Winter is coming! And plans are underway for what is expected to be the biggest and best kilt skate season ever. The events will be more tightly organized this year, with new requirements for those partners who will receive funding to help organize kilt skates in their cities.
While the specific terms of this year's funding are being worked out, it became clear in discussions over the summer that certain expectations should be met in return for the money.
As a result, the amount of funding from the Scottish Government and other sponsors will depend on the size of the event and the opportunity it provides to showcase the sponsors. For 2018, there will be three different categories of participation in Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate.
Tier A cities will receive the most funding. The sponsorship will support the organization of opening ceremonies that feature local dignitaries, who can deliver messages from the Prime Minister, the Premier, the Mayor, and so on, as well as a spokesperson from the Scottish Government or from Visit Scotland.
Those who attended the kilt skates in Ottawa and Toronto last year will recall how the opening ceremonies added to the festive atmosphere of the event.
Tier B cities will receive enough funding to support a birthday party for Sir John A. -- complete with birthday cake, hot chocolate, and lots of bunting and swag courtesy of the Scottish Government. The Tier A cities will also host this kind of party.
Tier C cities will be those who will receive support from the organizers of the event, but no sponsorship funding. After all, anyone can celebrate Scottish heritage by wearing tartan and strapping on a pair of skates!
If you want to host a kilt skate in your city, let us know. We'll promote your event on this website. Last year, for example, Lloydminster organized a kilt skate inspired by the events in nearby Saskatoon. When we heard about it, we helped them celebrate!
Each of the societies that hosts a Tier A or B kilt skates will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Scottish Society of Ottawa and the national organizers of the event, who will be responsible for administering the funds. The "national organizers" are Don Cummer and Sue MacGregor, who will be familiar to our kilt skate partners from previous years.
That's us in the picture, along with the Scottish Government's Chris Maskell. Watch for more details about sponsorship funding in the near future.