After the summer break, the Scottish Society of Ottawa met to plan events for the coming year. There's a lot on our plate, but this year the plans take into account that Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary in 2017. Time to pull out the stops and throw a party!
Events will include whisky tastings, Robbie Burns dinners, Tartan Day, and our biggest and best Hogmanay celebration to ring in 2017. And of course, we're already putting plans in place for the Third Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate.
We still can't announce dates and locations for sure. We're still working out some logistics issues. For example: is it possible to combine a kilt skate with a Burns dinner?
Once again, we will be hosting the kilt skate on a weekend in January -- as part of our efforts to brand "Scottish Month in Canada." As a result, it won't be possible for us to partner with Winterlude as we did in 2015. Winterlude this year runs from February 3-20, and will be a wonderful celebration on the Rideau Canal Skateway, but the only kilt skating will be individual and impromptu. (I'll see some of you there!)
For 2016, our plans for the kilt skate had to be changed on short notice because of the extremely short skate season. The Rideau Canal Skateway was not open to the public by the weekend we had scheduled the skate, so we moved it onto the ice at the Aberdeen Pavilion. A splendid time was had by all, and we learned that we could adapt our plans to suit the weather. All we need is kilts and ice!
For 2017, we're re-visiting some of the plans we had in place for last January. One of the options is to centre the Ottawa kilt skate on the ice at Dow's Lake. This is what the location looked like this afternoon.
But this was the scene last winter.
The Dow's Lake Pavilion provides a local landmark that draws the lunch crowd from the government buildings nearby.
In skating season, it's shelter from the storm.
In the summer, you can come to the Dow's Lake Pavilion to rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats.
Prices are cheap!
In the winter, you come here to put on your skates.
One of the advantages of hosting the kilt skate at Dow's Lake: at one end of the lake, restaurants!
At the other end of the lake, Beaver Tails!
We're still considering other options, but in the meantime, we've been talking with the restaurant owners so that they'll be ready for the crowds should we decide to hold the Third Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate on Dow's Lake.
Watch for further details.