A Kilt Skate for North Glengarry

A Kilt Skate for North Glengarry

There are several communities in Canada that take particular pride in their Scottish heritage.  You'll find them from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, to Red River in Manitoba, to the Alberta city whose name in Gaelic means "clear running water" -- Calgary. But across a nation that is sometimes described as "the Scotland of North America," you'd be hard-pressed to find a community with fiercer pride in its Scottish roots than Eastern Ontario.

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Rideau Canal Skateway opens for its 48th Season

Rideau Canal Skateway opens for its 48th Season

The weather has been subarctic across Canada, but for those waiting for the skating season, one of the benefits has been anticipating the opening of the world's largest skating rink:  the Rideau Canal Skateway. For 7.8 kilometres it curves an arch through the centre of Ottawa -- from the Hartwell Locks at Carleton University to the canal's final descent to the Ottawa River in the heart of downtown.

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Ring in 2018 at Hogman-eh!

Ring in 2018 at Hogman-eh!

For the sixth year in a row, the Scottish Society of Ottawa is throwing the best New Year's party in town -- and the largest Hogmanay celebration outside of Scotland. Thousands are expected at the Aberdeen Pavilion between 5 p.m. and midnight to enjoy the food, dancing, whisky tasting, and live entertainment.  And to warm the Scottish heart on one of the coldest New Year's Eves in memory -- admission is free.

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Cities Vie for the Title: Kilt Skate Capital of Canada

Cities Vie for the Title: Kilt Skate Capital of Canada

For the fourth straight year, skaters across Canada will be taking to outdoor rinks in a unique celebration of Scottish heritage: the annual Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate. What began years ago as a private house party to celebrate a birthday has grown into a friendly, cross-country rivalry for the title of Kilt Skate Capital of Canada.

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Scottish Government supports Kilt Skates across Canada

Scottish Government supports Kilt Skates across Canada

“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.”

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NHL Goes Outdoors

NHL Goes Outdoors

Canadians love their outdoor rinks -- the "ODR" as the teenagers call them. There's at least one in every neighbourhood, lovingly built and tended by community volunteers. Sometimes whole families get into the act -- going out on a cold, starlit night to clear the snow and flood the rink is part of growing up Canadian. 

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Scottish Government supports kilt skates across Canada

Scottish Government supports kilt skates across Canada

For the second straight year, the Scottish Government has come forward with funding to help communities across Canada celebrate their Scottish Heritage with bare knees and ice. It has signed an agreement with the Scottish Society of Ottawa that will see the SSO distribute money that will support Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate.

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St. Andrew's Day -- a time for giving

St. Andrew's Day -- a time for giving

Everywhere there will be dinners, toasts, and memories of the auld country. But perhaps most important of all, there will be kindness, caring and giving. This year, let's do more than celebrate St. Andrew. Let's #BeLikeStAndrew .

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Scots wha hae kent the Grey Cup

Scots wha hae kent the Grey Cup

Last week, Ottawa hosted the Grey Cup Festival -- a national celebration of the unique game that is Canadian football.  It's a time for fans from across the country to come together, and this year, when the championship was held in Ottawa, there was a strong Scottish flavour.

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Hosting Kilt Skates for 2018

Hosting Kilt Skates for 2018

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.

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Sir John A.: Hero or Villain?

Sir John A.: Hero or Villain?

Is Sir John A. Macdonald a hero or a villain?  Should his statues be toppled and his name removed from schools?  Or should we make his birthday a national holiday – and celebrate it with bare knees and ice?

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Scottish Website Celebrates Alice Munro

Scottish Website Celebrates Alice Munro

In its snapshot biography of the Canadian writer, the website outlines how Munro went through a tough literary apprenticeship when she began her studies at the University of Western Ontario in 1949.  "Throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s there was a feeling that Canadian writers, especially female Canadian writers, were unwelcome intruders into the world of literature. This meant that for much of her early career, Munro struggled to find critical acceptance."

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SNALC! North American leadership

SNALC!  North American leadership

Scots can be a clannish lot, taking care of our own affairs and letting others tend to theirs. But when we do get together to share ideas and compare challenges, the results can be invigorating. The Scottish North American Leadership Conference (SNALC) has been held in Chicago, Detroit, New York and Edinburgh. On August 10-11, 2017, in honour of Canada's 150th birthday, the 16th annual  was held in Canada for the first time at the University of Guelph.

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