Tens of thousands of spectators and competitors converged upon Maxville for the Glengarry Highland Games on Friday, August 4, and Saturday, August 5. Solo bagpipers and bands from across Canada and the United States competed. And on the field, heavyweight competitors showed their strength in the events that put the games in highland games. On stage, highland dancers demonstrated their talent.

Special recognition was given at this year’s games to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Canada’s national police force is celebrating its 150th anniversary. It was originally founded as the Northwest Mounted Police (NWMP) in 1873. The RCMP Pipes, Drums and Dancers and colour party played prominent roles in ceremonies held on August 4 and 5. Deputy Commissioner Bryan Larkin was in attendance both days of the games.

On Saturday, John Wensink was welcomed as the 2023 Glengarry Highland Games Guest of Honour. Wensink grew up in Maxville and had a 10-year career in the National Hockey League with the St. Louis Blue’s, Boston Bruins, Québec Nordiques, and Colorado Rockies.

The weather was perfect for both days of the games, making the outdoor event enjoyable for the many who attended.

This year’s solo piping and drumming events brought in a record number of entries so much so that the competitions had to be broken into two groups to facilitate judging. The 78th Fraser Highlanders won the North American Pipe Band Championship™ over former games champions, the 78 Highlanders (Citadel) from Halifax who came second and the City of Dunedin from Florida who took third place. It was the last games for the Fraser Highlanders before leaving to compete at the World Championships in Glasgow. It was their fourteenth win of the title since the band was formed in 1981. The Peel Regional Police completed a perfect Ontario season undefeated in Grade 2 before also making the journey to Scotland to compete at the worlds.

Fresh from his win of the Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) the day before, Daniel Carr of Collingwood, Ontario, was the Professional Piper of the Day, and Hamilton, Ontario’s Cameron McKail was the Professional Snare Drummer of the Day. Results in all events will be
posted as they become available on the Games website and Facebook.

In 2024, the Glengarry Highland Games will celebrate its 75th anniversary.

Friday, August 4 at the Glengarry Highland Games. Photos: James Morgan

Saturday, August 5 at the Glengarry Highland Games. Photos: James Morgan