Friday, December 16, 2016

College is Closed Today!

Due to the wintry conditions and the advisory from the RCMP to stay off of the roads, the College is closed today.  We are now closed until January 3rd when we will reopen at 9am.  Please stay safe and stay warm!

The College might be closed for the holidays but the College of Piping Pipe Band 50/50 Gold Rush draw will still take place.  If you regularly play your toonie at The College, please feel free to participate any one of our many locations around the island.  These locations are:

  • Kensington Food Basket
  • Gass's Store (New Haven)
  • Gallants Store (Rustico)
  • Race Trac Gas (Stanley Bridge)
  • Needs (Shell) (Summerside)
  • Wilson's Gas (Summerside)
  • Reids Corner Esso (Summerside)
  • Granville Street Esso (Summerside)
  • Griffin's Smoke Shop (Sobeys) (Summerside)
  • Lights Smoke Shop (Summerside)
  • Butcher Shop (Summerside)
  • Water Street Bakery (Summerside)
  • Credit Union Place (Summerside)
  • Downtown Convenience (Summerside)
Thank you for your support of our College of Piping Pipe Bands!  We really appreciate it!

Each year at the Christmas recital we award the Volunteer of the Year award.  The 2016 recipient is Brian Breneman.  He is a dedicated volunteer that spends every other Monday in the office and spent a lot of time this year working on our garden beds and planters.  He has a quick wit and a dry sense of humour, and is one of those volunteers that is always willing to help out.  Thank you Brian for all your hard work, we really appreciate all you do for us!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

That's a Wrap!

We celebrated our students this past Sunday at our annual Christmas concert! What a show!  In a just a few short months our students have learned so much and it was evident how much hard work has been done over the fall.  There were a lot of very proud friends and family in the audience!  Well done to all of our students!  Keep your eyes peeled to our website for photos from the awesome afternoon!  Classes will resume on January 3rd.  Have a great Christmas break!

A huge thank you for the support given to the dancer's and pipe band's silent auction, the highland dancer's bake sale, the donation boxes for the College and the non-perishable food donations that were brought in at the recital.  Thank You!!!

Marielle with the Adult World Highland Dance Trophy

Congratulations to our Highland Dance Instructor, Marielle Lesperance, on becoming a Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing adjudicator! Well done!

Friday, December 9, 2016

What Time is It?!

It's Christmas recital time!  The Christmas recital is THIS Sunday, December 11th at 2pm at Summerside Intermediate School (SIS).  Students are asked to be there at 1:30pm.  This is open to everyone, bring your friends and family and enjoy this fun show!  The Pipe Bands and Dancers will be holding a silent auction during the recital…there are always some great items, so be prepared to bid on your favourite(s)!  We would be grateful if you brought along a nonperishable item of food as the price of admission with all food donations going to the food bank.  A goodwill offering/donation would also be greatly appreciated at the recital with proceeds going to the operations of The College.  It is the season of giving!

And finally, it's Friday!  Can you believe that this has over five million views?!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

AGM Today!

What day is it?!  It is AGM day!  Today at 3pm, the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada will be holding our AGM.  It will take place in the main hall.  Everyone is welcome!

Don’t forget the Christmas recital will be held on Sunday, December 11th at Summerside Intermediate School (SIS) at 2pm.  Students are asked to be there for 1:30pm.  SIS’ address is 247 Central St in Summerside.  If you aren’t sure where it is located, it is easy to find, just plug the address into Google maps and it will show you the exact location!  Students, your instructors will let you know what time you need to be at SIS and where you should be going within the building.  This is open to everyone, bring your friends and family and enjoy this fun show!  The Pipe Bands and Dancers will be holding a silent auction during the recital…there are always some great items, so be prepared to bid on your favourite(s)!  We would be grateful if you brought along a nonperishable item of food as the price of admission with all food donations going to the food bank.  A goodwill offering/donation would also be greatly appreciated at the recital with proceeds going to the operations of The College.  It is the season of giving!

There are still some tags on the Salvation Army Angel Tree at the College!   If you are feeling extra cheery and generous, please consider sponsoring a child. The Christmas Angel tree is set up in the main lobby of the College and will be here until December 16th.  It will melt your heart when you see the tags of the Christmas wishes of these children (ranging in age from babies to teenagers).  It would even make the biggest Grinch's heart grow three sizes or more!  If you have any questions, please email Rachel Kitts at: or call at: (902) 436-5377.  This is a wonderful way to help the Salvation Army make a few children's Christmas' a little brighter and merrier!    

Monday, December 5, 2016

Happy International Volunteer Day!

We don't mean to brag but we think we have the best volunteers in the whole entire world!  Selfless, caring, ready at a moment's notice, kind, not wanting anything in return, humble, the list goes on and on...We could spend hours waxing poetically about the people who help us tremendously and spend their spare time with us (because they want to!).  Thank you for your hard work, dedication and passion for a place that we think is pretty cool (again, in our humble opinion!). THANK YOU for all that you do!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Classes and Band Practice Cancelled-December 1st

Due to the wintry conditions, all classes and grade two band practice have been cancelled for this afternoon and this evening. Stay safe, stay warm and keep practicing!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

No Lessons or Band Today--November 30th

Due to the ever changing forecast today, all lessons and grade four band practice have been cancelled for this afternoon and this evening. Please stay safe, stay warm and use this extra time to practice! 

It may be snowy and sloppy out there today but that won't dampen our spirits for St. Andrew's Day! Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and Saint Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day.  It is the feast day of Saint Andrew and is celebrated on November 30th. Andrew was first recognised as an official patron saint of Scotland in 1320 at the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath.  Did you know that Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Russia, Romania and Barbados?  His patronage extends to fishmongers, gout, singers, sore throats, spinsters, maidens, old maids and women wishing to be mothers.  Check out this great video from Visit Scotland to put you in the St. Andrew's Day mood:  Happy St. Andrew's Day!

Delayed Opening!

The College will be delayed opening until noon today.  Please check back later for any further updates regarding classes and Grade 4 band practice.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Salvation Army Angel Christmas Tree

It's hard to believe that it is less than a month to go until Christmas!  If you are feeling extra cheery and generous, please consider sponsoring a child through the Salvation Army Christmas Angel tree. The Christmas Angel tree is set up in the main lobby of the College and will be here until December 16th.  It will melt your heart when you see the tags of the Christmas wishes of these children (ranging in age from babies to teenagers).  It would even make the biggest Grinch's heart grow three sizes or more!  If you have any questions, please email Rachel Kitts at: or call at: (902) 436-5377.  This is a wonderful way to help the Salvation Army make a few children's Christmas' a little brighter and merrier!    

Friday, November 25, 2016

It's Friday!

I hope our students in the United States had a great Thanksgiving yesterday!  If you find that you had too much turkey or an extra helping of pie, a great way to burn off the excess calories is by practicing!  

The College's AGM will be held on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016.  It will start at 3pm in the main hall at the College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada.  All are welcome to attend.

Finally, it's Friday:

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Happy Tuesday!

The Christmas decorations may have been in the aisles of Costco since August but we are now entering the season of giving!  The start of December is next week and Christmas is coming quickly. This holiday season, the College would like to sponsor a few children through the Salvation Army's Be An Angel Campaign.  We would love to have our students involved in this wonderful initiative and help out with a donation.  The amount you give is up to you!  We will have a donation box on the counter at the front office.  Donations need to be in by November 25th to allow time to purchase the items on the wish lists. We also have a Christmas Angel tree here at the College if you would like to sponsor a child on your own instead (or you could do both!).  The tree will be at the College until December 16th.  If you have any questions about either donating or sponsoring a child, please email Rachel Kitts at: or call at: (902) 436-5377.  These are both wonderful ways to help the Salvation Army make a few families Christmas' a little brighter and merrier!

Congratulations to Sarah Simpson!  Sarah was invited to compete at the prestigious George Sherriff Memorial Invitational Competition in Hamilton, Ontario this past weekend.  Only ten of the top amateur competitors in North America were invited to play at this contest.  Sarah came fourth in the piobaireachd and was fifth overall in the standings!  Well done, Sarah!

It's not just the summer months that our students are busy competing.  Throughout the winter various contests are held in all of our disciplines to keep the cobwebs off the hands and feet!  To keep track of how our students are doing, please check out our results page:

For all of our students that are on the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band Scholarship, please remember that your thank you letters are due BEFORE December 1st.  Please turn these into your instructors and please ask if you have any questions. These letters are a small way of saying thank you to two extremely generous people who cover the tuition of our piping and drumming students.

Monday, November 7, 2016

What Time Is It?!

It's Doug and Debbie Hall Thank You Letter time!  Every year at Christmas we assemble a thank you package for Doug and Debbie Hall.  This package is full of thank you cards, notes and drawings to two of the most generous people around!  As a stipulation of the Doug and Debbie Hall Pipe Band Scholarship, a letter must be turned in by all scholarship recipients to their piping and drumming instructors BEFORE December 1st.  The letters are a small way of saying thank you to two people who generously cover the piping and drumming tuition for our students.  If you  have any questions, please talk to your instructor. 

Don’t forget the Christmas recital will be held on Sunday, December 11th at Summerside Intermediate School (SIS) at 2pm.  The address of the school is 247 Central St in Summerside. Students should be there for 1:30pm and your instructors will let you know where you will be meeting within the building.  This is open to everyone, bring your friends and family and enjoy this fun show! The Pipe Bands and Dancers will be holding a silent auction during the recital…there are always some great items, so be prepared to bid on your favourite(s)!  We would be grateful if you brought along a nonperishable item of food as the price of admission with all food donations going to the food bank.  A goodwill offering/donation would also be greatly appreciated at the recital with proceeds going to the operations of The College.  It is the season of giving!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy November!

We hope everyone had a great time trick or treating last night!  It was a soggy night here on the island but that didn't dampen the spirits of our students.  Your instructors are looking forward to everyone bringing a lot of energy to your classes today!  A great way to burn off all that extra sugar is practicing...just saying!

Did you know that the College is now on Instagram and Snapchat?!  Follow us on Instagram at @collegeofpiping for pictures from contests, parades, lessons and daily life at the College!  The College is now everywhere!

Just because the summer highland games season is over, it doesn't mean that our students haven't stopped competing!  'Tis the season of the indoor competition!  For all of the latest results and photos, please follow these links: and

A huge congratulations to the National Piping Centre's Principal, Roddy MacLeod, on his fifth Glenfiddich Piping Championship this past weekend!  Roddy was the judge and workshop facilitator at the 2015 Atlantic Canada Piobaireachd Challenge which was hosted by the College. Well done, Roddy!  To find the full list of results from the contest, please follow this link:

Friday, October 21, 2016

Happy Friday!

This week’s College of Piping Pipe Band 50/50 Gold Rush Draw was a WINNER! It was number 2150, which belongs to Lillian MacAusland. The amount won in tonight’s draw was $14,999.00!!!  Thank you to everyone for your continued support towards the College of Piping Pipe Bands! We really appreciate it!

Congratulations and best wishes to College of Piping Grade 2 band piper, Ian Luddington, and his beautiful bride, Monica Singh, on their wedding day today!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Good Luck!

Have you gotten your toonie in for the College of Piping Pipe Band Gold Rush 50/50 draw yet?!  The draw is tonight and the jackpot is over $13,000!  That is a lot of money to go to one lucky player!  To be eligible to win, you have to play! Good luck!

October is a huge month (besides August!) for the biggest contests in the piping and drumming world.  This weekend is the World Solo Drumming Championships and next weekend, October 29th, the Glenfiddich Invitational Solo Piping Championship will take place.  The Glenfiddich is the contest that all solo pipers dream of being invited to and can only be invited by winning the top solo contests in the world as their golden ticket to the Glenfiddich. For piping enthusiasts, the online publication, pipes|drums, is having a fun contest to pick the top five overall winners of the Glenfiddich. For more information, please follow this link:  There are some cool prizes to be won!  Good luck!

If you can't be in Glasgow, Scotland for the World Solo Drumming Championships there is great news!  For the first time ever the event will be live streamed!  The championships are this weekend
(October 22nd).  For more information, please follow this link:  Good luck to everyone competing!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Don't Miss Out!!!

Have you got your toonie in this week for the 50/50 College of Piping Pipe Band Gold Rush draw?! It's over $13,000!!! Don't miss out on the jack pot!!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Happy Hump Day!

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  A great way to burn off the excess pumpkin pie, turkey or stuffing is by practicing!  A quick blast on your pipes, chanter, pad, drum or some quick dance moves should help burn off those extra calories!  The next date that the College will be closed is Friday, November 11th in observance of  Remembrance Day.

Sarah Simpson (second from the right in the front row) with her fellow competitors, judges Willie McCallum and Nick Hudson and contest founder Donald Lindsay. Photo courtesy of the Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Competition Facebook Page.

Some big results this past weekend!  Sarah Simpson was away competing in Scotia, New York at the prestigious Nicol-Brown Amateur Invitational Piping contest.  Sarah placed fourth in her piobaireachd.  Congratulations to Andrew Hutton for winning the overall convincingly with two firsts and a second! Well done to all of the competitors!

Linda Robertson with her award.

Skype student, Linda Robertson, had a great weekend at the Seaside Highland Games in Ventura, California.  Linda won the overall aggregate in the grade 3 piping category with a first and two seconds!  Linda's beautiful kilt attire (seen in the photo above) was made possible through being the 2016 recipient of The Epic Project. The Epic Project was founded by Susan Rose, owner of My Kiltmaker, who saw the need of our Celtic youth for traditional Scottish Highland attire for solos and community representation. For more information on The Epic Project, please check out their Facebook page:

Friday, October 7, 2016

Big News!!!

Drumming Instructor, Chris Coleman and Highland Dance Instructor, Marielle Lesperance show the conceptual drawings to the public.  

$2.7 million... Wow! What an amazing day for the College! MP Bobby Morrissey made the announcement to the press, and College students, volunteers, staff and supporters of the combined funding from Heritage Canada and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency toward our planned multi-use education/rehearsal/performance facility. Staff and alumni here look at the conceptual drawings for the new year-round home for Highland Storm and greater flexibility and possibilities for educational programming. What an incredible day and a gigantic boost from the federal government of Canada! Capital campaign to be launched soon and much much more to come!!!  The big announcement was also featured on CBC and the Journal Pioneer.  You can read the CBC article by following this link: and the Journal article by following this link:

Thursday, October 6, 2016


                        619 Water Street East, Summerside, PEI

WHEN:             FRIDAY OCTOBER 7, 2016 11:30 AM (come a few minutes early if possible and mingle with friends of the College)

SUBJECT:        Building on the Past, Growing the Future!

The invitation to attend this forthcoming event intended to reach all those who have played an integral part of our College development here in Summerside since 1989.  Yes that is almost 28 years of service to the youth of our community.

Our new Mission Statement says it all:

“Empowering Students to Realize their Full Potential through Celtic Performing Arts”

DID YOU KNOW? Our students come away from this Community’s College of Piping with a greater sense or standing in:

  • Self-confidence: By learning to study their art, practice and then perform in front of live audiences.
  • Social self-awareness: Students experience the act of giving and volunteering of their time to support community events, parades and fund raisers.
  • Global awareness:  Our students earn new friendships with other like-minded performers as they travel and compete against rivals from other parts of North America.
  • Team work: Students bond as an overall team by helping and encouraging fellow College students and deserving competitors alike.  They develop respect for themselves and the competition through this process.
  • Improvement in academic standing – many go on to post-secondary education levels.

We apologize for the short notice however forces beyond our control have dictated a short turnaround.  We hope everyone can visit us at the appropriate time, perhaps take an early lunch and join us for some exciting news.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Happy October!

It is decidedly fall out there today!  The leaves are changing rapidly which means it's almost time for some leaf peeping!  Autumn on the island is gorgeous with the varying colours between the land and sea.  At The College, we haven't stopped since the summer!  We have finished the first three weeks of classes and we're full steam ahead.  A reminder that there are no classes on October 10th as it is Thanksgiving Day.  A great way to burn off turkey and pumpkin pie is by practicing on that holiday Monday!

The College’s highland and step dancers will be getting a very unique opportunity to learn from an award winning sean nós (“old style”) step dancer from Ireland, Liam Scanlon. We will be hosting a fun-filled workshop with Liam on October 12th, open to all dancers from the College to broaden their dance horizons and get a taste for a different style of Celtic dancing. The following night, on October 13th we will be making a group outing to the Harbourfront Theatre to watch Liam perform with the percussive dance group “Zogma”. It is sure to lots of fun for everyone, and will hopefully inspire our dancers and fuel their passion for the Celtic arts! 

Congratulations to our champion supreme winners from the Atlantic Canada Pipe Band Association!  Each of our competing pipers, drummers and pipe bands accumulate points (if they are lucky enough to place!) as they compete at the various Atlantic Canada games throughout the year. Well done to our students and bands!  Your hard work has paid off!  

Grade 3 Overall:
2nd place: Chris MacKnight
Grade 3 Piobaireachd Overall:
1st place: Chris MacKnight
Junior Amateur Jig Overall:
3rd place: Chris MacKnight
Grade 2 Overall:
2nd place: Calum Brydon
Grade 2 Piobaireachd Overall:
1st place: Calum Brydon
Grade 1 Overall:
1st place: Sarah Simpson
Grade 1 Piobaireachd Overall:
1st place: Sarah Simpson
Senior Amateur Jig Overall:
3rd place: Sarah Simpson
Professional Overall:
2nd place: James MacHattie
Professional Piobaireachd Overall:
1st place: James MacHattie
Grade 5 Overall:
1st place: Stephen MacKinnon
Grade 4 Overall:
1st place: Jenna-Marie Gallant, 2nd place: Mairi Brydon
Grade 3 Overall:
1st place: Austin Trenholm
Junior Amateur Hornpipe/Jig Overall:
1st place: Austin Trenholm, 2nd place: Jenna-Marie Gallant, 3rd place: Dalton McCully
Professional Overall:
1st place: Sam Ramsay
Grade 5 Overall:
2nd place: College of Piping
Grade 4 Overall:
1st place: College of Piping
Grade 2 Overall:
1st place: College of Piping
Dress and Deportment
1st place: College of Piping

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Chris is still sick

Chris Coleman has been hit with the flu, so all of his classes and Grade 5 band drum corps practice has been cancelled for this afternoon and evening.  Get well soon, Chris!

Monday, September 26, 2016

No Drumming Lessons Today--September 26th

Unfortunately Chris went home sick today so there are no drumming lessons today at The College. Get better soon, Chris!

Busy Weekend!

It was a busy day this past Saturday!  While we were hosting our open house, one of our highland students was also competing in the Forever Highland Competition in Saint John, NB!  Sherra Rogers won the high aggregate trophy in the Intermediate category.  Congratulations Sherra!

Sherra Rogers with her high aggregate trophy from the Forever Highland Competition!

A huge thank you to our community, our talented students and stalwart volunteers who came out and supported our open house today! A special thank you to Kerri Wynne from Ocean 100 for spending the afternoon with us! We had a blast! Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Below are some photos from the day.  Keep your eyes peeled to our photo gallery page,, as more photos will be added there from the open house!

 Past recipients of the Volunteer of the Year award, Jamie MacKay and Barry MacLean, welcomed the community to The College!

Patsy Martin (also a past recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award), Kiley Kitts and Rachel Kitts were ready to help in the gift shop! 

Step dancer, Eithne Brydon danced for the crowds! 

Grade 4 band member, Alyson MacLean and her dad, Barry MacLean, were all smiles! 

Ocean 100 was with us during our event! 

Piping Instructor, Kylie MacHattie and daughter Briar gave some piping tips to Ocean 100's, Kerri Wynne! 

Grade two band tenor drummer, Erin Mundy, The College's Principal, James MacHattie and Minister Tina Mundy enjoyed the afternoon!

Summerside's Mayor, Bill Martin,was on hand for the festivities! 

Premier Wade MacLauchlan and Liberal candidate Chris Palmer stopped by The College (seen here with piping instructor, Kylie MacHattie, wee Briar and Principal James MacHattie) 

Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker and Green Party candidate Lynne Lund also stopped by The College (seen here with Principal James MacHattie).

Step Dance Instructor, Samantha MacKay, and student Isla Rousseaux-Bridle dance outside The College! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

What Time Is It?!

It's open house time!!!  Don't forget that tomorrow, September 24th, we are holding an open house at The College in Summerside.  Meet our staff, instructors, extraordinary volunteers and students!  Tour our facility and find out what we do and what we can offer not only the community of Summerside but the island and even further afield.  If you are interested in piping and drumming, ask us about the Hall Scholarship! If you live off island and have always wanted to take lessons, we can make that happen!  We teach by Skype!  Become a student now!  All this fun starts at 1:30pm and lasts until 4pm.  Did we mention there will be free cake?!

Finally, it's Friday....

Our Highland dance instructor, Marielle, is always very poised in her dancing but sometimes that isn't always the case....

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Open House This Saturday!

Now that I have your attention...

This Saturday, September 24th, The College is inviting all islanders to an open house! It will take place from 1:30pm to 4pm and will consist of: tours of The College, demonstrations from all of our disciplines, cake and refreshments! Come and meet our students and faculty! The afternoon will also feature short performances from our pipe bands and cast and crew of Highland Storm! The open house will take place rain or shine. We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The College Closed Today--September 21st

Due to the ongoing security threats The College will be closed today and all classes and Grade 4 band practice will be cancelled. To read more about this ongoing story, please follow this link: Please stay safe everyone!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

Photo Credit to Susan Topping

June is almost done and dusted!  Tomorrow will see the start of July and it will get off to a bang with our pipe bands participating in the Canada Day celebrations in North Rustico at 10am.  It is a fantastic parade that brings out the whole North Shore community!

The Highland Storm cast has been diligently rehearsing these past few weeks and preview night is this Sunday and opening night is this Monday!  Paul Simon and Glass Tiger make appearances as well as some contemporary twists on some classic tunes!  To get your tickets to one of the island's best shows, please follow this link:  Don't miss out on the all new production for 2016!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Where Has Time Gone?

It's hard to believe that it is almost the end of June...where has the time gone?  There have been some big changes at The College and as we switch gears into our summer season, it looks like it is full steam ahead. On July 11th, The College will have a new member added to its team.  Roger Downie will be joining us as he takes on the role as Business Manager.  Fun fact:  Roger lives in the next bay over from piping instructor, Kylie MacHattie's parents.  Roger and his wife, Madeline, are moving from Blind Bay, BC to live on our fair isle.  Welcome to the team, Roger!

As mentioned before, there have been some changes at The College.  Here is a message from The College's Principal, James MacHattie:

Change is tough.  But change is inevitable.  We are sad to see Karen Hatcher take off her Executive Director hat and take a rest.  What a fantastic job she has done, though!  The College was in stormy seas before she came, and she leaves us having righted the ship and put us on a course to smoother sailing.  I want so extend a massive thanks to Karen for putting us in a position to move forward, to keep on improving, to do new things, to go new places.  She put our group of instructors and staff together and created a strong and united team.  Together we’ll carry on to make this College as strong and vibrant as it possibly can be.  I am excited about my new role.  It is an expansion of my previous position as Director of Education.  A business manager will be joining our team soon so that I can keep my focus on our educational mandate and look at the big picture, and the future.

This is your College.  I will do everything I can to the best of my abilities in my evolved position to make it everything you want it to be.  I’m here for you, just as Karen has been, and as all the other instructors and staff are too.

It's been a while since there has been a blog but that doesn't mean that there hasn't been anything going on!  We've had a joint fundraising concert with the dancers and pipe bands, the year end recital has come and gone and the start of the highland games season is upon us with the Moncton Highland Games.  Photos and results from all these events can be found by following these links: and  

Highland Storm rehearsals are now in full swing, er, step!  Ryan MacNeil has returned as Director of the all new 2016 production.  He has travelled all the way from South Africa where he now resides with his wife and our former highland dance instructor, Kearsney MacNeil, to make sure that it is the best show yet!  Here is a message from Ryan:

It's hard to believe that another year has passed already and another exciting season of Highland Storm will soon be starting.  This will be my fifth season of Highland Storm. How time flies.  I've watched many of our beginner performers turn into world class musicians and entertainers.  Last September, my wife Kearsney and I flew to the Southern Hemisphere and made South Africa our home. It has been an inspiring place to create music to say the least.  Throughout the winter months in Canada, I made our creative team a little jealous of the lovely weather from my new country of residence.  It's amazing how small the world has become with technology on our side. I have to thank the creative team for their tireless efforts, even with a full teaching schedule.  This year's show has great new surprises and traditional favourites as well.  The excitement is building each and every day! Bring your family and friends to the best Highland Storm to date!

Preview night is fast approaching on July 3rd and the show will run through until August 18th.  For the full Highland Storm schedule and to purchase tickets, please follow this link:  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Request for Proposals

The College is planning ahead.... Here is a request for proposals for consulting services for a Specialized Celtic Performing Arts Venue!

Request for Proposals

Consultant Services
for the
The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada
Specialized Celtic Performing Arts Venue
Summerside, PEI.
Date for Submission of proposals: 
Prior to 2:00 p.m. AST, June 24, 2016
Prepared by:
The College of Piping and Celtic Performance Arts of Canada
619 Water Street East
Summerside, PE
C1N 4H8

Date:  June 13, 2016

1.                  Background

2014 was the 25th anniversary of The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada as a registered Canadian charity and a non-profit organization. It has developed a world-class reputation as an international school of excellence in Highland bagpiping, Scottish-style snare drumming, Highland dancing, Island step dancing and it is the only year round school of its kind in North America. At The College of Piping we are committed to inspiring interest and excellence among youth in the performing arts, enhancing appreciation of culture and heritage, and encouraging active community engagement and in 2015 we will continue that endeavor. Today, more than ever, young people need opportunities to discover and nurture their artistic talents with the support of positive adults and peers.  The College of Piping provides that support.
The College of Piping’s mission is to “inspire excellence in Celtic performing arts through quality educational programming”; therefore the instructors have been selected for their outstanding abilities and credentials as educators, performers and competitors. They engage, inspire and respect students and build a positive environment where they can flourish.
Highland Storm will be on stage again this summer in The College’s outdoor 350-seat covered “Mary Ellen Burns” amphitheatre. This is where the students of The College take their talents to a real stage in front of a live audience.  Highland Storm is the culmination of talent and practice for students as well as hundreds of volunteer hours from parents and people dedicated to the Celtic arts. They do it for their children and for their love of music and dance. 2015 will see another ALL-NEW production, involving the very best in Island talent featuring a cast of thirty – most of which are College students and alum! For the third year in a row, artistic and music direction will again be provided by Ryan MacNeil, a world-renowned keyboarder, piper, bodhran player, tin whistler and member of the Barra MacNeils, it will once again be the “must-see” show on PEI!
The current aging seasonal theatre is in need of replacement.  The College of Piping building and theatre sit on the property PID #’s 72785 and 707919.  The size of these lots are approximately 78 feet wide and 320 feet deep.  The College of Piping is looking to replace the seasonal tent venue with a fixed roof, year round facility for use in Celtic Performing Arts. 

Programmatic needs of the Specialized Performing Arts space.
·         Theatre for our annual main stage production of Highland Storm – 24 performances each July and August

·         Concession Area

·         Coat Check

·         Retractable stadium seating – theatre style seats – 300

·         Male and Female change areas
o   Vanity space for 6
o   15 Lockers/Storage Units – similar to football locker rooms
o   One wall with mirrors
o   Carpet on the floor
o   Sound proof
o   Toilets and sinks – perhaps 2 of each per dressing room

·         Performers lounge area
o   Sound proof
o   Carpeted

·         Tuning room - individual
o   Sound proof

·         Storage Room – A/V
o   Area to storage additional A/V equipment and supplies

·         Large multipurpose tuning room with dividing door
o   Area for pipe band to tune during the show
o   Area for dancers to warm up
o   Dividing door for the space to be used by both
o   Wall of mirrors
o   Sound proof

·         Tech space – at the top of the seating area looking down towards the stage
o   Space to accommodate lighting and sound board
o   Minimum 3 person utilizing space
o   Must be able to be secured/locked

·         3 lighting trusses will be permanently hung
o   2 will be over the stage and easily accessible by ladder
o   1 will be hung over the seating – a cat walk would be convenient

Each year for Highland Storm – a cast and crew of 30 students, instructors and guests utilize the space.  In addition, 15 volunteers work each performance in various jobs from ticket taking, fundraising, concession stand and program distribution.
Other uses planned for the venue:
·         Pipe Band practice space
·         Pipe Band Competitions (winter competitions)
·         Dance Rehearsals
·         Annual Recitals – Christmas and June
·         Christmas Show – Christmas at the College/Highland Storm Christmas
·         Performance venue for touring musicians – Barra MacNeils, John Gracie, etc.
·         Fundraisers

The client is seeking recommendations to replace the existing seasonal facility with a fixed roof venue that can be used for educational purposes, performance purposes, to increase the audience comfort while they experience the performance (audience seating, temperature control and shelter from the elements), to attract new business and to improve efficiencies to reduce operating costs.

2.         Objectives

It is our intention to begin construction in the end of August 2016 and complete construction and be ready for occupancy for April 2017.

3.         Scope of Work

The responsibilities of the successful consultant are summarized as follows:

·         Proposals submitted for Consulting Services for the new project shall include architectural and engineering consulting services in accordance with the schedule of standard services per RAIC Document 6.
·         Proposals are NOT to include costs associated with the following:

.1     Printing tender documents
.2     Project scheduling during construction
.3     HST
                        .4     Site survey
                        .5     Geotechnical investigation
                        .6     Full time site inspection
                        .7     Environmental and hazardous materials assessment.
                        .8     Acoustic consultant (acoustic modelling)
4.         Contents of Submission

The information below should be included in the Consultant’s proposal.

a)      Demonstration of an understanding of the project and a clearly articulated methodology to be employed for completing the work within the required time frame.

b)      An outline of the consultants experience with similar or related consultation exercises.

c)      A Proposed Cost providing a fixed quotation for the work. The fixed quotation must include fees and expenses but can exclude HST. Quotation must include fixed lump sum fees and anticipated expenses related to the assignment.

5.         Evaluation of Proposals

The Client will evaluate the proposals based on a variety of factors as shown in the chart below (total maximum score = 100 points). The evaluation criteria and points assigned identify the weighted importance of each factor to be used in the evaluation process.

Evaluation Criteria and Maximum Points Assigned
Comprehension (15 points)

A clear understanding of the intent of the process and a description of how the Consultant will gather information as it relates to the scope of the work and the CAS project.
Methodology (25 points)

A description of the overall approach and methodology to be followed in completing all aspects of the assignment in detail sufficient to permit the Steering Committee to understand and evaluate how the work will be carried out.

Schedule (15 points)

An outline to complete the work as it has been defined.

Company/Project Team Experience (25 points)

A description of the capabilities, relevant experience and overall qualifications of the Project Manager and other team members, specifically in relation to experience with government funding, programs and services, rural businesses, and regional economic development agencies.                                                  

Submission (5 points)

General format and appearance of submission.
Financial Proposal (15 points)     

The financial proposal must include a firm total cost for the project and be within budget.

6.         Budget

The construction budget for the project, including construction, site work and contingencies is approximately $2.5 million.

Budget control will require accurate cost estimates at appropriate stages of design.  In addition the Prime Consultant should have in-house expertise to review, validate, and approve any proposed change orders without the aid of the Cost Consultant.

7.         Time Frame

Subject to provision of funding it is anticipated the project will be implemented to meet the following milestones, where possible target dates are to be improved:

Consultant Selection
June 24, 2016
Consultant familiarization with project requirements, Program and user groups

Complete construction Tender Packages
June 24, 2016 2:00 p.m.
August 2016 – April 2017
Commissioning and Training

May 2017

The assignment will be awarded on June 24, 2016. 

8.       Professional Liability Insurance

Firms or individuals submitting proposals are required to maintain Commercial General Liability Insurance subject to limits of not less than $2,000,000 inclusive per occurrence for bodily injury including death and property damage.  Such insurance shall have wordings at least as broad as the standard Insurance Bureau of Canada working for Commercial General Liability.

In addition firms or individuals submitting proposals are required to maintain Professional Liability Insurance for errors and omissions, with limits of not less than $2,000,000 per occurrence and a $2,000,000 aggregate.

Both insurances required above shall be with insurers licensed to do business in Prince Edward Island and reasonably satisfactory to College Certificates of Insurance for both these liability insurance policies must be submitted immediately subsequent to acceptance of the proposal and at least prior to any fee payments.  It shall be the Owner’s right, but not obligation to request certified copies of both the insurance policies or originals for review, but such review shall not be interpreted that the Consultant has complied with the requirements of the RFP (Agreement)

9.       Instructions for Submission of Proposals

One electronic copy in MS Word Format is to be received by The College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts of Canada  no later than 2 p.m. AST on Friday, June 24, 2016 at the following email address:

Attention:  James MacHattie, Principal
Phone:      (902)436-5377

Subject lines are to be clearly marked "Proposal for the Specialized Celtic Performing Arts Venue.”

10.       Conclusion

The client reserves the right to award the contract to the consultant of their choice based on the above noted criteria. The lowest bidder, nor any bidder, has any entitlement to award other than through the process. The client accepts no responsibility for expenses incurred in connection with the bid.