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Updated: PPBSO Response to COVID-19

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’d like to tell all our members of the PPBSO’s current planning and status regarding COVID-19. Following the advice of the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, all indoor gatherings of more than 250 are to be suspended. Although that is a fairly high bar, the PPBSO and its branches want to ensure the health and safety of all its members and competitors. As such, the various branches have announced the following cancellations and postponements:

  1. Niagara-Hamilton Amateur Contest (March 11th) – cancelled

  2. Glengarry Cup (April 4th) – postponed

  3. Toronto Indoor Games (April 11th) – cancelled

  4. Angew-Harrison / Big Jimmy’s Bass & Tenor Worksup (April 18) – cancelled

  5. Ottawa Branch PDQB Exams (April 25 & 26) – cancelled

  6. The Livingstone (May 9) – cancelled

  7. Ottawa Branch Indoor Games (May 9) – cancelled

Additionally, the PPBSO Adjudication Seminar that was originally scheduled for April has been postponed until the fall. More details about this postponement will be sent directly to the members of our adjudication panel.

The Western branch Indoor Games are currently proceeding as originally scheduled. Given that this is a rapidly evolving situation, the Board of Directors and the branches will be constantly reviewing their indoor events and following the recommendations of the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and the local Boards of Health. Announcements regarding these events will be made closer to their dates.

Regarding our summer calendar of highland games, at this time it is our expectation that these events will be proceeding as planned and as per normal. We’ll be working closely with the organizing committees to ensure a safe event for both our members and the general public. Depending upon the extent to which this crisis unfolds over the next couple of months, should changes be necessary, the PPBSO work with the games committees to make those changes happen and we’ll make additional announcements to our members as needed.

Since the question has been raised a few times now, in the event of any contest cancellation, all entry fees will be refunded. Competitors can feel secure registering for any contest knowing that they are covered if the contest cannot proceed for any reason.

Finally, a note to all of our bands. We know that all bands are evaluating their practice schedule in light of recent developments. The PPBSO does not have any official guidance on whether bands should suspend their practices, but for those bands that are continuing to practice, we ask that you closely follow and monitor the recommendations of the local Boards of Health and follow safe practices – especially when it comes to the handling of reeds, chanters, and blowpipes. The health and safety of all is paramount in these times.

Additional information will be posted on our website over the course of the coming months. The Board of Directors will meet with the frequency required to address new developments, and the executive officers of the PPBSO will continue to work closely with the branch officers and our partners in the games committees to assist where possible with their upcoming events.

Chris Buchanan, President

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