For centuries wherever highland games have been held, competitions take place in piping and drumming, highland dancing and the heavyweights. First held as tests of strength and agility among male competitors, modern Games have grown to include female athletes as well. The Glengarry Highland Games on August 3rd and 4th will proudly present some of the finest exhibitions of the best in these events.
Dancers Coming to the Games in Large Numbers
In highland dancing this year already over 200 dancers from across Canada and the United States have registered. During the two days of competition, events will be held for a variety of dance calibers. Pre-Premier, Restricted Premier and Premier National competitions take place on Friday. On Saturday, World Champions, North American, Canadian and Ontario Champions showcase their best in dancing at the Glengarry Highland Games Open Championship. Once again the John Angus Carther Trophy will be presented on Saturday to the S.D.& G. dancer with the highest combined points. International Judges Maureen Fyffe from New South Wales, Australia Lynne Erbrick from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvannia and Ann Johnson from Portland, Oregon will adjudicate the events. All three have very successful dance schools which have produced many world class dancers. As well they are all much sought after adjudicators and workshop leaders around the world.
The Heavyweight Competitions Raise The Bar
A strong field has been entered into this year’s events with many international champions in the lineup. On Friday, the Professional Women’s group will start at 8 am with strong competition among Heather Boundy, Ontario, Susie Lajoie, British Columbia and Josee Morneau from Manitoba. Local favourites Lisa MacDonald from Alexandria and Laura Reusser formally of Martintown will certainly be looking to upset one of the events.
A competitor to watch for is Sultana Frizell from Perth, Ontario. She’s a Canadian Olympian and has just competed at her third Commonwealth Games this time in Australia in April. Sultana is in a class of her own after winning back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2014 setting a record in the hammer toss of 71.97 metres. Unfortunately, Sultana was not able to hit those heights at the April Games but has recently set the Canadian Record for Sheaf Toss which makes for three Canadian Records.
Along with Suzie Lajoie who holds two Canadian records, these two athletes will provide much excitement in the Professional Women’s events on Saturday.
Also in the morning, the Amateur men will be holding their events on the south end of the infield. Later in the afternoon, the Masters demonstrate why they were once the top of their field. Local competitors Lee MacKinnon from Alexandria and Ron Graham from Apple Hill will have many fans cheering them on.
Saturday’s main event with the Open Professionals will see a tough competition with Matthew Doherty from Antigonish, Nova Scotia returning to continue his impressive string of wins at Maxville and add to his four Canadian records. Jason Baines from Dalkeith will represent Glengarry in this worldclass field of athletes.
The Pipes are Calling The World to Glengarry
The Glengarry Highland Games are considered to be the largest piping and drumming event in the world in terms of separate events and competitors. Those events include solo piping and drumming, the Piobaireachd competitions and the pipe band competitions leading to the North American Pipe Band Championships™ being presented to the winning band on Saturday evening.
This year, 53 pipe bands will complete at Maxville with Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association judges Paul Brown and Donald MacPhee having the difficult task of selecting the best band. The Grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Band Competitions will take place on Saturday, August 4, 2018. The much anticipated Massed Bands will be held at 1:00 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m. when results are announced and awards are presented.
The Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) contests are held on Friday at the Anglican and United churches in Maxville. In addition, there are amateur piobaireachd competitions on Friday, as well as professional piobaireachd on Saturday on the main grounds. These competitions are the classical music of the pipes and offer an entirely different experience with the highland pipes.
For a real Scottish experience and a taste of some of the world’s best competitions, the Glengarry Highland Games is the place to be on August 3rd and 4th in Maxville.