

“We have three different judges, and they come in with different mindsets and different experience,” Joseph said. “Some of them are looking for the different changes that (the dancers) are doing, that they are keeping in beat, they are keeping in time and that they are enjoying themselves.”

Every participant received a payout of some size for participating.

In the Tiny Tots category, there was a large group of young dancers who all received a payout.

In the Junior Women 13-17 category Rae-Lynn Smallchild placed first and Jacqueline Bird placed second.

In the Women 18-59 category Jocelyn Linklater placed first for the second consecutive year, Brandi Nelson was second and Carrie Pederson was third.

In the Seniors category Dianne Weaver and Wilbur Campbell split the payout.

In the Youth 6-12 category, Aiden Strongarm placed first, Cayson Pederson was second and Kaycee Pederson-Morin was third.

In the Men 18-59 category Moses Cook was first, Timothy Linklater was second and Logan Cook was third.

Joseph said the partnership with the Indian Metis Friendship Centre was great and benefited both parties. The Friendship Centre Youth Group runs the canteen each year as a fundraiser.

“We have a beautiful partnership with them and they wanted to host this event and they do it free of charge. We do it to support them and to and to help the youth group and foster that sense of community. because it’s the PA Winter Festival, so we should be engaging with all of our agencies and families,” Joseph said.

After the payouts, everyone who participated in the contest took part in a group jig to close out the show.