Gigue de la Rivière-Rouge

Note: this post has nothing to do with guitars or blues music, so if you don’t feel like reading about the Festival du Voyageur, I’ll have more of my regular content next week!


On February 20, the Centre culturel franco-manitoban (CCFM) was home to the annual Jigging Contest as part of the Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Over 100 people came to the Jean-Paul-Aubrey Hall in the CCFM on Saturday to celebrate Winnipeg’s francophone culture and watch the annual Jigging Contest. The contest had four age categories including nine and under, ages 10 to 13, ages 60 and over, and an open category. Our host for the afternoon was the very entertaining Marc Rémillard, who says unfortunately this is his last year as the master of ceremonies. He introduced the dancers of all ages with a short sentence about where they were from and a joke or two.

The main contest saw with a total of 20 performers, and as the judges left to make their decision the crowd was entertained by L’ensemble folklorique de la Rivière-Rouge. The group includes Simon Reimer, a fiddler of 17 years who performed for the entire afternoon.

The 45th annual Jigging Contest ended with an award presentation for each category. Ryan Richard won the open category for his 15th time, and left the building beaming with a gold medal around his neck and a 200 dollar check in his pocket.


  1. Simon Reimer, Fiddling Extraordinaire Photo 1.jpg

Simon Reimer (left) looks into the crowd as the host Marc Rémillard introduces the experienced fiddler. /SPENCER MYERS.

2. Jean-Paul-Aubrey Hall

Photo 2.jpg

Over 100 people came out to enjoy this year’s Jigging Contest at the Festival du Voyageur. It was held in the beautifully decorated Jean-Paul-Aubrey Hall in the CCFM. /SPENCER MYERS

3. Front and Centre

Photo 3.jpg

The contest’s host Marc Rémillard embraces the camera before he introduces the next performer. He plans to move south and sadly this is his last year hosting the contest./ SPENCER MYERS

4. Stompin’ Sixties

Photo 4.jpg

Dancing in the 60+ category, Brian Beach jigs to the “Gigue de la Rivière-Rouge” played on the fiddle by Simon Reimer (left). /SPENCER MYERS

5. Half-Time Show

Photo 5.jpg

L’Ensemble folkorique de la Rivière-Rouge gave an amazing performance as the judges left to decide the winners for each category./ SPENCER MYERS

6. Le Voyageur Official

Photo 6.jpg

Marcel Sorin is this one of this year’s official voyageurs, along with his wife and children. He was greeting community members and helping to hand out medals to the contest winners. /SPENCER MYERS

7. Grand Champion

Photo 7.jpg

The winners of the open category line up beside host Marc Rémillard (far left). Ryan Richard (left of centre) won the gold medal and says this is his 15th time as champion of the Jigging Contest./ SPENCER MYERS


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