Winnipeg: kilt skating at 30-below

Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate wrapped up for the 2018 season with two events in prairie cities that don't get intimidated by cold weather.

 Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

The temperatures in Western Canada on the morning of Sunday, February 11, dropped to the minus-20 range. In Calgary, the skaters were sheltered somewhat by the tall buildings. The Riley Family Duck Pond in Assiniboine Park, on the other hand, has little to shelter it from winds that sweep down from the Arctic.  Wind chill made the temperature feel like it was 30-below.

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That didn't stop Winnipegers from coming out for a good time.

 Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

It didn't stop them from baring their legs to the elements.

 Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

The kids didn't seem to mind the cold. This is Scotland's Year of Young People, and the Scottish Government, which has been sponsoring the kilt skates in seven cities across Canada this winter, would be pleased to see so many young Manitobans proud of their Scottish heritage.

 Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Even the very young ones.

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 Photos: Ben Wasylyshen

Photos: Ben Wasylyshen

And when everyone gathered for the opening ceremonies...

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...neither the scissors were frozen shut, nor the ribbon too cold to cut.

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 Photos by Ben Wasylyshen

Photos by Ben Wasylyshen

That's Evelyn Mitchell, the organizer of the kilt skate, holding the ribbon. Cutting the ribbon is the Honourable Heather Stefanson, MLA, Minister of Justice, Attorney General, and Deputy Premier of Manitoba. She is related to Hugh John Macdonald, eighth Premier of Manitoba, and the son of Sir John A. himself.  Beside Minister Stefanson is the President of the St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg, Lawrence Prout. The banner man is John Perrin, who stepped forward in 2015 to organize the first Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate in Winnipeg. He is president of The Scottish Heritage Council of Manitoba and also a past president of The St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg.

 Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Cold weather makes for good ice, and people had a good time.

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 Photos: Ben Wasylyshen

Photos: Ben Wasylyshen

The Highland dancers got into the spirit.

 Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

But when the time came for the next items on the agenda, they followed the gang back to the Qualico Family Centre.

 Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Where they could dance without fear of frostbite.

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 Photos: Ben Wasylyshen

Photos: Ben Wasylyshen

Indoors was also a good place to serve the birthday cake.

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 Photos: Ben Wasylyshen

Photos: Ben Wasylyshen

And all in all, it was a good time to catch up with family and friends.

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 Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

The Winnipeg Sun wrote up the event in a full-page spread.

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Thanks, Evelyn Mitchell, and the St. Andrew's Society of Winnipeg.

 Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

Photo: Ben Wasylyshen

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