Empowering students to realize their full potential through Celtic Performing Arts continues to be the core mission of The College of Piping & The Scott MacAulay Performing Arts of Canada. When the College opened in 1989 there were only 30 students; now the student body has grown to over 150 year-round students!
Looking to bring some cultural flair to your next event?
Our talented professionals are available to make sure events are extra special! Whether you are looking for pipers, drummers, dancers or a whole band – we have options to accommodate your needs. Our performers are available for:
- Corporate Events
- Galas and Entrances
The College of Piping is also a premiere cultural tourism destination on Prince Edward Island, attracting a lion’s share of travellers to the summer-long Celtic Festival. Our year-round, 290 seat, state-of-the-art Celtic Performing Arts Centre opened in 2018 and has become an extension of the classroom, giving aspiring performers the opportunity to perform with faculty and other Island talent. The Scott MacAulay Performing Arts Centre provides year-round entertainment for Island residents and visitors alike. From up and coming acts, to school musicals, community theatre, and well known seasoned performers, the stage and venue fits any type of performance. This new venue is an acoustic jewel in Summerside’s crown and also lends itself to conferences, meetings, weddings, and other special events! In 2002, Attractions Canada named the Festival as the top cultural event on PEI, as well as the “Event of National or International Interest”. The following year, Festival and Events PEI named it the “Top Festival and Event”. In 2008, The College was designated as one of only two Signature Attractions on PEI.
The College of Piping grew out of a small group of committed people. In the 1980s, a local committee bought a two-bedroom bungalow on Water Street in Summerside and revived a pipe band association. Volunteers taught piping, drumming and dancing part-time, but as time went on, they knew that to be successful, they needed full-time teachers for year-round instruction.
Don Groom was the piping instructor for the pipe band that folded in 1969. “Some of us got involved in the mid-1980s in starting another band in association with the Prince County Caledonia Club – an organization that held an annual St. Andrew’s Day dinner. All the instruments, uniforms and equipment were here from the 1960s and that gave us a little impetus to get the Caledonia Pipe Band going,” said Mr. Groom. Hiring Scott MacAulay in February of 1990 was the beginning of what was to become The College of Piping and The Scott MacAulay Performing Arts of Canada. With his solid credentials as a leading international solo piper and clinician came the foundation for growth. MacAulay had just gotten the teaching bug and was in high demand when the piping world saw this talent.