Each year, hundreds of bagpipes musicians gathered in various bands offer concerts to enthusiastic crowds
all over the world and they are the key element to any Highland Games.
Wearing the MacDonald kilt, Ottawa bagpiper John-Hugh MacDonald is pictured here on the Canadian stamp issued in 1997 to commemorate the 50th Glengarry Highland Games held in Maxville, Ontario.
Commissioned by Canada Post to take pictures of the event, Andrew Balfour shot approximately 40 photos from which four participants were chosen to figure on the 1997 Canadian official commemorative stamp.
The caber tosser, Harry MacDonald is native of London, Ontario while the dancer, Jennifer Blackburn, is from Port Perry, Ontario.
We also see Russell Pretty, the drummer, wearing the traditional kilt, jacket and hat of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa.
“….the stamp was “significant (because) a reasonably large chunk of our population comes from Scotland and a lot of people in Canada are involved in this. There are highland games virtually every weekend somewhere.”
“The Maxville games, which date back to 1863, claim to be the longest running continuous highland games in Canada.
(…) The Glengarry Highland Games are billed as the world’s largest.”
Even though I live near St-Eustache, in the province of Quebec, I’ve never attended the Glengarry Highland Games, which are only two hours driving distance. I will remedy to this shortly as I jotted down on my agenda the dates of July30 -31st, for this year’s event. It will be a great opportunity for camping as the site provides facilities.
The only Highland Games I ever attended were the Scottish Aboyne’s Highland Games event during our 2007 trip to Scotland.
It was very impressive! Seeing those big guys caber tossing is something you must see at least once in your life!
The Highland Games are definitely a very entertaining event were piobaireachd (or “peebrock” : pipe/playing music), fiddling, dancing and other Scottish traditions are kept alive with so much enthusiasm.
By the way, when was the last time you attended a Highland Games event? Leave a comment below to share your experience with our readers.
PS: Have you ever thought of starting a Bagpipes topical stamp collection? As you can see on HotPipes.com, there are more than 150 different stamps from all over the world that have issued stamps depicting bagpipes.