Ottawa: a perfect afternoon at Lansdowne

Statistically, the bridge between January and February is the coldest week of the year, but when unseasonably warm temperatures closed the Rideau Canal Skateway, the Scottish Society of Ottawa moved Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate to Lansdowne Park Skating Court. If you pipe it, they will come! And we had three pipers -- all on skates.

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

And none of them shy about skating and piping at the same time.

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

And the Scots responded... 

-- down from the Highlands... 

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

up from the Lowlands...

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

Everyone coming to celebrate Sir John A. with bare knees...

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

And ice!

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

Look closely at these stockings...and that sporran...

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

They belong to Homero, who arrived from Mexico just a year ago, went skating for the first time in an adventure that was chronicled here, and this year, he and his wife Barbara are determined to take part in the celebration of Sir John A -- to the point of creating their own Scottish clothing.

On this 28th day of January, we did more than celebrate the achievements and legacy of Sir John A. Macdonald, who was born in Glasgow on January 11, 2015.  January 28 happens to be the birthday of Alexander Mackenzie, who was born in Logierait, Perthshire, in 1822.

Mackenzie's Great-great Grandson, John Morgan, joined us at the kilt skate alone with his own grandchildren. Here's what John wrote after the event: "I'd like to thank the Scottish Society for your hospitality at the Kilt Skate on Saturday. We had a lot of fun and the grandkids enjoyed the bagpipes and 'men in skirts.'  It was a great opportunity for them to learn a bit more about their Scottish heritage.  I am glad I connected with the Scottish Society and look forward to future events."

To honour both Scottish-born Prime Ministers, it was a day to set aside partisanship.  The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister for the Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, brought greetings from Prime Minister Trudeau.

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor proclaimed Sir John A. Macdonald in the City of Ottawa.

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

That's the Scottish Society of Ottawa's Executive Director, John Ivison, with the proclamation.

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

Chris Maskell, the Scottish Government's representative in Canada, urged everyone that this is the perfect year to visit Scotland -- the "Year of History, Heritage and Archeology."

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

The skater-in-chief stirred up the crowd.

And the Master of Ceremonies, John Ivison, showed the colours.

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

Altogether now for the ribbon cutting!

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

After the opening ceremonies came the birthday cake and hot chocolate...

IMG_4967.JPG

... greatly appreciated on a day when the temperature dips below freezing.

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

But above all, people skated...

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

...and skated.

And skated.

Colours flying!

Some were beginners.

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

Some were pre-beginners.

But some certainly knew their way around an ice rink!

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography

All in all, a great day to make new friends...

To come in from out of town...

To celebrate Scotland...

And to take satisfaction that Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate was over for another year.

And then we could relax at the Robbie Burns dinner.

There were so many people who worked hard to put on the Third Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate.

 "Prince Richard" Fleming

"Prince Richard" Fleming

 Heather Theoret-- Joseph Allain Photography

Heather Theoret-- Joseph Allain Photography

 Dave Masson, Pierre Theoret, Don Cummer and John Theoret -- Joseph Allain Photography

Dave Masson, Pierre Theoret, Don Cummer and John Theoret -- Joseph Allain Photography

 Chris Maskell

Chris Maskell

 Michelle Beaupre

Michelle Beaupre

 Jackie McKeown and her team of volunteers, including Linda Camilleri and Caroline Henderson.  (Just off camera are Janet Detillieux and  Joanne Stanojcvich .)

Jackie McKeown and her team of volunteers, including Linda Camilleri and Caroline Henderson.  (Just off camera are Janet Detillieux and Joanne Stanojcvich.)

 John Theoret

John Theoret

 Sue MacGregor

Sue MacGregor

And the many others who didn't happen to stroll across the line of sight of our photographers' cameras that afternoon -- including Charlie Inglis, Mike Flaherty and Sue Tolusso.  Send us your pictures, folks, and we'll include you in the rogues gallery!

 Joseph Allain Photography

Joseph Allain Photography