RCMP Pipe Band members open 2011 Jack Webster Awards Ceremony

October 25, 2011 Leave a comment

MIke Chisholm, Julie Guillemin, Cameron Ballard, Rob Smith, Jack Webster Awards, 2011

Twenty five years ago, the Vancouver Police Pipe Band marched in to open the first ever journalism awards ceremony for British Columbia. Today, to celebrate the past quarter century of journalism, the now named Jack Webster Awards ceremony was opened by a quartet of pipers and drummers from the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band. The mini-band marched in head-table guests, lifetime achievement award recipients and other honored guests. It was a fitting tribute to Jack Webster who was well known to celebrate his Scottish heritage.

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Bagpipes by the Beach photo

October 10, 2011 Leave a comment

RCMP E. Division Pipe Band play as the sun shines. Photo by: Russ Samson, for North Shore News

The Bagpipes By The Beach Pipe Band Festival, held June 18 at West Vancouver’s Ambleside Park. Presented by the International Association of Fire Fighters, Local 1525 (West Vancouver), the event featured performances by a number of pipe bands, as well as the West Vancouver Youth Band. The event raised approximately $15,000,  supporting the West Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society. (North Shore News)

Categories: Performances

The perils of pipe band practice…and pepper spray?

October 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Was it tear-gas, pepper spray…or bear spray.  We may never know.

Every Tuesday, the band members of the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band gather at our usual spot to practice. The Justice Institute of British Columbia  is in an ideal, central location in New Westminster but you often must expect the unexpected.

Justice Institute of B.C.

The JI teaches public safety. This is where fire, corrections, traffic and police officers receive training and certifications. Throughout the day, various courses take place, including practice in dealing with offenders.  And subduing offenders can require practicing the use of non-lethal force – like pepper spray.  On Tuesday, there must have been a “pepper-spray” practice session in the gym.  Pipe Major Hugh Peden issued new chanter reeds to all band members, and Read more…

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E. Division Pipe Band and Welsh Men’s Choir to lift the roof off Christian Life Assembly

September 16, 2011 Leave a comment

Looking for a great evening of inspiring choral music along with some top notch piping and drumming?

RCMP E. Division Pipe Band

The Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir and the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band will present an evening concert on October 22 in Langley that is sure to lift you off your seats and set your hearts soaring.

The Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir (VWMC) is a 100 member, auditioned choir led by professional musicians that has been singing and performing in Vancouver and internationally for more than a quarter century. The band presents 15-18

Vancouver Welsh Men's Choir

concerts a year and this October will be joined by the E. Division Pipe Band at a concert at the Christian Life Assembly, 21277 56th. Ave, Langley at 8pm.

The E. Division Pipe Band is composed of active and retired RCMP members along with civilian pipers and drummers. The non-profit society is run by volunteers from the Buffalo Celtic Music Society.  The band will perform two sets of music from our repertoire while showcasing the drum corps and individual pipers.

VWMC concerts help to raise thousands of dollars for charitable causes. It also encourages youth involvement in choral music by inviting outstanding secondary school choirs to join them in many of their concerts.

The RCMP E. Division Pipe Band and the VWMC concert will be a great evening of choral and pipe music in a fantastic venue with great acoustics. Contact the band if you would like tickets, or mchisholm@scotia-international.com

Categories: Performances

E. Division Pipe Band member participates in Calgary Stampede Parade

August 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The Calgary Stampede Parade is one of the “grand-daddies” of parades in Canada, and RCMP pipe bands have always participated in the

RCMP Pipe Band, 2011 Calgary Stampede Parade

event. This year was no different, with a number of RCMP divisions providing musicians for a composite band. The following blog post is from E. Division drummer Chuck Glover who attended on behalf of E. Division.


The band was a combination of the K Division band (Alberta), the F Div. band (Sask) and me from the  E Div. band (BC).  The band was 15 pipers, four sides, one tenor and one bass, and two Drum Majors. The Pipe Sgt for this parade was Brent Blanchard, the Pipe Major from the F Div. band.  There were two troops of Red Serge members, 70 in all, along with Asst. Commissioner Peter German, and Asst. Commissioner Dale McGowan.  The RCMP was well represented throughout the parade in various historical entries. There were a few hundred horses throughout the parade, so trying to side step “road apples” was a lost cause. Read more…

Categories: Performances

RCMP E. Division PB performs at Bagpipes on the Beach

June 21, 2011 Leave a comment

RCMP E. Division Bagpipes by the Beach, June 18

A usual this spring, we woke up to a cloudy day with rain threatening on the morning of June 18. And as usual, it cleared off somewhat by late afternoon. As the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band marched onto the field at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver on Saturday, however, the sun was finally out. The crowd was large and appreciative of the pipe bands which showed up to perform for the West Vancouver Fire Fighters Charitable Society.

Along with the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band, those bands included JP Fell Pipe Band, the Seaforth Highlanders Regimental Pipes and Drums, the West Vancouver Youth Band,  Greighlan Crossing Pipe Band and the Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band.

Double Beats! Wrapping up our performance

participating. This is the middle of the competition season and for Greighlan Crossing and Triumph Street to take the time and provide entertainment, it says a lot about these bands. Speaking with DTSPB  PM Dave Hilder and he mentioned this was an opportunity for the band to give back to the community. I believe I also heard he cancelled Sunday practice, so having a Saturday night to spend with other musicians while enjoying the hospitality of the West Van fire fighters no doubt made for a great late evening.  I had bedtime stories on my late night dance card. Maybe next year.

Many thanks to the West Van Fire Fighters volunteers who did a great job taking care of the bands, friends and families and to the organizers for a well run, fun event.

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Bagpipes outside…finally, and On the Beach.

June 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Bagpipes by the Beach

It’s been a record cold spring here in Vancouver (there always seems to be a record of something or another falling in this city) and this weekend of June 3rd is the first sunny weekend of the year. We’re supposed to wake up Saturday morning with sunshine and birds singing, and it’s supposed to be blue skies all day long. And it’s supposed to be warm. Imagine that?  Could our spring or early summer finally be arriving? We don’t get much snow in Vancouver, but we sure pay for it in sunshine. So tomorrow in the predicted sunshine and spring warmth, I’m off to my favourite practice spot, among the Garry and Scarlet Oaks of Coquitlam. I’m sure the trees can wait. It’s great to practice the nice sets that our band has put together and get ready to perform at Bagpipes at the Beach, at Ambleside Park in West Vancouver, June 18.  The event brings together a number of the performance bands in the area, in an event organized by the West Vancouver Fire Department to raise funds for their charitable society. The evening is by donation. Bring the kids, a blanket, lawn chair, drinks for everyone, and sit back, listen and watch the sun set over Georgia Strait.  If it’s not raining, of course.
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Vancouver piper Darleen Miharija/Milloy passes away

May 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Darleen (Miharija) Milloy, 1963-2011

Members of the RCMP E. Division Pipe Band were saddened on Tuesday by the news from Pipe Sergeant Mike Guillemin that former well-known and respected Vancouver piper Darleen (Miharija) Milloy has passed away.

Darlene was a key member of the SFU Pipe Band and Vancouver piping scene in the 1980’s before she eased out of the competitive scene due to the onset of multiple sclerosis.

Darleen’s passing has been recognized in a number of online sites, including the City of Regina Pipe Band blog and a write-up in Piper & Drummer.  I include the P&D obituary here. Read more…

Categories: Band News

On the Day…on the silver screen

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

For all the bagpipe and drumming aficionados in the Lower Mainland, we have an opportunity to see something we rarely see on the big screen; a documentary about bagpipes, and in particular, a film about the global assembly of all-star pipers and drummers who form the band “Spirit of Scotland“. The band is composed of top solo competitors including 11 Gold Medal winners, who came together prior to the World’s to compete in Grade 1, facing off against the world’s top bands who have been practicing together all year.

Produced and directed by John McDonald, who calls himself a better filmmaker than piper, the documentary called On the Day: the Story of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band`focuses on a number of band members as they prepare for the one-day competition.    Read more…

Categories: Performances

Welcoming our new lead tip; adding to the history of E. Division Pipes and Drums

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

RCMP E. Division Pipe Band Drum Sgt. Carol Fraser

With the departure of our lead tip Gywn MacGregor, we now welcome our newest Drum Sergeant Carol Fraser, who moves up from Drum Corporal to take Gywn’s position.

Carol is a Burnaby-born musician who has been in the pipe band drumming business since very young. She started at age eight under Scott Robertson and her drumming career has been a steady rise since then. A core member of the Vancouver Ladies Pipe Band, she was part of the band in the 1980’s as it took the Grade 3 world championship in Glasgow, Scotland. As the band moved up into Grade 2, Carol moved into the lead tip position and again was at the forefront as the band competed at the World’s in Scotland during their 1990 Scottish tour. Read more…

Categories: Band News