1972 Scottish World Festival held at the CNE fairgrounds in Toronto Canada. Grade 1 - 28 Bands, Grade 2 - 16 bands, Grade 3 - 28 bands, Grade 4 - 46 bands. I competed in Grade 4 in 1972 and remember watching the Grade 1 contest from the stands. The following year I was in the contest with WRPPB.
Simply click on the file you want to listen to or right-click to download. Below are the recollections of Jim McGillivray.
Scottish World Festival Grade 1 Competition 1972
I attended these as a member of the Guelph Pipe Band starting with the first one in 1972. The weekend competition was only a small part the event. The biggest part were four tattoo shows held each evening from Thursday to Sunday. We rehearsed these on a couple of afternoons mid-week, the first couple of years under D/M Norm MacKenize, and the last couple with, I believe, Larry Fullerton.
The grandstand at Exhibition Place was full each night for the first few years -- 33,0000 each time and it really was a good show. I was in my late teens at the time and every night after the pipe bands performed en masse I would scramble to a spot in the stands to watch the Royal Marines band, which never ceased to thrill me. The Gurkhas were also mesmerizing.
I'm not much for massed bands, having played in probably 10 million of them, but it was exciting every night when the bands opened the show by coming out of the the big castle at one end of the field. The stadium lights would hit you as you came onto the astroturf and 33,000 spectators would cheer, obviously impressed by what they saw. I seem to recall the first year the drum corps were put in the middle and massed bands entered from each end of the field and met in the middle. That was always dicey, but very impressive when it worked. In all honesty, the first show was like a dress rehearsal with lots of prayers. The Saturday and Sunday shows were always the best, and I found it quite sad when we marched off after the Sunday show because you knew this was special and might not be back again. These are among my favourite remembrances of my youth.
Memories of these warm summer evenings at the CNE grounds on the lake are indelibly impressed in my mind. As a kid I was awed by my first exposure to names like Muirhead and Sons (though they were past their prime), Shotts and Dykehead, and the real hot band of the day, Red Hackle.
To me the first two years were in a league of their own for quality and atmosphere. I'm afraid they eventually killed it by running it every year and eventually starting to cut corners. I think if they'd run it every three years or so it would still be running today. I recall hearing that the Scottish World Fesitival Tattoo was the only grandstand show that actually made money over the three weeks of the Canadian National Exhibition.
The competition, I think, was devised simply as a way of giving the Scottish bands the incentive to come over.
The 1972 CNE was the turning point for me. When I saw and heard the Grade 1 bands come across the field playing Jean Mauchline, I knew where I wanted to be. At the time I was playing with Kitchener Legion Br. 50, which was the same band that Jim McGillivray and Hugh Cameron had once played with. Jim went to Guelph and Hugh went to the Highland Fusiliers in Galt, which later became The Waterloo Regional Police Pipe Band. Branch 50 finished 3rd in Grade 4 in a field of 46 (?) bands at the CNE. Immediately thereafter, older brother Will and I joined WRPPB a and began a pretty good run in Grade 1.
I think one of the "unknown" bands was St. Mary's from Australia. Help me out if you can. Thanks.