The 2014 North America Championships at the Glengarry Highland Games won’t quite reach the record entry of bands and soloists of 2011, but this year’s events on August 1-2 in Maxville, Ontario, will see 47 bands and more than 170 solo pipers and drummers hit the event, the world’s largest in terms of separate contestants.
According to the event’s Director of Bands, Gilbert Young, almost a third of the bands entered are travelling from outside of the home province of Ontario, including eight from the USA. The Peel Regional Police will defend their North American Champions title, while in Grade 2 the Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band will do the same.
The Grade 2 event has shrunk to five bands, down from the double-digit entries of the early-2000s, and Grade 1 will feature four bands, with only the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) coming in to compete against the three Ontario-based bands of Peel, the 78th Fraser Highlanders and the Toronto Police. But the four-band Grade 1 contest will be one more than in 2013.
For the first time, the entry to the traditional Friday Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada), Competition is being limited to 23 competitors, accepted on a first-come, first-entered basis. The games are bringing in one-time Maxville resident Colin MacLellan, who now lives in his native Edinburgh, to adjudicate the Gold Medal and former winners Bar to the Medal events.
Similarly on Saturday RSPBA judge Ciarán Mordaunt of Dublin will judge the solo snare drumming and bands.
Weather forecast for Friday and Saturday is mainly sunny, with a chance of thundershowers and a high of 26 degrees.
Stay tuned to pipes|drums for results from the 2014 North American Championships as they become available and HD video from the pipe band events.