History Of The Band

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The Kelowna Pipe Band, originally the Kelowna Legion Pipe Band (Branch 26), was one of the oldest Legion bands in British Columbia, beginning in the late 1920s with a small group of pipers and drummers. Since then, it has grown to nearly 30 playing members. In 2002, the Band became a registered society, and is now known as the Kelowna Pipe Band Society.

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Jim Arthur, one of Sandy Mitchell's first pupils, spent many years in the band as Pipe Major, and retired in the early 1970s. His son Doug joined the band in 1968, and played with the band for over thirty years - many of those as Pipe Major. Sally Stonehouse became the first female Pipe Major in 1999.

The current Pipe Major is Jake Takken, with Pipe Sergeant Jim Watt.

The Band performs year round at numerous functions throughout the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, and Washington State. In addition, the band has traveled to Kelowna's sister cities in both the Netherlands and Japan, and has twice attended the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland. The band enjoys taking part in all of the major competitions in the Okanagan, including Spring Fling, Penticton Highland Games and Vernon Mini-Meet.

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In Memoriam

Keith Frederic TuttKeith Frederic Tutt (17/6/26 - 26/12/13) passed away in the loving care of Cascade Lodge, in Chilliwack, BC, during the early morning hours of December 26, 2013 (at the age of 87).

Following his service in WWII, Keith Frederic Tutt returned to his birthplace, Kelowna, BC. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Canadian Legion Pipe Band under the direction of Pipe Major James (Jimmie) Arthur, who taught him to play the bagpipes.

Keith went on to be the founding Pipe Major of two other bands within British Columbia - the Chilliwack Royal Canadian Legion Pipe Band, and The Terrace Pipe Band, prior to its reformation years later as the Terrace 'Highland' Pipes & Drums Society.

The following publications refer:

  1. Pipe Bands in British Columbia
       Carl Ian Walker       ISBN 1-55056-162-6
  2. Pioneer Pipers of British Columbia
       Carl Ian Walker       ISBN 0-9693035-0-5

Keith and his son once heard "Thou Hast Left Me Ever, Jamie" (Robbie Burns, 1793), on a long forgotten record. They liked it enough to learn it by ear, over the next several weeks, in time for the November 11, 1964 Remembrance Day ceremony, in Terrace, BC. He always called "Thou Hast Left Me Ever" without including the name 'Jamie', and the song became one of his favorites.

Canadian Legion Branch 26 Pipe Band c. 1948-50

The photo above is of the Canadian Legion Branch 26 Kelowna Pipe Band, (c. 1948 - 50). Keith is in the back row, third from the left, beside the Drum Major.

Currently, we are researching the band history and would appreciate hearing from anyone who may have additional information. We would love to hear from you either with stories or photographs.

If you've got anything to share, please contact Band Manager Miriam Campbell, by email or telephone - 250.308.8707.