For immediate release: December 18, 2017
Scottish Government supports Kilt Skates across Canada
OTTAWA – For the second straight year, the Scottish Government will help sponsor a uniquely Canadian celebration of Scottish heritage: Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate. Funds will be forwarded to Scottish organizations across the country to help them throw outdoor parties where skaters will take to the ice in kilts, tartans and other Scottish regalia.
“The Great Canadian Kilt Skate is growing into a truly national celebration of what it means to be Scottish in Canada,” says Chris Maskell, the Scottish Government’s representative in Canada. “The Scottish Government is delighted to be supporting again this year. We’re especially interested in reaching out to a younger generation in our Year of Young People, and we love the exuberance and sense of fun of Canada’s kilt skates.”
In 2018, as the kilt skates showcase the “Year of Young People,” expect to see young hockey and ringuette teams take to the ice, along with the Highland dance clubs that have been a feature of many kilts skates in past years.
Last year, Scottish funding supported kilt skates in five cities across Canada, enabling organizations to buy ice time, hire entertainment and photographers, promote the event in local media, set up a sound system for opening ceremonies, and provide hot chocolate and a birthday cake in honour of Sir John A. Macdonald, the architect of Confederation and Canada’s first Prime Minister.
“This is the fourth year we’ve honoured Sir John A. and Canada’s Scottish heritage in this way,” says Don Cummer, who’s title for the event is Skater-in-Chief. “Thanks to the support of the Scottish Government, the event gets bigger each year. More people. More cities. More fun.”
Discussions are underway with Scottish organizations in various Canadian cities. So far, dates for 2018 have been announced for the following:
· January 13 – Montreal, organized by the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal;
· January 20 – Ottawa, organized by the Scottish Society of Ottawa;
· January 27 – Saskatoon, organized by the Saskatoon Highland Dancing Association;
· January 27 – Toronto, organized by the Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada (CASSOC);
· February 11 – Calgary, organized by the St. Andrew-Caledonian Society of Calgary.
These cities, and those that will join the list in the coming weeks, will vie for the title of “Kilt Skate Capital of Canada,” which was conferred last year on the Montreal event that was held at the Natrel Skating Rink in the city’s Old Port.
“The title of Kilt Skate Capital confers bragging rights,” says Cummer. “With funding from the Scottish Government, each organization competes to throw the best party and bring out the most skaters. Sometimes the weather is a factor in determining the winner. Last year, Montreal attracted crowds on one of the coldest days of the winter. The Scots are a hardy lot!”
“No matter where you are, this event is open to everyone,” says Cummer. “It’s a chance to nurture your inner Scot. You don’t have to be Scottish. You don’t even have to wear a kilt. Just come to the party with a spirit of Scottish fun and fortitude, and wear Canada’s favourite colour – tartan!”
The funding from the Scottish Government is administered through the Scottish Society of Ottawa, which was instrumental in creating the first kilt skate in 2015, and turning it into a national phenomenon.
For more information:
National event: kiltskate.com
Ottawa and SSO: ottscot.ca
Public Inquiries: Secretary@ottscot.ca
Twitter: @Ott_Scot #kiltskate2018
Dr. Gillian Leitch
613-236-1222 ext 5860