A Saskatoon law student fiddled his way to become Canada's top fiddler this weekend before a hometown audience.
James Steele became the first Saskatchewanian to take first prize at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association.
"It had never entered my mind that I would place that high," the 23-year-old said. "So I was incredibly happy."
As well as earning the title of Grand Master, the first time CGMFA contestant took home $3,500 after beating out 29 competitors from across the country.
"Usually in a competition of that size there's going to be a lot of nerves, and I had those during my first set, but the second it was very enjoyable and what made it more so was playing in my hometown," he said.
The competition took place at Lakeview Church in Saskatoon on Saturday. It was the first time in the CGMFA's 24 year history that the event took place outside of Ottawa.
Second prize went to Calgary's Ben Plotnick and third place went to Kyle Charron of Barrie, Ontario.
The people's choice award went to another Saskatchewan-based fiddler. It was also JJ Guy's first time competing at the national contest.
Steele has one more year of law school and said he'd like to balance a career with music, but he might just quit while he's ahead.
"I may as well retire now," he joked. "It doesn't get any better."