Comox Valley Highland Games

Courtenay Travel Blog

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2008 Simon Fraser Pipe Band playing their medley

If you're in Port Alberni on the Saturday of the May Long Weekend and you're interested in Scottish culture, you basically have two choices. 1. read street signs in Port Alberni - Athol, Argyle, Mar, Montrose, etc. and top your experience off with dinner at McDonalds or 2. take a 2 hour drive to Lewis Park in Courtenay to the Comox Valley Highland Games where you will be immersed in scottish arts, sports, dancing and music.

A regular performer is The Simon Fraser University Pipe Band from Vancouver - the first band from outside the UK to win the World Championship several years in succession.

2008 dancers at comox valley highland games
Students of Port Alberni's Mackenzie School of Highland Dance successfully compete there and bring home the medals to prove it. In the past few years world class athletes have competed in traditional highland sports in Courtenay.  The event lasts all day so bring a folding chair & sun screen. Only $4.00 admission - $12.00 for a family of 4 and $3.00 for the program.

2010 Comox Valley Highland Games

Rather than creating a separate blog entry, I thought I would add my photos of the 2010 Comox Valley Highand Games to the 2008 set. These games are the earliest in the Pacific Northwest circuit that includes Vancouver, Victoria Seattle and Portland and feature some of the best performers in the world. 

Some people say the games are at their best when they're going to the dogs. Sheep dog demonstrations with border collies are a popular feature at some of the games I've attended.

2010 The popular West Highland Terrier Parade
  But one of the main attractions at the Comox Valley Highland Games is the West Highland Terriers Parade. Their owners spend most of the morning combing, grooming and trimming - sometimes dressing their pets in the family tartan. When the animals are ready, Pipe Major Bill Quigg and the Comox Valley Pipe Band march onto the field at the head of the parade and virtually all other action on the field stops.  None of The other events can compete with the procession of snow-white "Scottie" dogs.  Only when the dogs - and their owners - have received all of the admiration and attention available do the games return to the scheduled events.

Two of the events I enjoy are the pipe band competitions and the "heavy events" which both attract elite performers. Of course, the band events are dominated by the world-champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band and their associated Robert Malcom Memorial Bands.

CVGuide says:
The highland games are great, so I hear, but honestly I have never been. I have lived in the comox valley my entire life, and still have not managed to make it.

I will be posting all the upcoming info for the 2009 highland games on my site next year as far as schedules and everything are concerned (www.comoxvalleyguide.com)
Posted on: Aug 15, 2008
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2008 Simon Fraser Pipe Band playi…
2008 dancers at comox valley highl…
2008 dancers at comox valley high…
2010 The popular West Highland Ter…
2010 The popular West Highland Te…
2008 dancers at comox valley highl…
2008 dancers at comox valley high…
2008 heavy events competitor
2008 heavy events competitor
2008 putting a little english on…
2008 putting a little "english" o…
2008 nobody told me not to fetch t…
2008 nobody told me not to fetch …
2008 about to pounce
2008 about to pounce
2008 some go to watch the piping a…
2008 some go to watch the piping …
2008 the simon fraser university b…
2008 the simon fraser university …
2010 weight for distance event
2010 weight for distance event
2010 weight for distance
2010 weight for distance
2010 winning form
2010 winning form
2010 highland dancing competitors
2010 highland dancing competitors
2010 concentration
2010 concentration
2010 a confusion of pipers
2010 a confusion of pipers
Comox Games May 21, 2011
Simon Fraser University Pipe Band…
Courtenay
photo by: oriel