|June 30, 2001 - BC Highland Games
A new camera, a day in the sun; a new digital camera, bagpipe music; a new state-of-the-art digital camera, a day out with the family; a new really fancy state-of-the-art digital camera, and a Highland Games, but not just any Highland Games, the 70th B.C. Highland Games - oh, did I mention the new camera (Yaa hoo)..
I would have had a great time anywhere - it is so nice to be outside doing things, seeing friends, taking pictures (did I mention......?) but... This games is one of the best ... A wonderful combination of the best of Scottish (lots of things happening all the time), Canadian (great music and bands, well run for the bands), and USA (a lot of effort to ensure the entertainment of the large audience) style Highland games. Really well organised, very well attended, full of interesting activities and events, and a great success by any measure....
Venue - A beautiful stadium - covered grandstands a gentle green
grassy hill (as opposed to the brown grass often seen outside the Pacific Northwest), a
track, and a great (green) grass infield.
To the right in the photo above, was the dance area. In the photo to the left, you can see the dance competition area and another view of the covered grandstands. (Click on the photo to see a larger version - 41K)
Weather - it was great - warm, sunny, with a slight breeze for much of the day. Many pink faces at the end of the day testified to the excellent weather.
This photo was taken as the SFU PB came to play their competition Medley. (Click on the image to see a larger version - 60k)
Grade 2 and 1 bands played an MSR and a Medley, on the track, in front of the very full grandstands.
Solo piping and drumming events filled the morning.
These are, I think, among the best run outdoor games we see all year.
Each of the solo events was setup as you see here - a roped (ribboned?) off area for the competitor, a table and sun shade for the judge - and each judge has a steward to keep things running smoothly. A lot of work to setup, but it works so well!
The photo to the right is amusing I think (probably because I'm the dad) - Two solo (Grade 1) drummers are competing, with their pipers - foreground Carly Coulson plays her HP/Jig with piper Liz Dunsire, background Grant Maxwell plays his MSR with piper Alison Dunsire - (Click on the photo for a larger version 47K)
This is a very popular event with the crowd, and very interesting for the bands too. Won year by the Vancouver Police PB - I think you can tell, from the photos, that they do this very (very) well indeed..(Click on photos for a larger version - 67K - 53K)
The Band competitions are a great feature of these games. Grades 3, 2, and 1 each compete with a Medley and an MSR. Great shows! And it is easy to get good viewing positions too.
In this photo the RMM Grade 5 band (with no drummers!) is 'competing' - this is really just for the experience for the youngsters. Pipe Major Rob MacNeil (!) leads a large group of small pipers - you can see a bit more than half the 'circle' here. (Click on photo for larger version - 50k)
Sighted by your very aware (and tipped off) photo-guy-Bob..
This (unnamed - for his own protection) grade 4 band piper, and just a short time later, his identical 'twin' self, as lead drummer in a Grade 3 band.
No hat, no jacket.. is this a disguise? (Just kidding here.. the entire band was casual - it was a warm day.)
No larger version of these photos.. just a fun thing to share..
After the Grade 3 and 4 bands competed, but before the Grade 1 and 2 bands started, the SFU PB put on a show - singing, dancing and piping - Really! (How many pipe bands include singing in their shows? It is now a standard part of the SFU PB show) Great stuff indeed, the large crowd loved it - to say the least.. Click on the image for a large version - 77K.
One of the many details that creates a wonderful, memorable, and well run Highland games is a knowledgeable and experienced announcer. In this photo to the right is main grandstand announcer Skye Richendrfer 'at work' as he announces results to the massed bands at the end of the day.
(For those who don't know - Skye is a former member of the SFU PB, he is a piping judge, he sponsors the Mt. Vernon Highland games, he is Mayor of Mt. Vernon, and there is a lot more..) Click on the photo for a larger version - 34K.
Speaking of massed bands: Here is how it looked at the end. This photo was taken from the grandstands - beer tent (a popular place) is to the right just out of sight in the photo, and the crowd has left the opening for the bands to exit. Click on the photo for a larger version - 49K.
Also spotted in massed bands, (within the drumming section, as the Grade 1 & 2 bands enter), Duncan Millar with the largest 'tenor' drum seen by this photographer (he borrowed the drum for massed bands from the Grade 2 Maple Ridge PB). Duncan was having a great time with this, and that smile stayed on his face the whole time.. The drum sounded pretty cool too... Click on the photo for a larger version - 55K.
Click on the image for a larger version - 125K.
I have a new digital camera (Canon EOS D30) and with it I was fully out of control and took 241 photos at the Games on Saturday. I wanted one photo showing a bit more of what my new camera can do. Even the larger image is still a long way down in quality from the original (which was 1,500K in this case) digital image - But - yep, I'm having fun....
I really do appreciate the feedback, please keep those cards and letters coming..
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since July 1, 2001