The Prince Albert Winter Festival Jigging Contest returned to an in-person event for the first time in several years on Sunday afternoon at the Prince Albert Indian and Metis Friendship Centre.
Trina Joseph, the vice president for the Prince Albert Winter Festival and indoor events coordinator, acted as host for the afternoon. She was happy to see the dancers return.
“We love being able to have the Jigging Contest back in person because the crowd’s there, everybody is engaged and we get to see them there,” she said. “It was a fantastic experience to do it online because there were so many people who joined us, but nothing beats being able to see everybody in person.”
Saturday’s event saw a smaller number of participants than in previous years, since last year’s competition drew dancers from around the country. Despite the smaller turnout, Joseph said she was pleased with the event.
“There was a little less, but again, we are coming back after two years of going virtual, so this was a good turnout,” she said. “We had a full hall in here come to cheer them on. I loved that, that was great.”
The ages of the dancers involved spanned from Tiny Tots to the Senior category. Jospeh said they try to get everyone who wants to dance involved in some way.
The crowd was also a highlight for Joseph.
“It was a good crowd and we always have a good turnout for the Jigging Contest. Even the people who know nothing about jigging and who don’t jig at all always enjoy coming to watch it,” she said.
Every participant received a payout of some size for participating.
In the Tiny Tots category, the participants were Naliah Kingfisher, Lenaya Kingfisher, Kaivrey Corrigan and Benjamin Proulx.
Brandy Nelson was the lone junior woman to compete.
In the Women 18-59 category Jocelyn Linklater was first, Neanna Sasakamoose was second, Wanda McKenzie was third and Leighanne Dorion was fourth.
In the Seniors category Norman Kaysese and Diane Dreaver tied. A late entrant who did not give a last name was also awarded a payout.
In the Youth Open category, Tessa Simagis and Ruby Simagis each received an identical payout.
In the Men 18-59 category Brennan Linklater finished first and Donald Ballantyne finished second.
Joseph was just excited that the event had returned.
“It’s a tradition that will continue on throughout the festival,” she said. “We are always happy to have it and we are so happy to have it back.”
After the payouts, everyone who participated in the contest took part in a group jig to close out the show.