Timmins singer places third at national competition

·2 min read

A Timmins singer is “thrilled” to win third place in a national singing competition.

Maggie Gignac, who was raised in Gogama, made it to the Top 3 at the virtual KI's Our Voices 2021 competition.

“I was thrilled when I found out I’d placed in third,” she said. “I spent the day and evening before announcements convincing myself that I’d be placed in third and that’s exactly what happened. I couldn’t have been any happier. I just had this gut feeling.”

The virtual competition kicked off Jan. 19 with the final results announced Jan. 24.

Before the pandemic, the singing competition took place at Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, also known as Big Trout Lake.

Gignac is not new to this contest. This is her third time competing and each time she has climbed up in ranking. Last year, she won fourth place.

“I’m really happy with the way things played out and grateful to have been a part of the experience for the third time,” she said. “It’s a really great competition run solo by a man with a passion for music, so a huge thank you to Noah Chapman for continuously putting on these amazing shows.”

There were about 45 participants this year who were split into two groups. Gignac had to submit four videos of her singing plus an audition video and a showcase video.

The scoring criteria were based on five categories such as audience likes, vocal talent, originality, stage presence and overall impression/preparedness. For each category, a contestant could receive a maximum of 10 points.

“The contestant with the most likes receives 10/10, the second most likes 9/10 and so on,” Gignac said. “In that category, I received 4/10, even after accumulating 700 plus likes on my videos, for both of my top ten performances. So I’m really proud to say with what I lacked, I made up in other categories to have climbed up to the third place.”

For Gignac, the challenge this year was the number of well-known singers and their big fanbase.

“The Facebook group grew from around 22,000 to over 29,000 within those few days of competition,” she said. “Unfortunately, in the virtual competition, likes play a role in your final scoring, giving well-known artists a bit of an advantage.”

The top 10 winners also received cash prizes. For third place, Gignac won $3,000.

“With all the uncertainties during this pandemic, I’m sure the cash prizes are most definitely going to help some people out greatly,” Gignac said.

Gignac’s work can be viewed on her Facebook page and Instagram.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com