Ottawa doubles down

Ottawa doubles down

The Ottawa version of Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate continues to grow.  This year, about a hundred kilted and tartaned skaters gathered at the Lansdowne Park Skating Rink, milling about the tents and taking to the ice on a beautiful winter day. Skating, eating birthday cake and, of course, playing the bagpipes.

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Ottawa -- the Volunteers make the event

Ottawa -- the Volunteers make the event

Ottawa had a perfect day for a kilt skate today, and about a hundred skaters and spectators gathered at Lansdowne Park Skating Court to celebrate Scotland's contribution to Canada's multicultural fabric. The pictures of the event will follow when our photographer culls his shots, but in the meantime, here's some snaps of the preparations, showcasing our wonderful team of volunteer -- coordinated by wonderful Isobel Adams.

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Ottawa -- Media prep for tomorrow's kilt skate

Ottawa -- Media prep for tomorrow's kilt skate

The first kilt skates of the season begin tomorrow in Montreal and Ottawa.  Here in Ottawa, this means a flurry of media interviews that began earlier this week and will continue on the ice tomorrow. Today, however, there were two television interviews with the local CTV station. The Morning Live show had us rendezvous at Lansdowne Park Skating Court, where the Fourth Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate begins tomorrow at 11 a.m. Peter wired me for sound.

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Ottawa: a perfect afternoon at Lansdowne

Ottawa: a perfect afternoon at Lansdowne

Statistically, the bridge between January and February is the coldest week of the year, but when unseasonably warm temperatures closed the Rideau Canal Skateway, the Scottish Society of Ottawa moved Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate to Lansdowne Park Skating Court. If you pipe it, they will come! And we had three pipers -- all on skates.

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The canal is closed; the skating continues.

The canal is closed; the skating continues.

At just 18 days, the 2016 was the shortest skating season on record. The entire length of the canal was open, it seems, for only a few days, including the last weekend during Winterlude. Still, it was a beautiful skate!

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