May 31, 2001

Toronto Police Sweep Northern Ontario Contest

Callander, Ontario – May 19, 2001 – Lured by a top prize of $10,000, three bands competed in the first ever Grade 1 pipe band contest to be held in Northern Ontario. The town of Callander, Ontario, outside the city of North Bay, was the setting for a weekend of pipe band competitions, heavy events, concerts and ceilidhs.

MacTarnahan’s Prince Charles Pipe Band of San Francisco, California, last year’s Grade 2 winners at the World Pipe Band Championships and now in Grade 1, competed against the Toronto Police and Celtic Flair of Hamilton, Ontario, in two Grade 1 band contests.

One competition was a traditional medley contest and the other was an “anything goes” beer tent event that allowed for the use of non-traditional instruments, and which was evaluated both by crowd applause and judges’ comments.

The Toronto Police won both contests, while Prince Charles placed second in the medley and Celtic Flair placed second in the open format contest. Prince Charles and Celtic Flair performed concerts for a packed beer tent on Friday and Saturday night respectively.

Judging both events were Ken Eller, Tom Anderson and Jimmy Agnew.

Dire predictions of swarming blackflies proved to be false, and the weather and setting were excellent for competition. According to organizers, “This was very much a first for Northern Ontario, this year’s success should pave the way for even bigger and better events in the future.”


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