Published: December 14, 2019

Nova Scotia Tattoo gets some skin in piping and drumming development game

With a goals of “engaging youth and growing the piping and drumming community in Nova Scotia,” the Nova Scotia International Tattoo Foundation on December 16 will officially launch a funding program to assist in the development of youth Highland piping and pipe band drumming arts in the Canadian province.

The organization is a charitable division of the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, a massive annual week-long event that attracts thousands of visitors in mid-summer, with the 2020 edition taking place in Halifax from June 27 to July 4.

It helps that the Managing Director & Executive Producer of the Tattoo is Scott Long, former pipe-major of Grade 2 Dartmouth & District and currently with the Grade 1 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel). Before joining the Tattoo, Long was head of Music Nova Scotia. He made the revealed the news his organization’s annual fund-raising Holiday Reception on December 13.

Cash grants and instrument donations will be given to youth orientated non-profit organizations and individuals starting in April 2020.

“The program will support youth musicians through the acquisition, gifting, and loaning of instruments; and provide cash grants to assist with the costs associated with learning Highland bagpiping or pipe band drumming,” Long said. “The Youth Pipes & Drums Program will also provide non-profit pipe band organizations with grants to assist with the costs associated with workshops, travel to major competitions and events, uniforms and equipment, and professional development for instructors. Solo bagpiping and pipe band drumming competitors, both amateur and professional, will also be eligible to receive potential investment from the program for competition-related travel expenses.”

The program has been developed with the help of McCallum Bagpipes and renowned piper Bruce Gandy, who was at the December 13 event to present a new set of McCallum pipes and accessories that included a Gandy blackwood bagpipe chanter as an initial contribution to the program’s instrument donation and loan components.

“It is an honour to be representing a company known not only for great instruments but one that is also known for its deep generosity in supporting our art-form,” Gandy said. “Supporting our youth and working to grow our artistic community is important work, and McCallum Bagpipes is happy to do so. We look forward to seeing where this gift will take the next young piper from Nova Scotia.”

Guidelines and policies for the new funding program will be finalized this winter in consultation with relevant local organizations and their representatives. Detailed program information, including funding amounts, will be announced in March with applications opening on April 1.

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