Scottish government is actively distancing itself from John A. Macdonald: report

Scottish government is actively distancing itself from John A. Macdonald: report

As statues of Sir John A. Macdonald are vandalized or removed in the country he founded, the late politician is also being disavowed by the country where he was born. A Monday report in The Times wrote that “all references” to the Scottish-born leader are being excised from official Scottish government websites and documents.

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The Times of London on Scottish Government and Sir John A.

The Times of London on Scottish Government and Sir John A.

A government spokesman said: “We acknowledge the controversy around Sir John A Macdonald’s legacy and the legitimate concerns expressed by indigenous communities on the commemoration of his life. The views of these communities must be respected, and we will continue discussions with Kilt Skate organisers and indigenous representatives on the branding and purpose of the event before taking a decision in respect of future funding.”

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Toronto's Scots come out in big numbers

Toronto's Scots come out in big numbers

After a flurry of social media posts, Scots came out in great numbers to Toronto's second annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate. Outdoor kilt skates are always vulnerable to the weather, and on the Saturday on which the skate was originally scheduled, the rain poured on Nathan Phillips Square. Mind you, that didn't stop some Torontonians from trying out their skates, but I'm glad the City asked us to move our event to Sunday. 

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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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Montreal skate "the best one ever"

Montreal skate "the best one ever"

The temperature was just above freezing but the refrigeration coils kept the ice surface hard at the Natrel Skating Rink in the Old Port of Montreal. More than a hundred Saturday skaters were on the rink, and of them, 34 had donned their kilts and tartans to celebrate the Fourth Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate in that city.

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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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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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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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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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Winter is Coming

Winter is Coming

The middle of summer may seem a strange time to be thinking about skating, bare knees, and ice. But the plans are under way to organize the Fourth Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate.

In fact, there's a flurry of activity as we prepare for upcoming Scottish events where we'll raise the hockey stick saltire.

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Lloydminster's First Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate

Lloydminster's First Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate

With the temperatures in the previous week in the minus-42 range, Kendra Jones McGrath wasn't sure how many people to expect for the Lloydminster's inaugural kilt skate. The great thing about Canadians, though, is we tend to be infinitely adaptable to the vagaries of winter.  After a cold spell of 42 below zero, when the temperatures rise on the weekend to a balmy minus-11, well the weather seems almost tropical.

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