The event is over three days with athletics and qualifying rounds for the World Dancing Championships plus many other events taking place on Thursday and Friday. Saturday sees the final of the dancing plus it is the day that the pipe bands descend on the town.
For information about the games go to the offical website www.cowalgathering.com. To look at the offical pictures from the Gathering click on the this link http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/cairnsphotography/albums/events/
WHATS ON IN 2012
THURSDAY 23RD AUGUST
Highland Dancing – Scottish National Championships
Classic car display leaves from Dunoon pier
Classic car display arrives at the stadium
5k Cowal run starts – Yachtsman Cafe, West Bay. (registration @ Queen’s Hall from 6.00pm)
FRIDAY 24TH AUGUST
Highland Dancing – Scottish Championships
Solo Piping Competitions
Primary School Athletics
Heavy Athletics Competitions
Highland Dancing Prize Giving
7.30pm Family Ceilidh Dance – The Queen’s Hall, Dunoon Town Centre
SATURDAY 25TH AUGUST
Highland Dancing – Argyllshire Championship
Cowal Pipe Band Championships
Highland Dancing – World Championship Finals
Ceilidh Tent with Heron Valley, The Midden, Hell for Leather and Trail West
Highland dancing – World Championships Prize Giving
Massing of the Bands and Pipe Band Prizegiving
Bands March Down Argyll Street
Firework Display – Dunoon Pier
HONORARY CHIEFTAIN FOR 2012 ANNOUNCED
Cowal Highland Gathering is delighted to announce that the television presenter, writer and director, Paul Murton is to be their Chieftain for 2012.
Paul will attend the Cowal Gathering on Saturday 25th August 2012. As Chieftain he will present the trophies to the winners in the World Highland Dancing Championships, before accepting the salute from the spectacular massed bands and presenting the winning bands with some of the most prestigious trophies in the pipe band world. Cowal Gathering Event Manager, Malcolm Barclay, said “we are delighted That Paul has accepted our invitation to be this year’s Chieftain and look forward to welcoming him back to Dunoon. His passion for Scotland and its culture is well known and we are certain he will enjoy his day at one of the finest cultural events Scotland has to offer.” Paul Murton said “it is a privilege and an honour to be asked to act as the games’ chieftain for the Day – especially so because I have many fond memories of the event from my childhood, joining the crowds to thrill at the march past of the Thousand Pipers. And now I’ll be taking the salute!”
Paul was brought up among the hills of Cowal, where his parents owned and ran the Ardentinny Hotel on the shores of Loch Long. Paul attended the single teacher Ardentinny Primary school, before moving up to Dunoon Grammar School. In recent years Paul has worked in television and film, across a range of genres. His drama credits include The Bill, Casualty, the period drama Bramwell, and the Scottish soap opera, River City. Returning to Scotland with his young family, Paul worked as a freelance producer/director on a number of documentaries for the BBC, Channel Four and STV. In 2007, he began a career in front of the camera as the presenter and director of Scotland’s Clans. More recently, he has become associated the BBC series Grand Tours of Scotland, which he writes, directs and presents.
COWAL HIGHLAND GATHERING RECOGNISED IN NATIONAL EVENTS AWARDS
The National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA), the UK’s leading outdoor events trade association, held their National Events Awards at the end of March.
At the awards ceremony Cowal Highland Gathering was announced as runner up in the NOEA Scotland category. The NOEA say “this award aims to give recognition to those events which have achieved the highest levels of excellence or have made a major contribution to the professionalism of the event industry in Scotland.”
Cowal Gathering Event Manager Malcolm Barclay said “We are absolutely delighted to have been recognised in such a prestigious award. Although we would have loved to have won the category, being runner up to an event of the calibre of the Royal Highland Show is still a major achievement, particularly when you consider some of the other huge events held in Scotland in the past 12 months. This announcement is a huge boost to the small team of staff and volunteers that bring the event together each year. I wish to thank all of our volunteers, event partners, Argyll and Bute Council, our sponsors, competitors and visitors for their continued support of the Cowal Gathering and hope that next year we can make first place our own.”
Tom Clements, Chairman of NOEA Scotland commented “this year’s standard was tremendous, it is a great shame that we couldn’t have 2 winners, but Cowal Highland Gathering must be congratulated in being the runners up and indeed for producing a wonderful event, enjoyed by many as well as having a profound impact on the local Dunoon economy”
The Cowal Highland Gathering takes place annually in August in Dunoon, Argyll and Bute and is supported by Argyll and Bute Council.
Donald MacVicar, Argyll and Bute Council’s head of community and culture, said: “This is great news, and a huge achievement for what is by some distance the biggest event in Argyll and Bute’s calendar.”
“The Cowal Highland Gathering is almost 120 years old, and is now in the diaries of many of the world’s top highland games competitors. Over each of the last few years the event has boasted some 3,500 competitors from as far afield as Canada, Australia and South Africa, and Dunoon and the surrounding area regularly welcomes 15,000-20,000 visitors for the three day show.
“It is a vital contributor to the Cowal economy, as well as one of the country’s best-loved and most spectacular Highland gatherings. We are delighted that it challenged an event of the calibre of the Royal Highland Show for this coveted award, and we look forward to the Cowal Highland Gathering continuing to go from strength to strength in the future.”
For further information visit http://www.noea.org.uk or contact Malcolm Barclay, Event Manager, Cowal Highland Gathering on 01369 703206.
COWAL HIGHLAND GATHERING NOMINATED IN TOP NATIONAL AWARDS
The Cowal Highland Gathering, the largest highland gathering in Scotland, is delighted to announce that it has reached the final two in the prestigious National Outdoor Events Association’s NOEA Scotland Award.
The National Outdoor Events Association is the trade association specialising in the outdoor event industry. Each year they hold an awards ceremony recognising the events and individuals in the event industry that have excelled in the previous year. It is the Oscars of the Events Industry.
Categories in the awards include “Event Innovation of the Year”, “Small Event of the Year”, “Event Organiser of the Year” and the NOEA Scotland Award for the Scottish Event of the Year. It is in this category that the Cowal Gathering has reached the final two.
Cowal Gathering Event Manager, Malcolm Barclay, said “I am delighted that the Cowal Highland Gathering has been recognised in this way by our industry peers, it is amazing recognition of the outstanding work done by our small team of volunteers, conveners, suppliers, competitors, sponsors and the local council who are all so important to the success of the event. It is also recognition of the efforts Dunoon and it’s people make to accommodate the event and the thousands of people who attend. To win the award would be an honour, but just reaching the final two against such tough competition feels amazing.”
The winners will be announced at the National Outdoor Events Association Awards Ceremony in Birmingham on the 22nd March.
COWAL GAMES 2011
To hear interviews with many of the visitors, competitors and those involved with the games including Blythe Duff click here
When the dancing is finished Big Tommy will not be stopping as he will decamp to the studio to continue broadcasting his BFPA live until 7.00am. Then at 7.45am it will be breakfast time at the Swallow Cafe before we wave the BFPA crew off on the ferry.
Whats On This Year
Highland Dancing Scottish National Championships
Classic Car Display Prizegiving
5K Cowal Run
Highland Dancing Scottish Championships
Solo Piping Competitions – Senior & Junior
Primary School Athletics
Burgh Cup Competition for Solo Piping
Cowal Pipe Band Championship
Argyllshire Highland Dancing Championship
Drum Major Dress Competition
Drum Major M & D Pre-Premier Dancing Competition
World Highland Dancing Championship Finals
Kids Entertainment Tent
Drum Major’s Mace over the Bar Competition
Massing of the Bands and Cowal Pipe Band Prizegiving Ceremony
Bands march down Argyll Street
Western Ferries Fireworks Display
Cowal Highland Gathering 2010
This year the games are on the 26th, 27th and 28th August with all the usual favourites and some new ones including the one that we are most excited about, that is Dunoon Community Radio will be broadcasting live from the games on all three days so if you can’t make it don’t worry as we will bring you all the atmosphere, live music and interviews with many of the musicans, officals and anybody else who will speak to us. we will also be joined by some the presenters from Celtic Music Radio. in the run up to the Gathering we will be bringing you information of the many bands and dancers taking part plus other bits of interesting news. So listen to Douglas and Victor’s Late, Late, Late Very Late Breakfast Show every night from 6pm – 7pm except Saturday to hear the latest.
Cowal Highland Gathering 2009
Here are some pictures taken on Saturday in 2009.
As bands have beome more competitve the number of them marching up Argyll Street in the morning has dwindled so this year Gathering Around organised a march setting off from the Castle Gardens at 12noon.
They where followed by Clan Lamont, also participating where The Cowal Knights with Robert the Bruce and members of the Veritas Veriat who had also being entertaining the audience in the Argyll Gardens.
In the park there was lots to see what with the various piping competitions, dancing competitions, heavy events, The ceildh tent and the various stalls
The womens weight throwing competition