Band piping for support

Bagpipers are trying to squeeze some support from the community.

  • Oct. 9, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Bagpipers are trying to squeeze some support from the community.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is asking member jurisdictions if they will provide funds so the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band can rent facilities for practises.

“We’re out to events in Armstrong, Lumby, Falkland and Silver Star,” said Don MacLeod, pipe major, of the group’s role as ambassadors at 40 events annually.

“We represent the whole North Okanagan.”

Presently, the non-profit society rents the Vernon Recreation Complex auditorium about four times a month from September to May for practises. The fee ranges from $2,800 to $3,200.

In comparison, the City of Kamloops provides a pipe band there with $6,000 a year.

The Kalamalka Highlanders are suggesting RDNO waive the fees for the recreation complex, provide $4,000 to the band which will then pay for use of the facility or provide $6,000 for rent, uniforms and equipment.

There are presently 48 members in the Kalamalka Highlanders and the affiliated Arran Campbell Memorial Youth Pipe Band.

“Our members are from every community in the North Okanagan,” said Norm Crerar, society president, adding that there are three students from Enderby.

RDNO directors have decided that all member jurisdictions should have an opportunity to consider possible funding.

“Their membership comes from across the whole regional district,” said director Wayne Lippert, adding that the group’s activities may go beyond the Vernon Recreation Complex.

“They may practise in a facility in Lumby or Armstrong.”

But some politicians don’t want to give the band the impression that its various financial requests will be fulfilled.

“We don’t have to pay everything for them. They can fundraise,” said director Mike Macnabb.