May 31, 2006

Sarnia Games cancelled

The Sarnia Highland Games, a Champion Supreme event on the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario’s calendar, has been cancelled, cutting the number of PPBSO championships to four.

In a news release co-chair of the event, Bill Baines, said, “A fund-raising campaign that came up short of where we feel we need to be to move forward, coupled with a committee that has dwindled to seven people has left us little choice but to pass on the event for this year.”

The contest had always been held in late-August, after the World Pipe Band Championship, an event that many Ontario bands consider the end of their competing season. Notwithstanding, Sarnia had enjoyed increased attendance by competing bands, reaching a record number in 2005.

“Despite continued growth in the number of contestants that register for the Sarnia Highland Games . . . we can’t seem to draw the crowds. Add to that a poor response to our fundraising efforts and we are left wondering if the community still wants this event,” said Jim Foubister, the other co-chair.

Organizers added that they are working to re-start the games for 2007, and “will spend the next seven months attempting to find sufficient funding.”

The demise of the Sarnia games comes at a time when several relatively new Ontario events are gaining popularity and momentum. Competitions at Uxbridge, Hanover, Kingston and Winchester have each reported significant growth for 2006.


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