Based in Greater Vancouver, British
Columbia, the RCMP "E" Division Pipe Band was formed in April, 2006,
and is one of the eight RCMP Pipe Bands currently active in Canada. The
band is comprised of both police and civilian volunteers from
throughout British Columbia, who have come together to share and
showcase their musical talent, and to bring the community closer to its
national police force.
organization was the brainchild of Drum
Major Rob Smith, himself a 30-year veteran of the RCMP, who had
played in many pipe bands throughout his career. Rob had been trying to
start the "E" Division Pipe Band since 1998 when there was a nucleus of
Regular and Retired RCMP members playing at various Force functions.
This early group, led by Pipe Major Colin
Grinstead, ceased operations in 2000 but the desire of Rob to have
an "E" Division band did not end with it. In 2006 Rob left the
Maple Ridge Pipe Band to devote his full time efforts to forming the
Band - this time focusing on a civilian volunteers as the nucleus of a
community pipe band.
The band made
its debut appearance on October 28, 2006, at the Scottish
Cultural Centre in Vancouver, where they played 2 sets of familiar
tunes to a sold-out crowd of over 300 enthusiastic supporters, members
of the pipe band community, friends, and family. They were joined by Ann Gray and Pipe Major Bruce Topp, who each gave
rousing solo performances, and The Halifax
Wharf Rats who played a lively mix of Celtic and Maritime/Atlantic
tunes to get the audience up dancing.
In 2008, Hugh Peden
took over as Pipe Major of the E Division band and continued the band's
early successes. Hugh brings over four decades of piping
experiences to the Band and has maintained the high standard's
originally set out by the founding members. The release of the Band's
first CD, "Live in Langley" which was recorded in concert with the
Vancouver Welsh Men's Choir at the Christian Life Assembly Church in
October 2011 and the overseas trip to Beijing China in 2016 are
major milestones for the band. In 2012 Mike Guillemen
took over as the band's Drum Major and presided over the presentaiton
of the Band's Regimental Mace presentaiton by the E Division Commanding
Officer in 2015.
The band has
been fortunate to have four top competitive side drummers filling the
Drum Sgt role since its inception. Initially Alistair Fraser
built the drum corps from the ground up starting in 2006. He
established a high standard of drumming that continues to this
MacGregor succeeded Alistair in 2008 and led the corp until 2011.
Gwyn's 'Kit Drum' performances at concerts were a highlight during his
Fraser succeeded Gwyn in 2011 and led the drum corp for the next 3
years including the drum corp of National Combined Bands
performance in Quebec City in 2013 and the Okanagan Military Tattoo in
2014. In the fall of 2014, well known local drummer and judge, Gregor Merry,
took over the Drum Sgt role continuing the established tradition of top
leadership in the drum corp.
Band participates in numerous local events in BC from community parades
to corporate events to RCMP ceremonial functions. Band members have
also particiapted in RCMP "Combined" Band events including the Royal
Nova Scotia International Tattoo (twice), the presentation of the RCMP
Service Horse "George" to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Okanagan
Military Tattoo, and the Beijing International Tourism Fesitval.
To learn more
about the RCMP "E" Division, click here.