The Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band is celebrating its 35th anniversary. (Contributed)

Vernon pipe band celebrates 35th year

The Kalamalka Highlanders started in 1984 and are now the largest pipe band in the Okanagan

What began as a group of individuals in kilts and jackets is now a 35-year Vernon tradition.

That’s how many years the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band is celebrating this year while already looking forward to another 35 years of music, events, parades and community involvement.

The Highlanders will start year 36 at the beginning of September with two dates: Monday, Sept. 2, at House of Dwarfs at 6:30 p.m. and Thursday, Sept. 5, at E20 DND grounds, also starting at 6:30 p.m.

The doors are open to anyone who would like to become a member of the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band. For more information, call 250-306-2594.

You’ll see them at Canada Day celebrations, the Winter Carnival, the Falkland Stampede Parade, Lumby Days, the Lumby Christmas Light Up, and periodically at Penticton’s Peachfest Parade — and you won’t miss their distinctive burgundy Prince Charles jackets and grey and burgundy kilts.

On Nov. 11 every year, the Highlanders deploy to local communities such as Lavington, Lumby and Armstrong and work in concert with the Vernon School District to provide their plaintive music to Remembrance Day ceremonies.

The Highlanders have been the musical backdrop for events such as Run For the Cure at Marshall Fields, and Do it For Dad at the Coldstream Ranch.

The band continues to work with community groups for events like Kidney Walk and the IPE Parade.

The band has a competitive spirit, too. The Highlanders were the overall winners of the Spring Fling competition in 2017 and 2018, and finished runnerup this year.

Read More: Kalamalka Highlanders defend title

Read More: Vernon highlanders raise funds for Santa’s Anonymous

They’ve carried on a long tradition of community support, starting with St. John’s Ambulance, who provided assistance with the purchase of drums for the band.

The Royal Canadian Legion in Vernon and Lumby as well as the Army Navy Air Force Veterans Club have continued to be strong supporters of the Pipe Band.

More recently the Highlanders established an affiliation with Vernon’s militia unit, The BC Dragoons, and participated this summer in the change of command parade, assisted by members of the Kelowna Pipe Band Society and Shuswap Pipes and Drums.

Pipe Major Maureen Soichuk is a former member of Vernon’s Macintosh Pipe Band. Original Pipe Major Reg Scott, Pipe Sergeant Gord Mathers and Drum Sergeant Neil Morrison have been working hard over the years to bring a mix of current and traditional piping music to parades and events.

Many past and present pipers have gone on to do big things in the area, such as Don Campbell who in 1994 founded Summer Drummer at Silver Star, which has since grown to Piping Hot Summer Drummer and is currently one of the largest piping and drumming schools in North America.

Meanwhile, piper Norm Crerar along with Derek Hallhas been the driving force of the Okanagan Military Tattoo, which recently completed its sixth annual event in Vernon.

KHPB has been a part of many other local events, including the opening of the Performing Arts Centre and Rotary Dream Auctions.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Okanagan district updates list of sandbagging stations

Severe weather over the weekend has communities bracing for potential flooding

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

North Okanagan farmers’ markets excited to welcome artisans back amid COVID-19

Provincial health officer announced non-food items to return to markets this weekend

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

COVID-19: Coldstream district office set to open

Safety measures in place to protect staff, public upon June 1 reopening

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Similkameen winery co-owned by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C.’s provincial health officer is part of the original ownership group of Clos du Soleil in Keremeos

Shuswap man reported missing by RCMP has been found unharmed

Salmon Arm resident apologizes for having caused anyone concern

Emergency crews rush youth to hospital after quadding accident in West Kelowna

West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s new off-road vehicle was used in the rescue

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Most Read