The Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band was founded in 1969 by serving Ottawa Police officers to promote police community relations and to contribute to memorials for slain officers. This dynamic band has paraded and performed across North America in both Canada and the United States. Outside of their city and region, they have thrilled audiences with their pageantry and show stopping styles at Carnegie Hall in New York City, in Bermuda, Normandy, Colorado, Vancouver, Cleveland, Buffalo, New Hampshire, Toronto, Montreal, Prince Edward Island, and across Ontario.
The Ottawa Police supports its band as it competes annually throughout Ontario, the U.S., and at the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.
Through the nineties to the present day, the Pipe Band has won various titles over the years including the Glengarry Games North American championship in grade four, and Ontario Championship Supreme in grade two in 2012.
The Band wears the 'Red Ross' Tartan in honour of Ottawa's first Chief Constable, Roderick Ross. The Pipe Band and its highland dance troupe currently number close to one hundred members. Pipers and drummers are serving police officers as well as civilian volunteers under the direction of Pipe Major Jamie Ritchie and Drum Major Chris Renwick, both of whom are sworn members of the Ottawa Police. For competitions, the band splits into two, competing at the grade two and grade four levels, enjoying much success. Many of our current pipers and drummers compete individually at different levels across North America and in Europe and have won numerous solo championships, the most notable being the world championship solo gold medal at the Northern Meeting in 2010 by grade two band Pipe Major Andrew Hayes. Much of the band's success can be attributed to Andrew's father and former Pipe Major, Superintendent Pat Hayes M.O.M., who sadly passed away in September 2005 while still leading the band.
In 2003, the band was invited to play at Carnegie Hall for the 9/11 anniversary memorial concert by the NYPD Pipe Band. In June 2005, the band hosted and organized the 150th Anniversary Ottawa Police "Tattoo" held at the Civic Centre in Ottawa. Almost 500 performers, including several Pipe Bands, thrilled the crowds with pomp and pageantry in a magical spectacle which raised thousands of dollars for the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. In 2005, the band was invited to beautiful Bermuda to play in an International Tattoo celebrating 500 years of colonization. In January 2007, the OPS Pipe Band opened for rock star Rod Stewart at the Scotiabank Place on his "Rockin' in the Round" tour. The band performed for the opening of the 2012 Juno Awards, and were recently invited to play "Mull of Kintyre" with Sir Paul McCartney at his July 2013 sold-out concert at the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa.
The Pipe Band has produced four recordings in the past several years, featuring joint ventures with famous Canadian tenor John McDermott, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Pipes and Drums, the Band of the Ceremonial Guard, the Maple Leaf Brass Band, as well as the "Brigadoons", a celtic band from Glengarry. Much of the proceeds from sales have been donated to charities which include the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Children's Wish Foundation, and Big Sisters Big Brothers of Ottawa.
The Pipe Band is always looking for new musicians and dancers from the community who have the necessary qualities to enhance the band's mission.
Congratulations to the band who placed third in the North American Pipe Band Championships at the Glengarry Highland Games on July 30, 2016. This is the second year that the OPS Pipe Band has competed in the top competition level (grade 1).
The Pipe Band will be competing at the World Championships August 13 and 14, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. Everyone at Ottawa Police would like to wish them the best of luck in the upcoming competition.
For more information, contact the Ottawa Police Service Pipe Band and highland dancers!