February 29, 2004

Fort Erie cancels competitions

The Loch Sloy Highland Games, which have been held in the Canadian-US border town of Fort Erie, Ontario, have been cancelled, Piper & Drummer Online has learned, apparently due to “insufficient financial resources,” according to the chairman of the event.

Fort Erie has been the site of the Canadian Pipe Band Championships and has been a Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) Champion Supreme contest since its inception in 1990.

The town of Fort Erie, which has reduced its budget substantially over the last several years, has funded the event. Admission to the event has always been free, even when the contest moved from its small, picturesque location at Old Fort Erie on the banks of Lake Erie to a large racetrack venue within the boundaries of the town.

Organizers have stated that the event will continue, but more as a “Celtic festival,” moving back to the grounds of the historic fort.

Despite the loss of Fort Erie, the PPBSO has added a competition at Hamilton, Ontario, to the 2004 calendar. The Hamilton contest is scheduled for June 26.

Fort Erie, because of its close proximity to Buffalo, New York, and the US border, has traditionally been popular with American pipe bands, especially in Grade 2. Last year the City of Washington and 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) competed at the event in Grade 1, in addition to the Peel and Toronto police bands, with the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) winning in an upset.

The 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) had been planning to return to the competition, according to Pipe-Major Roderick MacLean.


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