March 31, 2011

Maxville ups band prizing 17%; Grade 1 total purse almost $10k

Almost a dozen years have passed since the Glengarry Highland Games has adjusted the prize money offered to pipe bands, but the event that boasts the North American Championships has announced that it will up the total purse for band competitions by 17 per cent, including increasing the first-prize in Grade 1 to $3,000.

The change is the first major one since 1999, according to Gilbert Young, Director of Band for the Glengarry Highland Games.

The deal was struck at a March 12th meeting between the games committee and the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario.

Total pipe band prize money will now be $27,550, with a total of $9,700 on offer for the Grade 1 events. Young stated that in 2010 more than $40,000 in travel allowance was allocated to bands, not including provision for a meal to every member of a competing pipe band at the Saturday games.

According to Young, prizing for Professional solo events has increased by 57 per cent since 1999. He said that this is “mainly due to the Glengarry Highland Games MSR which offers a total of $1,000 to the top four players. The professional [piping and drumming] solo events have a total prize amount of $4,050.”

By comparison, the 2010 World Pipe Band Championships offered £1,000 to the Grade 1 World Champion.

In terms of total contests, the Glengarry Highland Games is the largest piping and drumming competition in the world. It is considered the marquee event on the PPBSO calendar.


  1. As Mallethead mentioned, kudos to the Games Committee for uping the cash, but seriously; is that what we do this for? I think not. I really doubt if there will be more bands competing than if the prize money had stayed where it was. It is the TITLE we’re after. The cash helps for those few bands that make the prize list, but it is most definately NOT the motivator (if it is for you, you’re not in the same game).

  2. Great news! They must have struck oil down at the fairgrounds in Maxville! Its true enough that money isn’t the prime motivator to compete however, a pipe band needs a decent flow of revenue in order to exist and the Glengarry Games is doing a marvelous service to piping and drumming in this regard. Also, would this not be considered the marquee event on the North American pipe band calendar?



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