Don Cummer and Sue MacGregor have announced to the Scottish Society of Ottawa that they are stepping down as national organizers of Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate. Cummer, who began the tradition of kilt skating to celebrate the birthday of Canada's first Prime Minister, helped organize the first national kilt skate in 2015 and has been the event's public face ever since. MacGregor volunteered in hosting the 2016 Ottawa event when she and her husband had returned from diplomatic postings, and organized the operations of the national events in 2017 and 2018.
The 2018 event has been acclaimed as the best kilt skate yet, and showed considerable momentum across the country. Kilt skates were held in:
· Calgary (February 11), and
At the end of the kilt skate season in February, a conference call was held with the organizers in each of the partner cities to share best practices. It was hoped that the plans and funding would be in place to enable partner cities to promote their events during the summer Scottish festivals in their communities. An agreement in principle was secured by the Scottish Society of Ottawa (SSO) for funding from the Scottish Government, which has been sponsoring the national event since 2017.
However, Cummer and MacGregor were unable to find agreement with SSO on some key matters, and decided to step down as national organizers. SSO will announce who will take over responsibility for helping to organize kilt skates across the country. In the meantime, it has exciting plans for a Scottish festival in Ottawa in January 2019. The Ottawa kilt skate will be in good hands with Carol MacPherson, who organized the skate at the Aberdeen Pavilion in 2018.
In his farewell to SSO's Grand Committee, Cummer thanked the SSO for the friendships and fellowships of the past four years. He intends to continue promoting kilt skating on this website, and will take advantage of any opportunity to don the kilt and skates to celebrate Scottish heritage with bare knees and ice.