Ontario association retains 66% of membership in 2021
At its annual general meeting, the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario reported a 37% decline in membership in 2021 and promised that membership fees are “staying the same for 2022,” but foreshadowed that new “family” memberships and various membership tiers might be coming in 2023.
The PPBSO’s membership base stands at 634 individuals. The society requires all participating in pipe band or solo competitions to be paid-up individual member, but honours memberships with other recognized piping and drumming associations.
The group’s Membership Committee looked on the “glass half-full” side, saying, “Yes, a 37% drop in 2021 membership compared to 2020, but a full 66% of members renewed in spite of uncertainty and potentially no contests.” A PPBSO membership is priced at $45.
The organization replaced in-person competitions with a series of online events that drew significant entries from around the world over the year. The Ontario “season” concluded with a return in-person competition at the Cobourg Highland Games in Cobourg, Ontario, on September 11th on a fortuitously warm and sunny day at Victoria Park adjacent to Lake Ontario.
The association said it was considering more ways to offer value for members beyond competition with various workshops, education initiatives and social events “and other exciting developments.”
Membership present at the AGM voted in Kevin Shand as Vice-President, John Allen Treasurer, and Kris Bawden and Jamie Blacklock each as Director at Large. A motion to add a two-parted hornpipe solo event for Grade 2 amateur tenor drummers was carried.
Shand replaced Chris Dodson, who was vice president for a year, elected to the post in 2020 in the middle of a two-year term. Dodson cited a too-busy family and work life, and his desire to focus on his piping, as the reasons for not running again.
The PPBSO also unveiled an adaptation of its logo to mark its seventy-fifth anniversary year in 2022.
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