Celebrating 100 years!
Only slightly delayed due to the Covid pandemic, the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band is celebrating 100 long years of music and entertainment. Officially launched in 1920 by the Winnipeg Police Department to boost moral within the community, the band was an immediate hit. Members were required to be active police officers up until the late 1990's when civilians started filling the ranks. Today there are still police officers in the band, but many of the members are civilians and the band has grown in leaps and bounds to over 75 strong.
As the Band has grown so has our ability to represent the Service, City and Province internationally. The highlights include:
The only band to play at every Grey Cup City (Since 1961)
Queen Elizabeth Royal Visit (1984)
Princess Anne - PanAm Games (1999)
Prince Charles - Order of Manitoba (2014)
Cleveland International Tattoo (2009)
Las Vegas International Tattoo (2011)
Virginia Military Tattoo - Norfolk Virginia (2012)
Pacific Tattoo - Victoria BC (2013)
Okanagan Military Tattoo - Vernon BC (2015)
Festival Interceltique - Lorient France (2016)
Belfast Ireland International Tattoo (2017)
The musicianship and dedication of our members has made the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band a diverse and engaging group. The band currently has beginner players all the way to three World Champions amongst our ranks. The diversity of our performers has led to the band expanding its focus to a Grade 2 Competition Band that has successfully competed at Highland Games all over North America.
Please come out to watch our band play at upcoming events throughout Manitoba and wherever the music will lead us.
To the next 100 years!
Passing of a Pipe Band Member
The Winnipeg Police Pipe Band is saddened to learn of the passing of our long time friend, mentor and bandmate Gary MacDonald.
Gary was one of the first civilian volunteers to join the Police Pipe Band (1976) and remained with the band for over 40 years.
Gary impacted so many people in his life and was the ultimate supporter of not only the Police Pipe Band, but the piping and drumming community as a whole.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Gary's family and to his many friends and colleagues.
Rest in peace "G-Mac"
Passing of a Band Member
We are saddened to learn of the passing of our long time member and friend Bob Cooper.
Bob was a member of the Winnipeg Police Service for 30 years. He was active in the Winnipeg Scottish pipe band community, first as a member of the Lord Selkirk District Boy Scout Pipe Band, and later as a drumming instructor with the Transcona and District Juvenile Pipe Band for 20 years and the Lord Selkirk RFM Pipe Band (2006-2021). He performed with the Cameron Cadet Pipe Band, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg, and Winnipeg Police Band. He served as President of the Prairie Pipe Band Association (Saskatchewan and Manitoba) during its transition to the Prairie Pipe Band Association of Manitoba. In recognition of his community service, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002).
Rest in peace Bob
The Band Dominates in Grade Two
A lot has happened since our last post. The band traveled to California in the summer of 2018 to prove that they had the winning combination. After nocking out 8 other Grade 2 bands, the WPPB managed a solid second place victory.
For the first contest of the 2019 year, the band dominated the Grade 2 field at the Winnipeg Scottish Festival. On to a good start for sure!
The next competition is in Chicago during the summer, where there will be at least 6 Grade 2 bands. Wish the band good luck.
The Band Moves Up to Grade Two
For those who don't know Pipe Bands, moving to Grade 2 sounds like a step back, but in reality it works differently. The grading system starts at Grade 5 and moves to Grade 1, which is as near to professional as possible.
This year, the contest segment of the band decided to take the leap from Grade 3 to Grade 2 and their first performance was at the 25th annual Winnipeg Scottish Festival. Unfortunately no other Grade 2 bands were availble to play in the contest, but we were fortunate to have world class judges present. Bob Worall, Callum Beaumont, Ken Eller and Stephen McWhirter provided fantastic feedback for all of the bands. Needless to say, the band received rave reviews on the music and their performance.
The Band Travels to Lorient, France
An exciting opportunity came up for the band in 2015 when we were formally invited to perform in the massive piping festival called Festival Interceltique in Lorient France. With over 4,500 musicians and 750,000 attendies, it was an amazing experience. Nearly 40 band members took part in the 10 day event. This is the largest bagpipe festival in the world and the unique french bagad bands are absolutely brilliant to watch and hear. Be sure to take the chance to get over and take part in this amazing event if you can.
December 1, 2014
The Winnipeg Collection | By one of our own members
Well done Nathan Mitchell on the launch of his book "The Winnipeg Collection". This wonderful book showcases 29 different composers from 7 different countries! Cost is only $20, with all proceeds directed to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Please click here to buy your own today!
August 18, 2014
A New Bagpipe Chanter | By one of our own members
Congratulations to our own Kyle Campbell, inventor of the revolutionary Campbell Tunable Chanter! This chanter may change the face of piping forever.
November 26, 2013
LIFE OF THE PARTY | A New CD By The WPPB
We are thrilled to announce that our brand new CD "LIFE OF THE PARTY" was launched this past weekend in Regina as part of the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band's "GREY CUP 101" Tour. The new CD was recorded in Toronto in November 2012 during the 100th Grey Cup and is dedicated to all the great CFL fans we've met and friends we've made at the Grey Cup over the last 50 years! The CD is available now. Please email us to order your own copy.
Thank you for your support everyone!
November 15, 2013
Taking The Stage With Sir Paul McCartney
The WPPB had never performed in front of an audience so large. A crowd of 31,200 people cheered and sang along when Paul McCartney began to strum the first notes to the "Mull of Kintyre", then as the band began filing on stage, the crowd went into a frenzy and cheered even louder! It should be mentioned that our performance was a complete suprise to the audience - so no doubt it was a welcome one.
What a thrill it was to take the stage with Sir Paul McCartney! It's hard to imagine that the former Beetle is 71 years old considering he played for over three hours straight.
February 26, 2013
A New Era Has Begun
February 16, 2013 marked the return to the competition stage for The Winnipeg Police Pipe Band. After decades of performances and parades around the continent, the band has developed a Grade 3 Competition Band for those members who choose to participate. The first outing at the Winnipeg Scottish Festival was very successful with 1st places across the board, winning the Slow March 6/8, the MSR and the Medley contests. As well, the band earned Best Drum Corps, Best Band Bass Drummer and Dress and Deportment awards. Previous competition experience varied throughout the group; for some, it was their first time in the circle, and for others, the absence ranged from 1 year to 20 years and more. While it would be safe to say that there was some nervousness before they stepped off, the band looked every bit the part in their debut performance. Here’s to continued success both on and off the field!
February 20, 2013
World Famous Winnepeg Police Pipe Band
I was digging through old images of the Winnipeg Police Pipe Band last week and came across this nice shot of the Band playing in a parade in downtown Minneapolis. It's interesting how pictures really define a moment. You'll notice that our sponsor for the parade was the Northwest Kaiser Dealers. The Kaiser cars were beautiful, but they don't exist anymore.
Now you might have also questioned why I spelled the name of our city incorrectly in this title, but if you look closely at the image, you will also see that's just how it was spelled back in the day. If you have any old pictures of the band, please be sure to email them to us so we can post them right here!
November 29, 2012
100 Years Of CFL Grey Cup Celebration
We wouldn't have missed it for anything! The 100th annual Grey Cup - that is. Our band has been making the trip out to the Grey Cup celebrations since 1961. Our goal is simple, entertain people in every Grey Cup city while representing the fine city of Winnipeg. This year, Toronto put on one heck of a great show and we were glad to take part. Hope to see you out there next year.
November 24, 2012
Recording A Few Tunes In Toronto
A friend of the Band who has a beautiful recording studio (Revolution Recording) in Toronto generously offered us time in his facility since we were already planning to be there for the Grey Cup celebrations. Although it would have been nice to include the full band, some members opted out of the 7:00am start time considering their late evening the night before. Regardless, a handful of pipers and drummers headed down to the studio early in the morning to meet the recording staff and get warmed up. Here's a shot of the group while running through warm-up tunes.
The cool part of the story...we were fortunate enought to be in the studio only days after Neal Peart (from the band Rush) graced the facility!
Hopefully we'll have this special recording released for you to hear very soon.
September 8, 2012
Selkirk Settlers Bicentenary
One of our members plays at the bicentenary of the Selkirk Settlers in Manitoba. The Selkirk Settlers laid the way for Scottish and other European immigrants to settle and farm in Manitoba. Previous to Lork Selkirk's support, the prairies of Western Canada were seen as barren grassland. The two rivers that met in the center of now what's considered Winnipeg were critical trading and transportation points. Now, 200 years after Lord Selkirk's Settlers turned the land for the first time, we celebrate.
April 30, 2012
Virginia International Tattoo
Here's a cool shot of our band along with the Royal Scotts on the deck of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia. We were fortunate to have taken part in the 2012 Virginia International Tattoo along with many other pipe bands, military bands, dancers and other magnificent entertainers.
April 28, 2012
Visit To NASA
Here's a shot of our band outside of the NASA facilities in Virginia. We were so lucky to have met a contact who lined up a performance right on the base!
July 23, 2010
Honouring a Stanley Cup Victor | Jonathan Toews
Few times can one say that they have had the experience in meeting a celebrity. Our band on the other hand can say that they not only met him, but piped at his parade! Here's a nice little shot of the band with recent Stanley Cup champion, Jonathan Toews.