BCPA Update 3 on Response to COVID-19 novel coronavirus – Mar 16 2020

No Annual Gathering for 2020
Two meetings this past weekend with pipe bands leaders and other Annual Gathering stakeholders came to the decision to not hold the Annual Gathering this year.

It was felt that the further disruption in people’s and families lives of trying to hold a major event in a time period when they are not used to piping and drumming competitions (September) and that such a rescheduled event would be significantly diminished in stature were key factors cited.

2020 Annual Gathering Entry Fees, Admission Tickets, and Advertisements payments to be refunded
BCPA is preparing to refund all Annual Gathering entry fees, admission tickets, and souvenir programme advertisement payments. Approximately 150 refund transactions will need to be processed which, at this time, will have to be done individually and will be conducted over the next two weeks.

Order of the BC Provincial Health Officer
While the April 10 & 11 Annual Gathering was cancelled on March 13 based on BC Minister of Health Adrian Dix directing all event organizers to cancel any gathering larger than 250 people effective immediately, it has been followed up on March 16 with an Order under the Public Health Act of BC prohibiting from permitting the gatherings of people in excess of 50 people.


The order expires on May 30, 2020 and is subject to revision, cancellation or extension by the Provincial Health Officer.

Annual Gathering registrants should reference this provincial order in any insurance claims for funds recovery.

Free online educational workshops and some online solo performances on April 10 and 11
During the weekend meetings, pipe bands music leaders endorsed the concept of offering some free online educational workshops and some online solo performances on the Friday and Saturday when the 2020 Annual Gathering would have been, namely April 10 and 11.

The idea is to keep promoting the development of players and to provide opportunities for lifting spirits in this period of constrained social interaction.

Details are being worked on and will be announced soon.

Opportunities for assessment of recorded performances
During the weekend meetings, there was discussion about how the Annual Gathering enables players and bands to significantly raise their performances calibres and receive assessments of their performances by top adjudicators.

In this light, the opportunity for assessments of recorded performances by soloists and bands, to continue to provide feedback on the results of their fall and winter practise and rehearsal, was discussed.

The feasibility of this idea is being explored.

Pipe bands support for highland games
At the request of the Victoria Highland Games, BCPA will provide an online survey for pipe bands to indicate their decisions, under the current and changing circumstances, to attend BCPA sanctioned highland games this season and to feedback the results to all the highland games.

While it is recognized that bands may not be able to provide definitive answers, any information that assists highland games in their decision making is greatly appreciated.