Macdonald, McGee and the spirit of Reconciliation

Macdonald, McGee and the spirit of Reconciliation

His determination to find ways to reconcile opposing views came from a lifetime of wrestling with issues and being willing to change his opinions if he came upon new evidence.  It also helped that he was working alongside a group of individuals who themselves were gifted in their unique abilities and their capacities to work together to make Confederation happen:  George Brown with his vision for westward expansion; A.T. Galt with his financial acumen; George Etienne Cartier with his ability to work with partners outside of Quebec; and bringing them all together with his good humour, constitutional expertise and unsurpassed leadership, John A. Macdonald.

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Winnipeg: kilt skating at 30-below

Winnipeg: kilt skating at 30-below

The temperatures in Western Canada on the morning of Sunday, February 11, dropped to the minus-20 range. In Calgary, the skaters were sheltered somewhat by the tall buildings. The Riley Family Duck Pond in Assiniboine Park, on the other hand, has little to shelter it from winds that sweep down from the Arctic.  Wind chill made the temperature feel like it was 30-below.

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Before Kilt Skates became "a thing," it was what we did on January 25.

Before Kilt Skates became "a thing," it was what we did on January 25.

This is a great day for Scots and poets everywhere. It's a national day dedicated to a poet, Robbie Burns. January 25 is his birthday -- and along with the January 11 birthday of another great Scot, Sir John A. Macdonald -- it was a day on which the "thrawn" among us took to the Rideau Canal Skateway in our kilts.

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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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Toronto's first Sir John A Skate brings out the Scots

Toronto's first Sir John A Skate brings out the Scots

alk about making a big entrance in the big smoke! Toronto's first-ever Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate took over one of Canada's most famous skating rinks at Nathan Phillips Square. It was an unseasonably warm afternoon.  The refrigeration coils and the Zamboni maintained an ice surface that was fine for skating.

 

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Pictures from Calgary

Pictures from Calgary

It was a bitterly cold Saturday in Alberta, but the Optimist Clubs in Calgary and High River stoked the fire pits at the Olympic Plaza skating rink, and strapped on their skates. A few strapped tartan towels, courtesy of Canadian Tire, around their waists.  But some brave souls were willing to embrace the cold with enthusiasm and joy.  Well done, Calgary!

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First Pix from Ottawa's Kilt Skate, 2016

First Pix from Ottawa's Kilt Skate, 2016

Well, did you ever! What a swell party that was! The officials were on hand, the media was on hand, the skaters were on hand in all their kilted glory.  Oh, and there was free birthday cake and hot chocolate for the kids of all ages.  Here's some early photos of today's kilt skate, courtesy of Homero Martinez who has come here all the way from Mexico City, plus a couple of pix of our own.

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Showtime, Calgary!

Showtime, Calgary!

The Chinook winds have cleared away much of the snow in the Stampede City. But the Arctic front has returned and the forecast calls for a dusting of snow and a wind chill of minus 20 by the time the Optimist Clubs in Calgary and High River launch the 2nd Annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate. Once again, the skate will take place at Olympic Plaza between noon and 4 p.m.

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