March 31, 2008

Toronto area events cancelled due to lack of enrollment

Within a day of each other, two spring piping and drumming events in the Toronto area have been cancelled due to lack of entries and enrollment.

On March 27th the plug was pulled on the Toronto Indoor Games, which had been scheduled for April 5th in another attempt to resurrect the once celebrated event. Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario Toronto Branch President Gary Moore cited a low number of entries as the reason.The Toronto Indoor was also cancelled in 2007 due to a lack of interest from competitors.

Additionally, the Scottish Lion-78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band’s BandFest, the group’s annual workshop that it this year decided to change to cater to entire pipe bands looking to improve, was also cancelled due to a lack of interest.The band had altered the approach that it had taken for the most of the last 15 years, moving away from instruction of individual pipers and drummers. The event had been priced at $1000 for each band signing up for the full-day of comprehensive teaching.


  1. It amazes me how even in the year 2008, and the amount of money that comes in to the PPBSO every single year such as membership fees that get more and more expensive as the year goes on, that the PPBSO has not developed an online paypal system where you can enter these contests, pay by credit card and you are done. The PPBSO is one of the biggest societies in the world piping-wise, and they short be leading the other societies llike the RSPBA and whatnot with putting together a pay pal system where you can easily sign up for your yearly membership fee, enter all the contests you want, and be done in ten minutes. No more of this sending snail mail with a cheque… I don’t know anyone who carries cheques… And the website being under construction?? I have cousins in middle school that learn how to build websites, it isn’t that hard, and would be incredibly cheap to have it done professionally. Maybe too much of a rant, but the society would not be cancelling contests like this last minute if they were more accessible to the public through this type of forum. Just my two cents. Will

  2. It is a shame that the Indoors were cancelled this year, I would like to comment on what I think are contributing factors with this event not getting the entries. Firstly – I think that advertising of the event was very poor. Obtaining an entry form was difficult, I looked for information on up coming events on the PPBSO website and did not see anything on there for information on this event. ( I think they need to update that website more often and surely it can be better organized. ( that may come back to bite me ) It should be easy to go on to the PPBSO website simply click on Up Coming Events that are in Ontario and have everything there for everyone to see including maps and entry forms for all events that take place in Ontario at the least ( world wide would be a bonus). I know they do this for the regular games in Ontario. The other thing I believe is that there have been alot of changes in the Ontario Pipe Band scene this year and people are still trying to get things going for this up and coming competition season. Just a thought.

  3. All bashing aside , I think the main reason for all the low interest could be because of current travel , and expense prices . As fuel cost , and other travel cost rise , its hard for most to attend these high profile events . I would love to attend all or some of these workshops that are being offered , but the expense to attend is just not in the budget for now . Maybe the weaker U.S. dollar has taken an effect, for those of us who live in the U.S. , to try and attend contests or workshops across the northern border .

  4. I think that people were so busy whining about tenor drummers that they completely forgot about these events. It’s also possible that since mid-sections are such an important and influential force that they successfully boycotted these events knowing that pipe bands could not possibly survive without them .

  5. Blame whoever you want but,The indoor games was a very successful event long before the internet was our main mode of communication.

  6. As far as the cancellation of the workshop goes … I suspect that, logistically speaking, it’s much harder (and costlier) to get a whole band to travel to-and-from a workshop than it is to just higher a recognized expert to work with a band for the weekend at it’s own practice facility. Motivated bands are likely already doing this.

  7. Maybe Toronto isn’t the center of the piping universe that everyone who lives there thinks it is. Maybe the Fraser era is doing more damage than good to the development of piping in the region and this is the backlash. It’s funny that certain lauded experts and heir apparents are so critical and mean spirited about other bands in private yet are willing to take a paycheck to help” them out in public. Thinly veiled and no one is interested.”

  8. Man – I really find it funny when people bash other bands when they obviously have NOTHING to base it on. I think people often times misconstrue good ol’ fashioned intensity on the competition pitch with personal , deliberate meanspirit. I PLAY in the Frasers! DO I/we think that we’re ‘holier than thou’ just because we happen to be winning right now (which like it or lump it – IS a fact) ? No. In fact, I’m sure that pretty- much anyone who actually has taken the time to get to know us and hang out will find that we’re decent people who simply believe….with PASSION…. in what we’re doing. Sometimes this ‘confidence’ get mistaken for ‘cockyness’ by the uneducated . It’s too bad that events get cancelled, BUT….sometimes that’s the way the cookie crumbles…… they ( those organisations) will undoubtebly regroup anbd they’ll be back, I’m confident. To blame it on things like the ‘Fraser’ dynasty, or whatever you call it is pure silliness. AND….. furthermore, I don’t REALLY think the bass/tenor community would be so stupid as to boycott something like a contest. Would that really be in our favour? …Seriously. We’re way more intelligent than that. Look foreward to reading more of the comments. It’s sure been good lately!! Cheers, -johnny



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