The NWT Pipe Band poses for a photo following a Canada Day "pop-up performance" just outside Yellowknife City Hall. Photo by Anson Chappell
The NWT Pipe Band elected a new executive at our 2020 Annual General Meeting held Saturday, October 10 at the Elks Lodge. Lori Clark was acclaimed Pipe Major after serving as the band's PR Officer for the past seven seasons. Kelly Fischer continues in the role of Drum Major for her fourth season. New to the executive this year are Sue McKinney as Secretary-Treasurer, and Dawna Stuckless as Quartermaster. Brad Heath stepped down as Pipe Major after 14 seasons and was acclaimed PR Officer (a role he held from 1999-2006 before becoming Pipe Major). Lorie Crawford and Floyd Adlem were appointed by Pipe Major Clark as the band's Pipe Sergeants. Notes: Lori is the band's second female Pipe Major; Lorie Crawford being the first in the early 1990s. Jeff Phillips stepped down from the executive after serving as Drum Major and Quartermaster for a total of 15 years.
The NWT Pipe Band's 2019-2020 season was brought to a close earlier than expected by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the NWTPB held optional, outdoor and physically distancing practices on Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings throughout the summer when the weather permitted.
Our 2020-2021 season will begin with our first indoor practice on Tuesday, October 20th at 7 p.m. in the Legion basement. Since the NWT's Covid-19 regulations prohibit playing wind instruments (such as the Great Highland Bagpipes) indoors, we will be practising on electronic chanters and practice pads for the foreseeable future. All Covid-19 protocols will be followed such as physical distancing and wearing masks when it's not possible to keep two metres apart.
NWT Pipe Band performs outside Avens: A Community for Seniors. Photo courtesy of Avens.
Although Yellowknife's Canada Day parade was cancelled due to Covid-19 concerns, the NWT Pipe Band took part in a mini parade held at Avens: A Community for Seniors. After the parade, the band made three surprise "pop-up" performances at locations throughout the city, and then retired for social-distancing cold beverages and pizza.
The NWT Pipe Band's annual Robert Burns Dinner & Dance at the Elks Hall on Saturday, January 25, 2020 was a huge success. Thanks to our host, the Yellowknife Elks Lodge, and to Northern Chicks Catering for amazing, traditional Burns Night meal with plenty of food to spare: neeps, tatties, roast beef, gravy, haggis and fresh baked buns!
The NWT Pipe Band held a weekend workshop on Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6, 2019 at Weledeh Catholic School. We're grateful for a weekend of great instruction with three members of the six-time world champions Simon Fraser Pipe Band: Grant Maxwell (snare drums), Jessica Reid (bass and tenor drums) and Andrew Lee (bagpipes). The NWT Pipe Band gratefully acknowledges the financial contribution of the NWT Arts Council in making this workshop possible!
NWT Pipe Band is a non-profit society established under the NWT Societies Act. Originally formed in 1969 as the Yellowknife Pipe Band Association, in 1978 it changed its name to the Northwest Territorial Pipe Band, to reflect its wider geographic scope.
The Band is a Grade 4 (recreational) highland pipes and drums band. Although we strive to be the best pipe band that we can be -- our emphasis is on having fun! The NWTPB performs at many events during the year including the Canada Day parade, St. Patrick's High School Graduation Mass, Relay for Life and many others. It also engages in a fundraising event each year - the annual Burns Night dinner and dance in January. Our most recent Robert Burns Dinner & Dance was held on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Fundraising is necessary in order to purchase and maintain instruments (drums in particular) and to provide for kilts. Members may perform at other events on request.
Each fall, the band executive – including the Pipe Major and Drum Major – is elected at the band’s annual general meeting.
There have been many high points over the course of the past 40 years, such as performing for
- Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Yellowknife in 1994;
- Her Majesty, Queen Margrethe II, the Queen of Denmark, when Greenland celebrated home rule in 1978;
- His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, at the opening of the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife in 1978; and
- Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during their visit to Yellowknife in 2012.
The Northwest Territorial Pipe Band plays frequently at community events. Although a recreational pipe band, it has played in competitions, most recently in Red Deer and Ellersley, AB in June 2003. Some of its members play in competitions on their own, most recently in Kamloops, British Columbia in 2015.
The Northwest Territorial Pipe Band offers lessons for beginners in piping and in drumming, starting in September or October each year. and running until the end of June. We also welcome people who are already pipers and drummers -- even if you are a bit out of practice!
The following is a link to a YouTube documentary on the NWT Pipe Band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTKU-qAvSHM .
The following is a link to another YouTube documentary: They Pipe Among Us.