Happy Canada Day!

As celebrations get underway around the world for Canada Day, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on some of the fantastic Canadian talent featured in this year’s Piping Live! programme. Read more to discover some of the highlights:

Piobaireachd of the Day – Uncovered: ‘Lament for Sandy Cameron’ with Jim McGillivray and Matt MacIsaac
Monday 12th August • The National Piping Centre Otago Street

In the opening event of our Piobaireachd of the Day series, Jim McGillivray and Matt MacIsaac will team up for a very special performance and discussion of ‘Lament for Sandy Cameron’ by Roderick Camobell.

In February, 2017, a purple, mimeographed sheet of music fell from an 1899 edition of Angus Mackay’s book that had been passed from Gold Medallist and composer Roderick Campbell (1873-1937) to his star pupil, John Wilson of Edinburgh/Toronto (1906-1979). It floated to Jim McGillivray’s living room floor where he and the visiting Donald Lindsay determined that the piobaireachd written on it in Campbell’s hand and titled “Lament for Sandy Cameron” was unpublished and unknown. Jim McGillivray tells the story of the relationship between Roddy Campbell and John Wilson and introduces this new gem of a tune. Matt MacIsaac performs the piobaireachd.

Book tickets for Piobaireachd of the Day – Uncovered: ‘Lament for Sandy Cameron’

Lunchtime Recital – Jack and Andrew Lee
Wednesday 14th August • The National Piping Centre

This year’s Lunchtime Recital series is set to celebrate musical duos, with one of Canada’s finest father and son duos featuring in Wednesday’s event. For 30 years, Jack Lee has been regarded as one of the world’s leading pipers, winning all of the top awards available as a solo piper and co-founding the Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, who have won six world championships. His son Andrew Lee also pipes with SFU, winning the World Pipe Band Championships with the band on two occasion (2008, 2009). The duo own Lee & Sons Bagpipes, producing hand-made bagpipes, pipe bags and chanter reeds.

Book tickets for Lunchtime Recital – Jack and Andrew Lee

Friday Night Folk (featuring Beolach)
Friday 16th August • Drygate

Our Friday night concert at Drygate will feature some of the finest international folk acts, including Cape Breton’s own Beolach! Since getting their start twenty years ago at a late night session during Celtic Colours, Beolach has established itself as one of Cape Breton’s most exciting and innovative traditional bands. Performing a lively mix of Cape Breton, Scottish and Irish tunes, the group features Mairi Rankin (fiddle, step-dance), Wendy MacIsaac (fiddle, piano, step-dance), Matt MacIsaac (pipes, whistles, guitar), and Mac Morin (piano, accordion, step-dance).

Book tickets for Friday Night Folk

Learn at Live!
Wednesday 14 – Thursday 15 August • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Our brand new workshop series Learn at Live! will also feature opportunities to learn about various aspects of piping from some of Canada’s leading pipers and drummers. On Wednesday 14th August, Jack Lee and J. Reid Maxwell will discuss Junior Pipe Programmes; Jim McGillivray will deliver a talk on Marches, Strathspeys and Reels with Angus MacColl, and Terry Lee will discuss Pipe Band Medley Construction with Robert Mathieson. On Thursday 15th August, Tyler Fry will lead a workshop on Tenor Drumming and Beolach’s Matt and Wendy MacIsaac will share their insights into Cape Breton Piping Traditions.

Find out more about Learn at Live!


Canada will also be represented in various competitions set to take place during Piping Live! 2019. The Masters Solo Piping Competition, the festival’s premier piping competition, will take place on Monday 12th August and Ian K MacDonald, Alan Bevan, Glenn Brown, Jack Lee and Alistair Lee among those confirmed to compete. Simon Fraser University Pipe Band and the 78th Fraser Highlanders are both set to take part in the International Quartet Competition 2019. Canada are also represented in our prestigious Pipe Idol contest for young pipers aged 21 and under, with Liam MacDonald competing in the first heat of competition on Monday 12th August.