Prairie West Fiddle Contest emphasizes on traditional fiddling in a traditional contest format.

Age categories will commence Saturday morning, followed by the Open category. After one round of play in each category, judges will have time to deliberate their final scoring. During judges deliberation, the Pure 'Laine competition will be in play. Award presentations will be made after the Pure 'Laine. An evening Championship Show & Dance will be held with participation by all contestants, and will showcase the judges, backup musicians and award recipients.

*There will be no registration or entry fee to participate in the Pure 'Laine competition.



1. Pre Registrations will be accepted for Age categories and the Open category.  Registrations may close prior to the contest, if the registration limit has been reached.  

2. Contestants may enter only one age category. Junior (12 & under) Youth (17 & under) Adult (18 - 54) Senior (55 + )

3. Contestants may enter an age category and may also enter the Open category. The Open category is open to all ages.

4. Three judges will evaluate entries based on intonation, timing, technical ability, style and feel.  Judges decisions are final.

5. Four string fiddles with Standard Tuning will only be allowed. 

6. Emphasis is on traditional fiddling that represents Canadian fiddle styles including: Country, Old Time, Swing, Metis, French Canadian, Bluegrass, Cape Breton etc.  Classical, Jazz, Blues and other non-traditional fiddle styles are not acceptable for this contest.

7. If a contestant plays over the allowed time, a signal will be given to the judges by an official timekeeper, and judging will cease immediately upon the expiration of the time limit.

8. Contestants in all classes will be scored and winners determine based on one round of competition.

9. Order of play will be arranged in registration order from earliest to register to last to register, and will be posted at the registration desk.

10. In the event of a tie in either the Age Categories or the Open, contestants involved in the tie will first play a REEL, and if required, a second tune will be a JIG.

11. In case of accidents (broken strings, PA problems etc.), contestants may replay at the discretion of the judges, starting with the tune where the problem commenced. 

12. No electrical amplifiers or pick-ups will be permitted.  Microphones will be provided on stage for the contestants use, and will only be adjusted, if necessary, by contest staff.

13. Competitors may use improvisation while preserving the meter and fundamental structure of the piece.  This contest does not encourage excessive improvisation.  If improvisation is used, competitors will be judged on the extent to which improvisation is effectively employed to reflect traditional fiddling.

14. Failure to abide by any of the contest rules may result in disqualification. 

15. All contestants shall qualify for the People’s Choice award.  


16. Contestants in the Junior age category shall play 3 tunes: a. Waltz/Aire b. Jig/March (6/8) c. Reel/Hornpipe (2/4).

17. Contestants in the Youth, Adult, Senior age categories, and the Open category shall play 4 tunes: a. Waltz/Aire b. Jig/March (6/8) c. Reel/Hornpipe (2/4) d. Tune of Choice

18. Juniors shall have 4 minutes to complete their tunes.    

19. Youth, Adult, Senior, and Open shall have 5 minutes to complete their tunes.

20. Contestants registered in both an Age Category and the Open must not play the same tunes in both categories Playing a tune that they have already played in another category will result in disqualification.
21. Contestants shall have no more than two accompanists.

22. Accompaniment shall be used in the form of chording only. 

23. A house accompanist will be provided.  If the contestant wishes to use the house accompanist, it is advised that they make arrangements with the house accompanist.

24. Clogging your feet is acceptable and is not considered to be one of the accompaniment.

25. An area away from the stage will be provided for rehearsal and tuning.