I am honoured and grateful to be elected President of The Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario. To start, I’d like to thank Michael Grey on behalf of the PPBSO for his leadership, dedication, and commitment over the past three years in successfully stewarding the society through some extremely challenging times.
While a few of you know me well, I appreciate that most of you are not familiar with me. So, let me provide a little background. My name is Andrew Giles. Like many PPBSO members I come from a proud, rather ethnocentric, Scottish family. My father also played the bagpipes and loved everything about the instrument and culture.
I have played the bagpipes since the age of twelve with lessons with the City of Oshawa Pipes and Drums. I also played with St. Andrews College Pipes and Drums (Aurora, Ontario) and have attended a number of workshops over the years. I have fond memories as a teenager of competing at Games like Fergus and Maxville and countless parades and events. I do not proclaim any mastery over the instrument by any means - far from it. However, there are few things in life that I am as passionate about as the bagpipes (and pipe bands in general.)
The PPBSO offers a connection with the past, a sense of continuity, community, and coherence. It’s a vehicle to celebrate and promote our shared heritage and traditions - something becoming increasingly relevant in our modern age. I was drawn to the role because I believe it’s incumbent upon me to do my part in ensuring that our proud traditions are carried on.
The PPBSO needs resources and we all must do our part in fostering the next generation of pipers and drummers. It’s my goal to drive new membership and volunteerism while optimizing fundraising and not-for-profit donations. It is my intention to work with the board, members, and all stakeholders in driving positive change and advancing the interests of the PPBSO.
This while promoting an inclusive culture that supports our wider diversity goals. We must endeavour to find new ways to sharing our love of pipes and drums with a new, diverse generation. Every one of us has a role to play in helping the PPBSO achieve its ambitions. Your contribution will have impact.
I’ve have had the good fortune to work in brand strategy in top advertising agencies in Vancouver, Toronto, New York, San Francisco, and most recently in Cape Town, South Africa (until the pandemic hit.) I have a consulting agency today and live in Ashburn, Ontario. My favourite tunes at the moment are "The Mason’s Apron" and "Sergeant Malkie Bow's Consternation”.
I’m excited and optimistic about the upcoming year. To all those who volunteer their time and energy at the PPBSO and to all members at large - thank you for this opportunity and your faith. If you have ideas or concerns please feel free to reach out directly - email@example.com.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!