For centuries wherever highland games have been held, competitions take place in piping and drumming, highland dancing and the heavyweights. First held as tests of strength and agility among male competitors, modern Games have grown to include female athletes as well. The Glengarry Highland Games on August 3 and 4 will proudly present some of the finest exhibitions of the best in these events.
In highland dancing this year already over 200 dancers from across Canada and the United States have registered. During the two days of competition, events will be held for a variety of dance calibers. Pre-Premier, Restricted Premier and Premier National competitions take place on Friday. On Saturday, World Champions, North American, Canadian and Ontario Champions showcase their best in dancing at the Glengarry Highland Games Open Championship. Once again the John Angus Carther Trophy will be presented on Saturday to the S.D.&G. dancer with the highest combined points. International Judges Maureen Fyffe from New South Wales, Australia; Lynne Erbrick from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvannia; and Ann Johnson from Portland, Oregon will adjudicate the events. All three have very successful dance schools which have produced many world class dancers. They are all much sought after adjudicators and workshop leaders around the world.
A strong field has been entered into this year’s events with many international champions in the lineup. On Friday, the Professional Women’s group will start at 8 am with strong competition. Local favourites Lisa MacDonald from Alexandria and Laura Reusser formerly of Martintown will certainly be looking to upset one of the events; A competitor to watch for is Sultana Frizell from Perth, Ontario. She’s a Canadian Olympian and has just competed at her third Commonwealth Games this time in Australia in April.
Saturday’s main event with the Open Professionals will see a tough competition with Matthew Doherty of Antigonish, Nova Scotia returning to continue his impressive string of wins at Maxville and add to his four Canadian records. Jason Baines from Dalkeith will represent Glengarry in this world-class field of athletes.
The Glengarry Highland Games are considered to be the largest piping and drumming event in the world in terms of separate events and competitors. Those events include solo piping and drumming, the Piobaireachd competitions and the pipe band competitions leading to the North American Pipe Band Championships™ being presented to the winning band on Saturday evening. This year, 53 pipe bands will complete at Maxville; the Grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Band Competitions will take place on Saturday, August 4, 2018. The Massed Bands will be held at 1:00 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m. when results are announced and awards are presented. The Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) contests are held on Friday at the Anglican and United churches in Maxville. In addition, there are amateur piobaireachd competitions on Friday, as well as professional piobaireachd on Saturday on the main grounds. These competitions are the classical music of the pipes and offer an entirely different experience with the highland pipes.
Wear a splash of tartan or more and come to the Annual Glengarry Highland Games Tartan Ball. One of the most anticipated evenings for many, this year’s prestigious event will take place on Thursday, August 2, 2018 in the Metcalfe Centre as one of the kick-off events to the Games weekend. The Tartan Ball is a semi-formal highland gala with dancing, the Glengarry Pipes Band, highland dancers, the presentation of the Haggis ceremony and of course, a wee dram or two of whisky and a toast or two.
Guests will gather at 6pm for the social hour followed by a spectacular evening of delicious food, amazing entertainment, and dancing to the tunes of Glengarry’s renowned Brigadoons. Tickets are $65 (including HST) per person and may be purchased on the Games website or by calling the Games at 613-527-2876. Seats are limited so don’t delay.
Want to try something different? The Games offers a scotch tasting with some whisky nosing and a sample of 6 expressions featuring the Glen Grant single malts. Brian McQueenie from Ouidram will ensure you enjoy the tastings, whether you are a connoisseur or first-time sampler. Tasting sessions are at 2 pm and 4 pm on Saturday, August 4 and you can book online via the Games website. Hurry to reserve your seat.