Best of Batoche Judging Panel
A big part of Back to Batoche is the competitions and this year is no exception.
The only difference is that we have asked for video submissions from jiggers, fiddlers and square dancers and our judging is taking place virtually. We are incredibly pleased to have all of these distinguished artists with us this year.
Alex Kusturok is a third-generation Métis fiddle master. No stranger to Batoche, Alex is an award-winning player, having taken home the championship in British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta and nationally. He’s toured Europe and played with some of the finest in the business. MN-S is honoured to have him as a judge this year. To learn more go to alexkusturok.com.
Dean Smith has been playing Métis and old time fiddle music since as far back as he can remember. Smith continues to play venues in and around his community and has entertained at Back to Batoche previously.
Jason Lepine started playing when he was just seven years old. Influenced by his dad, Jason is self-taught and is passing on his knowledge to the next generation through lessons. He has been judging fiddle contests for many years.
Jigging & Square Dancing
Jenny Troock is an experienced and talented Métis dancer after growing up dancing with her grandpa from a very young age. She joined a Métis dance group when she was eight and performed and competed at numerous events. Jenny has experience as a competitor and as a judge at Métis festivals. Jenny is employed as a heavy equipment operator for Syncrude.
Jolene is an experienced jigger, square dancer and judge. She has been dancing for the Métis Child & Family Jiggers for 16 years and continues to perform at festivals, conferences and special events. Jolene has been an active participant as competitor and performer in Batoche for a number of years. Jolene is a social worker employed at Métis Child & Family Services working with youth at Victoria Comp High School.
Luc, age 25, has a long career within the music and arts industry. He participated in Métis Jigging competitions since he was nine years old and is a dancer for Métis Child & Family Jiggers. Luc continues to perform with the group and also works with Métis youth as a youth worker. His dancing since a young age gave him a knack for rhythm his whole life. He has now taken those skills into music. Now fronting his band “Calling All Captains” signed to Equal Vision Record, he has shown his Métis Culture across during his travels. He completed a Cross Continental tour in 2019 and now he’s ready for more!