In a public Facebook post, Halifax piper and owner of Groundswell Music, an artist management company and record label, Ian McKinnon has put out a call to other bagpipe players to pay tribute to the lives lost in Nova Scotia this week.
Now shared over 1,600 times, McKinnon asked pipers throughout Nova Scotia and beyond to dress in their kilt and play Amazing Grace from their balcony, street, or front porch on Friday, April 23 at 8:00 am Atlantic Time.
McKinnon says the idea initially came through another Facebook post from his friend Jon Stone. “Jon has been involved in music in the province, and the idea came into his mind on Monday morning soon after hearing about the events of the weekend,” he says. “As a member of the piping community here with lots of connections, I was happy to use my voice to reach out to fellow pipers.”
The message appears to be getting out with pipers from across Nova Scotia, Canada and as far afield as Scotland taking up the call. The outpouring of support from the community doesn’t surprise McKinnon.
“The response from pipers not only here in Nova Scotia but from around the world now has been amazing,” he says. “Pipers and musicians, in general, are very generous when it comes to this sort of thing, and I knew that people would be generous in their offer of support to play.”
McKinnon’s performance will live stream on the Colchester – Supporting our Communities Facebook group, which will also host the Nova Scotia Remembers online vigil the same night beginning at 7:00 pm Atlantic Time.
McKinnon is also encouraging others to capture their performance on video and send it to him. He will then assemble a compilation video from all the clips to be posted on a special Nova Scotia Pipers’ Tribute YouTube channel and shared with the families of the victims.
“As musicians, it’s something small we can do to let the families of these victims know that we’re thinking of them,” says McKinnon who has played the bagpipes for more than 45 years. “It is our humble nod to pay tribute to them during a very horrible time.”
Halifax Presents will update this article with a link to the video once it is made public.