Piper Mike MacDonald – Master of Ceremonies
Piper Mike MacDonald‘s adventures with the bagpipes began in the early 1990’s and has taken him around the world. After attending the Montreal Highland Games and experiencing the massed pipe bands at age 14, he returned home to Squamish, BC and began lessons with the local provincial court judge, Ian Walker. From those Monday afternoon lessons, Mike joined the Squamish Diamond Head Legion Pipe Band (now called Black Tusk Caledonia Pipe Band) after his grandfather’s pipes were shipped to him from Montreal.
In 1996, Mike joined well known local Vancouver punk band “The Real McKenzies” and travelled North America for the next three years. From the punk band, Mike shifted gears and became the resident piper at Tokyo Disneyland as the Fantasyland Bagpiper. Once back in Canada, he joined the Vancouver Police Pipe Band and travelled to Berlin, Switzerland, Las Vegas, San Diego, Portugal, Italy, France, and for the 100th anniversary of the VPD pipe band in 2014, they were the Queen’s Guard at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
Mike is also locally known for another reason. For 17-years, he was the bagpiper seen by many at GM Place, (Rogers Arena) following every Canucks, Grizzlies, and BC Lions games
Claire Martin – Master of Ceremonies
Joining the BC Highland Games for the first time, award-winning TV host & broadcaster Claire Martin is a veteran of the Canadian media industry.
Originally from England (in fact, a true cockney), Claire is the niece of Barbara Edwards, who became the first BBC female weather presenter in the UK in 1974. Claire moved to Canada in 1989.
Claire is a qualified meteorologist who worked in Edmonton where she began to win over TV audiences. In 2000, she was awarded the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Award for “Best Female Host” and “Best Produced Educational Video” for writing and appearing in science videos designed to promote the Grade 5-8 science units in the Alberta Public School science curriculum.
In 2011 the University of Alberta awarded Martin its most prestigious award, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizing her achievements that had earned her national and international prominence, as well as her ongoing volunteer work with the World Meteorological Organization (a specialized agency of the United Nations).
Claire has won a number of additional awards, and was the senior meteorologist for CBC British Columbia and appeared for several years on CBC’s “The National” with Peter Mansbridge. She ran as the Green Party candidate in North Vancouver in the 2015 federal election.
Pipe Sgt. Shuanna Hilder, Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band
Commentator – Grade 1 & 2 band competition
Dowco Triumph Street Pipe Band Pipe Sgt. Shaunna Hilder began piping in the Vancouver area at the age of nine where she studied under Angus MacPherson and the late Jimmy McMillian. She enjoyed a successful solo piping career winning many aggregates and Piobaireachd prizes including the Clan MacLeod, McCrimmon Quaich on two occasions.
At 19, Shaunna was Pipe Major of the Vancouver Ladies Pipe Band. After marrying husband David they enjoyed several years together in the City of Victoria PB, SFUPB, RMM2 and since 2007 has been P/S of Dowco Triumph Street. Over the last 2 decades her resume includes two Grade 1 World Championships, one Grade 2 championships, five albums, seven qualifications for the World Pipe Band Championships with DTSPB.
Shaunna has also taught for more than two decades. Her students are consistent winners at international championships and invitational including the Nicol-Brown and George Sherriff piping competitions.
Shaunna is a A Solo, A Band and A Ensemble qualified Adjudicator and in 2016 was made Chair of the BCPA Grading Committee within the BC Pipers’ Association. Shaunna lives in metro Vancouver with husband David, and is a proud mum to son Liam (piper) and Andrena (highland dancer).