Glengarry Kilt Skate Goes Viral

The Glengarry counties (North and South) are branded “the Celtic Heart of Ontario.” It wasn’t hard to see why on Saturday, February 23, when about 150 kilted and tartaned enthusiasts showed up at Maxville and District Sports Complex. A piper and drummer took to the ice.

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Someone videotaped their performance and posted it on Facebook. Within a few days, it had 200,000 viewers on Facebook. My favourite part is when the army cadets join the parade!

The piper, drummer and cadets weren’t the only ones having fun. The “hockey stick saltire” — symbol of kilt skating as uniquely Canadian and undeniably Scottish — was waved with pride.

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There was something for the whole family.

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Some of the young ones were content just to let daddy do most of the skating.

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And it wasn’t just the kids who got to be carried on someone’s shoulders.

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Even kilt-wearing dinosaurs got into the act!

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Watch out or she’ll getcha! (The woman beneath the T-Rex costume was a member of a Montreal-based pipe band; she and her friends had driven up from Montreal for the event.)

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Everyone has a grand time.

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This was Glengarry’s second annual Great Canadian Kilt Skate. Last year they had been the first to hold a kilt skate indoors at an arena. This winter has been even colder than last, and some of the other kilt skate cities had to brave temperatures of minus-40. Glengarry was able to draw big numbers once more to the relative warmth of the sports complex.

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Some skated and, as you can see in the background, some preferred to watch from the stands.

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Last year, Glengarry was also able to use an indoor venue for another innovation, and they did it again this year: combine the kilt skate with a good old-fashioned social.

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The pipes and drums were on hand to perform.

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The dancers danced: Highland dancing…

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…and Irish dancing too — all from the MacCulloch Dancers.

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There were opening ceremonies. Here’s Marius Bauer on behalf of the Alexandria Royal Canadian Legion Branch 423, which helped organize the event.

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There was cake for everyone. The pieces were by cut Jamie MacDonald, Mayor of North Glengarry (who skated in his kilt — hear that, Jim Watson?), and Francis Drouin, MP, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell. Thanks for their support for the Great Canadian Kilt Skate.

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And there were even prizes. Best costume went to the kilted T-Rex. Best turned-out skater was awarded to the skating piper, Erin Blair, of the Quigleys Pipes and Drum Band. The family participation prize went to a family that came dressed in matching tartan.

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There was also an opportunity go give something back to the community. Two food bins were filled for the St. Vincent de Paul Society Food Bank, and a further $193 was raised. The air cadets matched the funds donated.

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Thanks to the Royal Canadian Legion Alexandria Branch 423 and to the Township of North Glengarry. Thanks as well to the Quigley Highlander Pipes and Drums.

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Thanks to the .Royal Canadian Air Cadets 253 & 379 …

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…and the Stormont, Dundas and Granville Highlanders Army Cadet Corps, Vankleek Hill. 

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Thanks to the McCulloch Dancers.

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Thanks to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Society of Ottawa for organizing the Great Canadian Kilt Skate on a national level.

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Once again, the people of Glengarry showed their Scottish pride with the Great Canadian Kilt Skate. Now everyone can get revved up for their other famous event: the Glengarry Highland Games. See you August 2-3 in Maxville!

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A Tale of Cold Cities

A Tale of Cold Cities

This winter has been one of the coldest in memory — one of the snowiest as well. Nowhere is the cold more biting than on the cities of the plains. On Sunday, February 10, both Saskatoon and Calgary celebrated their fifth annual Great Canadian Kilt Skate. Not necessarily with “bare knees and ice” — not this year. But with customary Scottish fortitude and sense of fun.

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Montreal rescheduled -- for a second year

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Report to the Scottish Society of Ottawa Annual General Meeting

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The national event was the most successful yet in the four years of Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate. With $15,000 in funding from the Scottish Government, sponsored events were held in seven cities (two more than last year), and the attendance numbers in most of the cities increased significantly from the previous year.

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