Toronto Indoor will mark ‘Freestyle’ event milestone
The Toronto Branch of the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario is having another go at resurrecting the once-vaunted Toronto Indoor Games, hoping that online entry, an expansion of events and a concerted marketing push will help to stimulate entries and interest.
The April 4, 2009, day-long competition at Moss Park Armoury in downtown Toronto will feature the debut of the new “Freestyle” Professional solo piping event, a first for a major association to offer on an ongoing basis.
“With the decline of Highland games in the Ontario competition circuit, the Toronto Branch of the PPBSO feels that it is essential that we do our part by re-establishing the Toronto Indoor Games for 2009,” said branch Secretariat/Treasurer Kelly Crowe. “We have made a conscious decision to be responsive to the spirit of the times and to those who compete.”
The event will also offer a mini-band competition, once a celebrated staple of the contest.
“Band feedback is . . . the rationale for offering a mini-band contest over other formats,” Crowe continued. “We have also surveyed bands who are expressing a desire to compete in concert formation for this event.”
The Freestyle solo piping event in the Professional grade was introduced at the PPBSO’s 2008 annual general meeting and approved by the membership as a replacement option for the traditional Jig event. Pipers must play a maximum-four-minute selection of their own choice.
Plans for the Toronto Indoor Games were scuttled both in 2007 and 2008 due to a low entry, which in turn was chalked up in part to a lack of communication.
“As much as anything though, [the Toronto Indoor] is a chance to socialize and re-connect with our pipe band friends that we haven’t seen last summer, but of course with the main focus of putting in the best possible performance,” Crowe said.