Winnipeg: a seventh kilt skate city!

Winnipeg has rejoined the kilt skate family.  Here's today's news release.

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For immediate release: February 2, 2018

Winnipeg vies to claim title of “Kilt Skate Capital of Canada”

WINNIPEG – On Sunday, February 11, at the Riley Family Duck Pond, Qualico Family Centre, Assinboine Park, the people of Winnipeg will take to the ice in their kilts, tartans and other Scottish regalia in an effort to claim the title of “Kilt Skate Capital of Canada.”

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The annual Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate began as a modest house party, but went national a few years ago when Canada celebrated the birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald, the nation’s first Prime Minister, who was born on January 11, 1815. Winnipeg was one of the cities that hosted a kilt skate in 2015 – perhaps one of the coldest on record, with the wind chill approaching 40-below.  Last year, on the other hand, the Winnipeg kilt skate had to be cancelled because the temperatures climbed toward 20-above.

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This year, seven different communities – Montreal, Alexandria, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatoon and Calgary as well as Winnipeg – will vie for the bragging rights as kilt skate capital.

“Come out and celebrate Sir John A’s birthday and Scottish heritage,” says Evelyn Mitchell of the St. Andrew’s Society of Winnipeg, the organizer of the event. “Skate on the Duck Pond, with your tartan on, then warm up with free hot chocolate and birthday cake at the Qualico Centre, Assiniboine Park. This is an annual event that occurs throughout many cities across Canada.”

The birthday cake and hot chocolate will be offered to anyone wearing tartan, and is sponsored by the Scottish Government, which is supporting kilt skates across the country. “Sir John A’s 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.”

“Winnipeg has strong Scottish roots,” says Lawrence Prout, President of the St. Andrew’s Society. “They go back to the early days of the fur trade and to the Red River Settlement and the Selkirk settlers. We’re very proud of Scotland’s contribution to the city’s multicultural heritage.”

“You don’t have to wear a kilt to be part of the kilt skate,” says the Scottish Society of Ottawa’s Don Cummer, who created the first kilt skates and now helps organize the national event. “You don’t even have to be Scottish. A kilt skate is an opportunity to celebrate the inner-Scot that lives in many of us. After all, tartan is Canada’s favourite colour!”

The kilt skate will take place at the Riley Family Duck Pond at the Qualico Family Centre, Assinboine Park from 1:30-3:30 on Sunday, February 11, with the official opening ceremony on the ice at 2pm.

For updated information, check 2018 Events at


For more information:

Winnipeg event:

Evelyn Mitchell



Media Contact:


Daria Zmiyiwsky- Publisher - Director of Advertising

Winnipeg Sun


National event:

Don Cummer