Calgary Stampede introduces first-ever North American powwow competition

Powwow Times Founders Patrick and Marrisa Mitsuing are bringing powwow dancing to the 2022 Calgary Stampede. (Image credit/Calgary Stampede)

The first-time event will see the best Indigenous dancers from all over the continent come together to compete for $175,000 in prize money.

 

 

For the first time ever, one of Alberta’s marquee events will feature a new competition showcasing Indigenous customs.

The 2022 Calgary Stampede is set to host its first-ever powwow. The addition comes from a collaborated effort with Powwow Times, a media culture and events company founded by Patrick and Marrisa Mitsuing.

In an interview with 89.3 The Raven’s Rellik, Patrick expressed his excitement for the inaugural run as it also comes at a time where the public is being reunited.

“I think a lot of us are just finally getting used to the fact that we could travel, gather and feel comfortable with that,” he said.  

“It's so exciting because our company and the things we do revolve around gatherings and people coming together. When the mandates got lifted and people started gathering again, it's been such a rush of phone calls, bookings, things like that.”

Between July 12-14, the best Indigenous dancers from across North America will compete for $175,000 in prize money in an adult only contest.

The entry fee to compete is set at $75 and includes 4 admission passes for the 10-day Calgary Stampede event.

Dance categories are divided into seven categories: men’s chicken, men’s fancy, women’s fancy, men’s grass, men’s traditional and women’s traditional.

Registrations close at 5 p.m. on June 15, and drummers looking to participate can submit their name for consideration by emailing powwow@calgarystampede.com.

Patrick described his experience getting the event up-and-running as a moment of opportunity combined with preparation and luck.

“Marrisa and I have been involved with many communities, municipalities in teaching them and sharing culture to create gatherings like this,” he shared.

“When the opportunity came, we submitted a formal proposal to them of what this could look like. I just feel like with our experience and the people in our team, we were just ready for an event like this.”

Anyone wanting to register to compete can submit their application online through the Calgary Stampede website.

Listen to the interview with 89.3 The Raven's 'Rellik' here:

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News tip? Please reach out to me via email at elliott@windspeakermedia.com

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