BC Pipers’ Bursary Programs Available to All


Drum Major Ollie Hamilton, Seaforth Highlanders of Canada

What do Mary MacKinnon, Neil Stubberfield, Darlene Milloy and Ollie Hamilton have in common?

You would need to be a serious student of pipe music in BC to know the answer to this.  All four British Columbia luminaries have awards or bursaries in their name, providing direct financial support to BC pipers, drummers and drum majors who want to advance their playing skills. While the Mary MacKinnon Award isn’t specifically focused on learning the pipes, the other three bursaries are available to those who want assistance in their learning process.

The Mary MacKinnon Memorial Service Award (which was just presented to Victoria Highland Games Exec. Director Jim and Donna Maxwell for 2018) recognizes individuals who continue to champion, promote, administer and organize events for pipers, drummers and pipe bands, either competitive or non-competitive in British Columbia.

The Neil O. Stubberfield Piobaireachd Bursary is available to competitive Piobaireachd players who want to advance their understanding or performance of Ceol Mor (the ‘big music’). It also provides support for BC players who want to compete outside the region at national or international competitive or for financial support to study under a recognized international Piobaireachd player.

Anyone in BC in the 1970’s and 80’s competition world would likely have known piper

darleen miharija

Darlene (Miharija) Milloy

Darleen (Miharija) Milloy. Darlene won the 1987 MacCrimmon Memorial Cairn at the BC Annual Gathering, the Silver Medal in Scotland (the first BCPA members to do so) and was involved with winning pipe bands including the Vancouver Ladies and SFU Pipe Band.   A bursary in her memory has been available for several years and continues to assist pipers in this province maintain a high level of play on both national and international stages.

And not to forget drum majors, Ollie Hamilton, the long time Seaforth Highlanders Pipe Band DM is the inspiration behind a bursary in his memory.  The bursary supports drum majors of all ages to advance their skills with individual tuition or workshops.

If you are a young (or older) student of pipes, drums or drum majoring, then take a look at what the BCPA can offer you in terms of financial assistance.  The assistance is available at various times of the year and can assist those who need a little hand in the long process of learning our instruments.

Check out the BCPA Bursary web page here for deadlines, applications and rules.