Grand Finale/Canada 150 Salute

With more than 150 years of Scots in Canada, our Grand Finale begins with a salute…and continues with a salute…to our home and native land.  The RCMP E. Division Pipe Band will lead off the finale with an official nod to our Chieftain of the Day, Andrew Bonar, in recognition of his contribution to Scottish culture in British Columbia. Pipes and drums, brass and reed bands will recognize the 150th anniversary with patriotic songs and tunes, including a sing-along that you can join in and show your Canadian spirit and pride. Listen live to the SFU Pipe Band perform their famous rendition of Hallelujah. For the Scot and for anyone who likes a rousing ending, get your seats early. But hold on, because the massed pipes and drums wrap up the day with a march past the grandstands.

The line up for the 2017 Grand Finale includes the following bands:

  • RCMP E. Division Pipe Band, P/M Hugh Peden
  • Greater Vancouver Cadet Military Band
  • Seaforth Highlander Cadets dancing the Reel of the 51st. (see note at right)
  • Simon Fraser University Pipe Band
  • Alastair Lee
  • Greater Vancouver Cadet Pipes & Drums
  • Zak Read
  • BC Highland Games Massed Pipes & Drums


Reel of the 51st Highlanders

This highland popular Scottish country dance saw its birth in a dark, war prison in 1940’s Germany. Lt. “Jimmy” Atkinson composed the dance and smuggled the instructions out of his cell. He had been captured by the Germans with the vast majority of his British 51st (Highland) Division in 1940 during the Battle of Dunkirk. His letters were intercepted by the German security service, which spent the next five years trying to break the “code”.  Another version was successfully smuggled out and the dance became instantly popular, while its author was still a POW.

The reel is usually danced entirely by men, symbolizing the time spent in prison. Look for the dancers to form a “St. Andrew’s Cross”, symbolizing the Scottish Highland division and its men, in adversity.

The BC Highland Games is honoured to have this dance performed as part of our 2017 Grand Finale. The cadets, under Commanding Officer Cpt Sherry Seaganfreddo, have been practicing the Reel of the 51st for months. These members of the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders Cadet Corps are: 

Sgt. Noah Weale, LCpl Noah Watson, Sgt. Thea McLaren, MCpl. Kevin Le, Sgt. James Leong, Sgt. Callum Thomson and Sgt. Bella Urbanowski.

72nd Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Cadet Corps is the oldest and longest standing cadet unit in British Columbia; starting back in the early 1970’s. It was honorably named after the first Seaforth Highlanders of Canada Regiment, established in April 1912. The corps is known for its history, comradery, training, pride and most importantly having fun.

Seaforth Highlanders of Canada