Published: June 30, 2010

Maxville Gold Medal contest struggling for entries

For what is supposed to be one of the most prestigious solo piping prizes in North America, interest so far in the 2010 Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) competition is positively dismal. Only five pipers have so far formally entered the competition that only 10 years ago attracted as many as 30 contestants.

With six weeks to go before the July 30th contest, Jack Yourt, who organizes the event with the Glengarry Highland Games, is now actively calling out to professional soloists to get in their entry, with an aim to draw “a dozen or 15” competitors.

After the competition ballooned to more than 25 players, Yourt introduced a cap of 15 on entries, although he says that if the demand is there numbers could expand to slightly more than 20. He suspected that this year solo pipers may assume incorrectly that the cap has been reached already, when in fact numbers are way down.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had to go looking for applicants,” Yourt said, “but we’re hoping for a decent contest.”

He added that the Bar to the Medal event has a healthy entry already to the competition that is reserved for those who have previously won the Piobaireachd Society (Canada) Gold Medal.

Bill Livingstone will be the judge of the piobaireachd competitions this year.

Twelve competitors competed in the 2009 Gold Medal event, which was won by Alex Gandy of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The competition dates back to 1973 when it was started in Ottawa. Past winners include well known soloists such as Jim McGillivray, Jack Taylor and Greg Wilson.

Entry information is available at the Glengarry Highland Games’ website.

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