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Scroll this page to see up-dates on the Keppoch Concert, Robbie Burns Night, Tartan Day, Clan Thompson Concert, Our Survey, the Am Baile Mòr Highland Bus Tour, Call For Volunteers, and Vendor Information. Stay up to date with the latest news from the 2018 Antigonish Highland Games.

The 2019 Antigonish Highland Games

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Antigonish Highland Society The Antigonish Highland Society is pleased to announce the 2019 Antigonish Highland Games will take place from the 7th to 14th of July, 2019 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

In the lead up to the Games itself, Games Week runs from July 7th to 14th and features an array of cultural and entertainment events in Antigonish Town & County.

Stay up to date on the latest additions to the Antigonish Highland Games and Games Week by visiting out Event Schedule.

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155th Antigonish Highland Games sees a resurgence of interest in the Highland Pipes and Drums

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Written by:  Anne MacDonald

2018 Chairperson, Piping and Drumming

Antigonish Highland Games

 

Could it indicate a resurgence of interest in Highland piping and drumming in Atlantic Canada?  Our solo competitions for piping and drumming at the 2018 Antigonish Highland Games certainly saw some of the strongest competitor fields in recent years, with close to 90 registered solo competitors; from beginners to world class players at the professional level, spectators enjoyed many great tunes.  The field of over 30 competitors at the grade 5 and beginner levels, gives hope for the future of the music to the supporters and lovers of Highland piping and drumming in Atlantic Canada.

 

Saturday saw the presentation awards to the top amateur  competitors at the first three grade levels in the solo competitions.

The Grade 5 Piper of the Games, winner of the ROBERT WORRALL AWARD is:  Aidan MacNeil of the Cape Breton University Pipe Band.

 

The Grade 4 Piper of the Games, winner of the ALEXANDER MEMORIAL TROPHY is:  Dalton Falkner of the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).

 

The Grade 3 Piper of the Games, winner of the STEPHEN MINGO MEMORIAL TROPHY is: Calum MacKinnon from the 12th Wing Pipes and Drums, Shearwater.

 

The Grade 5 Drummer of the Games, winner of the Antigonish Highland Society Award is: Carter Green, Fredericton Society of St. Andrew (FSSAPB) pipe band, Fredericton, NB.

 

Adding to the spirit of competition at this year’s games included numerous out of region competitors including the Grade 4 Drummer of the Games, winner of the SAMMY MACDOUGALL MEMORIAL TROPHY Victoria Hingley, of the Niagara Regional Police Pipe Band, Ontario.

 

The Grade 3 Drummer of the Games, winner of an ANTIGONISH HIGHLAND SOCIETY award is Olivia Batten, College of Piping, Summerside, PEI.

 

The Nova Scotia Pipe Band Championships held Saturday, had 14 Pipe Bands competing in five categories.

 

 

In the Grade 5 Band March Competition

In 3rd place the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) grade 5 pipe band.

In 2nd place, College of Piping, Grade 5 pipe band.

In 1st place, and winner of the Nova Scotia Pipe Band Grade 5 Championship Trophy,  Niagara Regional Police, grade 5 pipe band.

In the Grade 4 Quick March Medley band competition

In 2nd place, the College of Piping, grade 4 pipe band, Summerside, PEI.

In 1st place, and winner of the Allan B. Cameron Trophy Fredericton Society of St. Andrew grade 4 pipe band.

 

In the Grade 3 March/Strathspey/Reel Competition

In 2nd place, the College of Piping, grade 3 band.

In 1st place, and winner of the Daniel P. Gillis Trophy Fredericton Society of St. Andrew, grade 3 pipe band.

In the Grade 2 March/Strathspey/Reel Competition

the winner of the NS Pipe Band ChampionshipTrophy for Grade 2 is College of Piping, grade 2 pipe band.

 

Topping off the Nova Scotia pipe band competitions, in the Grade 1 March/Strathspey/Reel competition, winner of the MacCullochs Trophy, the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) grade 1 pipe band.

The Antigonish Highland Games plays host to the Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Championships, annually on Sunday of the Highland Games week.  As is the rule at the Antigonish Highland games, those who attend get to hear the playing of world-class professional piping and Piobaireachd competitors. Sunday saw full fields in the senior amateur piping and drumming competitions held in the morning. The afternoon awards to solo competitors at the grade 2, grade 1 and Open (professional) levels follow:

 

The Grade 2 Piper of the Games, winner of the GORDON MACDONALD MEMORIAL TROPHY
is: Gillian Blaney, of the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).

The winner of the JOSEPH B. MACDONALD SR TROPHY for Grade 2 Piobaireachd is Clare Henderson, currently playing with the College of Piping.

 

 

 

The winner of the NOVA SCOTIA PIPERS AND PIPE BAND ASSOCIATION TROPHY for Grade 1 Piobaireachd is Brandon Gardner, FSSAPB (Fredericton, NB).

The winner of the DEANNIE BEATON MEMORIAL TROPHY for Grade 1 Hornpipe Jig is Brandon Gardner, FSSAPB (Fredericton, NB).

So it was not a surprise that the the Grade 1 Piper of the 155th Antigonish Highland games and  winner of the ALLAN BEATON MEMORIAL TROHPY for 2018, was Brandon Gardner, FSSAPB (Fredericton, NB).

The drumming competitions had a high participation level this year. The Grade 2 Drummer of the Games, winner of an ANTIGONISH HIGHLAND SOCIETY award, in a close competition between 3 top drummers playing in two eligible events with a tie breaker for first place decided by his placement in the March/Strathspey/Reel competition, Austin Trenholm, College of Piping.

The Grade 1 Drummer of the Games, winner of an ANTIGONISH HIGHLAND SOCIETY award is Tom Cuming of the Nova Scotia Highlanders pipe band, also in a tie breaking best finish in the March/Strathspey/Reel for his grade level.

 

 

 

IN THE OPEN PROFESSIONAL INDIVIDUAL COMPETITIONS

 

In Open Piping March (New Zealand Trophy )

3rd: Andrea Boyd, Ottawa (hometown Antigonish)

2nd: Bruce Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

1st: Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

In Open Piping Strathspey/Reel (New Zealand Trophy)

3rd: James MacHattie, College of Piping

2nd: Bruce Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

1st: Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

In Open Piping Jig

3rd: James Dyson, 8th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

2nd: Bruce Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

1st: Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

Winner of the Clan Cameron Shield for Best Open Jig is: Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

 

In Open Piobaireachd competitions at the 2018 Antigonish Highland Games,

3rd  place goes to Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

2nd place goes to Andrea Boyd, Ottawa

The Atlantic Canadian Piobaireachd Champion is Bruce Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).

The Open Piper of the 2018 Games is Alex Gandy, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel)

 

Open Drummer of the Games, and the 2018 winner of the ANTIGONISH HIGHLAND SOCIETY award is Bree Caldwell, 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel).

 

2018 Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Championships hosted eleven (11) bands in five competitions.

In the Grade 5 Medley band competition

In 3rd place the College of Piping, grade 5 pipe band.

In 2nd place, the Niagara Regional Police, grade 5 pipe band.

In 1st place, the Cape Breton University, grade 5 pipe band.

 

In the Grade 4 Medley band competition

In 3rd place the 12th Wings Pipes & Drums, grade 4 pipe band.

In 2nd place, the Niagara Regional Police, grade 4 pipe band.

In 1st place, the Dartmouth & District, grade 4 pipe band.

In the Grade 3 Medley Competition

In 3rd place the Niagara Regional Police, grade 4 pipe band which played a grade level challenge in this competition.

In 2nd place, the College of Piping, Grade 3 pipe band.

The organizers of the piping and drumming wish to humbly correct the announcement of the winner of the Grade 3 Pipe Band Medley competition: In 1st place the Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew, grade 3 pipe band.

The Grade 2 Medley pipe band champions for the 2018 Antigonish Highland Games is College of Piping, grade 2 pipe band from Summerside, PEI.

 

2018 Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Champions, in the Grade 1 Medley Competition, the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) grade 1 pipe band.

 

The last number of years at the Antigonish Highland Games at the Sunday massed bands award ceremony, a special trophy is awarded by a family member of Ian Green. This year Karen Green, mother to Ian Green (whose name is honored on this trophy) made the presentation to the best bass and tenor/mid-section drum corps as judged during the competitions:  The 2018 winner of the Ian Green Memorial Trophy for Best Bass and Tenor/Mid-Section is Dartmouth & District, grade 4 pipe band. The members of these sections  received the trophy and individual gold medals.

The 155th Antigonish Highland Games will be a games to remember. With near perfect weather conditions, large numbers of spectators and a recent record of amateur solo competitors, these competitions will be one of good memories and bold competitions.  The results hopefully indicate a growth in interest for listening and playing the Highland pipes and drums.

 

 

 

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Piper’s Pub Highland Games Line-up

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Ceilidh Sessions on the Patio

Tuesday – Friday (3-5 pm)
With Frank Beaton, Marion Dewar and guests

Evening Entertainment

Wednesday July 4
Scotial Scene (10 p.m. – close)

Thursday July 5
Brian Macdonald and Junior Fraser (5-8 pm)

Friday July 6
Jamie Benoit and guests (5-8 pm)
followed by 9 Mile River (10pm – close)

Saturday July 7
Ceilidh Session (6-8 pm)
Followed by Alter Ego Band (10pm – close)

Sunday July 8
Wrap Up Ceilidh (8pm-close)
With Frank Beaton, Marion Dewar and many musical guests

 

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Sailing the Rough Bounds

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Sailing the Rough Bounds”– 25 minute documentary … with chat to follow…

Thursday July 5th @ 4pm  Peoples Place Library, Antigonish

 

In 2016 Dan MacInnes (St. F.X. sociologist) and I went sailing in the Scottish Highlands with

Dr. Angus MacDonald, champion piper and MD who practiced medicine in Cape Breton for 10 years before returning to Skye.  We sailed around the area of Scotland from where many Nova Scotia highlanders came all those years ago. With the magnificent landscape of the Rough Bounds as a backdrop, Dan and Angus discussed and showed where many of the Nova Scotia families lived before they were forced to immigrate to our part of the world. A fascinating and rugged journey, so come on board, it will only take you 25 min.to explore the Rough Bounds by boat.

 

The Rough Bounds “Garbh-chiochan”

Translated from the Gaelic implies a region geographically and spiritually apart.

The remote and sparsely populated southwest corner of the Highlands,

from the empty district of Morvern to the isolated peninsula of Knoydart,

is a dramatic, lonely region of mountain and moorland fringed by a rocky,

indented coast with great views of Skye, Mull, Eigg and other islands.

 

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Pastoral Airs: Celtic and Sacred Music

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The Pastoral Airs: Celtic and Sacred Music concert will be held July 7th at 8 pm in St. Ninian’s Cathedral. A concert dedicated to the memory of James MacPherson. St. Ninian’s congregation was blessed to have had James MacPherson as its organist for more than 50 years. The concert will feature Pastoral Airs: Celtic Music Secular and Sacred Concert Organist Emery VandeWiel and other guests. This concert will be held at St. Ninian’s Cathedral, Antigonish. All proceeds will go to the Cathedral restoration.

Tickets can be purchased for $20 at the Antigonish Five Cents to a Dollar store on Main Street, at Mackinnon’s Pharmacy on Main Street, at St Ninian’s Parish Office, or at the door for $25.

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Highland Games 2018 Street Fair

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July 4 Highland Games Street Fair

Sponsored by the Antigonish Downtown Business Association,

the Highland Games Street Fair will take place on :

Wednesday, July 4th, from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Main Street Antigonish, during the Highland Games Week.

Our sponsors are: 989 XFM, The Town of Antigonish, The Municipality of Antigonish, The Casket, Canadian Tire, CIBC, Bumper to Bumper, RBC, Down to Earth and the Antigonish Downtown Business Association.

 

If you have any questions please contact me Rachel Power rcpeastcoast@gmail.com

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A Keppoch Wedding:

Three Shows Wednesday, July 4th, Thursday, July 5, Sunday, July 8

Romance is in the Keppoch Mountain air this summer as stylish Boston Bessie Beaton brings home an Irish lad to marry. You can be sure there will be fiddles, dancing, stories and songs but with the church gone, the marriage will have to take place in the Ceilidh House with three generations of MacLeans hosting the big do.

Bessie has a list of ideas for as elegant an event as ever happened along Boston’s Charles River but you may be sure matriarch Maggie MacLean has organized a wedding or two in her days so sparks are apt to fly on the Keppoch.

Before the wedding can get underway the Keppoch folk have a long winter of news to catch up on. An Irishman from up the mountain brings a story of a ruckus at a dance and a MacDonald fiddler stops to try out a new tune. Michael Lauchie drops in to give a glowing report of his moonshine trial and the comforts of Antigonish jail. More importantly, he is in a new line of business which means the wedding, God help us, may be a dry one.

Next to visit is that damned, nosy Mountie who is starting to get on Dunc’s nerves, still investigating the disappearance of a wayward sheep with a crooked horn.

But never mind all that, the cast, musicians and crew are all back from past shows, the priest is on his way, the bride is getting dolled up and it is likely word of a wedding will draw out an odd character or two. If you’ve been with us for the ceilidh and the anniversary/wake, you certainly want to attend the wedding of the season. If you’re new to the Keppoch shows, pull up a chair, tune your ear for the Gaelic and enjoy the wit and warmth of highland hospitality.

The Society for the Ships of 1801 is pleased to announce that they will be presenting  A Keppoch Wedding at the Schwartz Centre on the St.FX campus.

The concert is set in a farmhouse at the Keppoch around 1940. This is about a hundred years after the Scottish and Irish immigrants settled the area.

It is not long before the singing, dancing, stories and music flows from the Ceilidh House. All this is interspersed with some local humor and a bit of conflict. In actual fact, the Ceilidh House played a major role in the social life of the community. It was where news, community gossip, and fun was shared, where young people developed relationships and friendships were formed and strengthened.

In this concert time-honoured songs, a few hits from past shows and several new traditional style “homemade” ballads help tell a great story. By now it is apparent the show must have a Gaelic story. You won’t be disappointed! The performing artists are back to celebrate A Keppoch Wedding. Come along and celebrate with them!

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*NEW SHOW: — July 2018 —Clan Thompson Concert

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Clan Thompson Pipe Band and Friends

2:30 PM on Sunday, July 1st, 2018

will present their third annual Pre-Highland Games Concert at St. James United Church, Main Street, Antigonish. In addition to selections by the pipe band, individual band members and small groups from the band, the concert will feature:

Host M.C. Stellarton Town Crier Jack Langlois,

flutist Emery Van de Weil,

violinist Luke Henderson,

accordionist Martha Palmer,

the St. James Bell Choir,

the Shelley Rovers Dancers,

vocalist Amanda MacIntosh,

and keyboard accompanist Leona Williams,

.

Proceeds from the concert will go to St. James United Church.

Tickets: $10. Adults; $ 5.00 Seniors; $5.00 Children 12 and under. Tickets available at the church office or from any band member. Watch this page for up-dates on guest performers.

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2018 Grand Street Parade Registration is open!

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2018 Parade Registration Form
Antigonish Highland Games: Piping and Drumming School
The Antigonish Highland Games Grand Street Parade has become an annual Saturday morning family tradition for many Antigonish residents and visitors. Thousands of people line West and Main Streets to watch the many floats, vintage cars, and visiting pipe bands move through town.

As the unofficial kick off to the weekend field events, the Grand Street Parade begins on the StFX campus at the Charles V. Keating Millennium Centre and moves down West Street onto Main Street to end at the entrance to Columbus Field.

The parade is preceded by the Elite Mile Road Race, a high-caliber race including only 15 of the fastest males and female competitive racers in the area. The Elite Mile Road Race starts at 8:50 a.m. using the same route as the parade.

Once the runners have sprinted to Columbus Field, the vintage cars, marching bands, community organizations and businesses, and many other participants make their way to the field.

Cash prizes are available for first, second, and third place entries in the following categories: Best Vintage Car, Best Commercial Float, and Best Non-Commercial Float.

Entries who are registered to participate in the parade are asked to arrive at Millennium Centre no later than 8 a.m. using the entrance to StFX via St. Ninian Street. Judging begins at 8:15 a.m. followed by the presenting of the plaques and prizes. Judging will be based on presentation of the entry including the decoration, costumes, music, etc.

Please Note:

  • Pre-registration is mandatory.
  • Have a copy of your insurance on hand Saturday morning for the Parade Chair. Proof of insurance is needed in order to participate.
  • The Elite Mile will precede the parade.
  • Prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in each division will be given out prior to the parade.
  • Parade signs must be returned to Club 60 immediately following the parade.
  • Candy can be passed out by persons accompanying a float.
  • It is illegal to throw anything from a parade float.

 

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Celebrate Tartan Day!

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The Antigonish Highland Society is hosting a 2018 Tartan Day Ceilidh. Lots of great entertainment, fiddle music, square sets, come out for the fun!

Date: Wednesday, April 4th, 2018, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Piper’s Pub. 

Best Highland Dress wins a Saturday Field Pass to the Antigonish Highland Games!

This is a free event, but donations at the door are greatly appreciated!

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