May 29, 2015

pipes|drums calls for official National Bagpipe Day in Canada

Canada_Bagpipe_FlagWith enough signatures from Canadian citizens to a formal petition, pipes|drums Magazine is hoping to establish an official National Bagpipe Day in Canada.

pipes|drums readers in Canada simply need to print this form, collect as many signatures as possible from Canadian citizens, and mail back Member of Parliament Kirsty Duncan’s office on Parliament Hill (address at the bottom of the petition page). No postage is required.

It is all in a move to gain official national recognition for the instrument that has become part of Canada’s sound and identity, not just for Scottish-Canadian, but for all residents of the country.

For example, at most citizenship swearing-in ceremonies, a piper will play, alongside a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Officer in his or her iconic full-dress of riding breeks, campaign hat and red serge tunic.

“Piping has a rich history in Canada, and it needs to be celebrated officially,” said Andrew Berthoff, editor of pipes|drums. “Outside of the United Kingdom, there is probably more excellent piping and pipe bands in Canada per capita than anywhere. Those living in Canada hear the pipes at almost every important ceremony, and the sound of the pipes is beloved by just about everyone I know in Canada. An official national day is deserved.

“In fact, every country where the Highland pipes are played should have an official national day declared to celebrate the instrument, its music and its players – the more positive attention the instrument receives around the world, the better it is for all pipers and drummers. Let’s start with Canada.”

Canadians can click on this image to bring up a pdf to print – and then gather signatures from other Canadian citizens.

Duncan agreed to have her office collect the petitions when approached by pipes|drums. She is a former champion Highland dancer and an avid supporter of the Scottish arts, and she said that having such a national day declared would be possible – provided signatures could be collected.

With less than four weeks left in the current session of Canada’s parliament, readers will need to act quickly.

Canadian pipes|drums readers are encouraged to print the form, take it to band practice and/or work, and ask fellow pipers and drummers, friends and family to sign on to the effort.

The fiddle was recently given a national day in Canada in a similar effort sponsored by another Member of Parliament. There is an informal International Bagpipes Day, but no country is known to have declared an official National Day for the instrument by its federal government on behalf of its citizens.

Stay tuned to pipes|drums for developments on the petition drive to declare an official National Bagpipe Day in Canada.




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