Organize your own Kilt Skate

Organizing a Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate in your community is easy. Basically you need three things:

  • An ice surface -- preferably outdoors;
  • Skaters looking for a good time;
  • Some skaters willing to wear kilts, tartan and other Scottish regalia.

But the great success of Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate has been due to the added touches that make for a memorable event. Some of these include:

  • Choose a date where you’ve got a good chance of cold weather and hard ice – statistically, the coldest week of the year is the end of January, beginning of February.
  • Get the word out to your members and networks. Social media has been a powerful tool for kilt skates. Check out the Facebook event page of the Scottish Heritage Council of Manitoba for one example. We've launched our own Facebook event page for the bicentennial event in 2015.
  • Look for partners in your community: highland dance companies; scottish country dancing clubs; highland regiments; Scottish pubs.
  • Provide hot chocolate and a birthday cake – we’re celebrating a birthday after all! Sir John A’s birthday: January 11, 1815.
  • Create a giant birthday card for Sir John A.
  • Set up a table with information on your organization -- and a sign-up sheet for new members and volunteers.
  • Decorate with Scottish bunting and regalia – the Government of Scotland can help. Contact their office in Toronto.
  • Contact the Protocol Office at city hall and have them proclaim your kilt skate day as the official Sir John A. Macdonald Day in your city. 
  • Seek out corporate sponsors who want to help you celebrate Canadian history and/or Scottish heritage.
  • Arrange a venue where people can celebrate (and warm up!) with an after-party: Is there a Scottish pub near your ice surface? Ask them if they’d like to help out!
  • Media publicity: Newspaper, radio and television love the idea of people going skating in their kilts. Here’s something from the 2015 skate.
  • Social media presence: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, MeetUp – put them all to work!
  • Stay in touch with your kilt skate colleagues in other partner cities. There’s a good-natured rivalry over who gets the most skaters out on the coldest day!

This year, the 2nd Annual Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate will once again be held in cities across Canada.  Check the hyperlinks for activities in your community.

  • Ottawa: Saturday, January 28, 2017, 12:00-2:30 p.m.; 
  • Calgary: Saturday, February 12, 2017
  • Montreal, Saturday, January 14, 2017
  • Saskatoon: Saturday, January 28, 2017
  • Winnipeg, Saturday, January 28, 2017
  • Toronto, Saturday, January 21, 2017
  • Your community? Contact us!
a birthday cake for sir john a.

a birthday cake for sir john a.

Invite the local scottish societies and dance troops to take part in the kilt skate.

Invite the local scottish societies and dance troops to take part in the kilt skate.