Powell River Pipe Band
The Powell River Pipe Band has held a prominent place in our community for many years. Informally started in 1930 by a number of Scots working in the mill, it grew more organized, and in 1939 it officially gained the sponsorship of the Powell River Company. All members were employees of the Company, and were treated extremely well as the Company sponsored trips across North America and allowed members time off work to practice.
Lt. Col. John MacGregor, a rather famous person in his own right, was the first band president and the band adopted the MacGregor tartan as their official uniform in 1939. The Band's longest trip was in 1940, when it travelled to Texas and California for an entire month, promoting the Powell River Company and representing our town in numerous competitions. The band's most successful years came in the late 1950's and early 60's, when they won the Class A Pipes and Drums championships in six consecutive years (1958-63), held in various cities on the west coast of North America.
In 1960, MacMillan Bloedel took over the Powell River Company and the drummers adopted the MacMillan tartan, though the pipers continued to wear the MacGregor tartan.
Throughout their history, the Powell River Pipe Band played in numerous venues, including the Seattle Sea fair, Grey Cup parades, PNE parades, Portland Highland Games, Victoria Highland Games, Seattle Highland Games and the Worlds Fair in Seattle. They have also won every major contest in the Pacific Northwest and in 1961, recorded an album entitled “Pipes and Drums of Powell River.” Although now formally defunct, some volunteers and old members gather to play at special occasions.