Organize your own Kilt Skate

Organizing a Great Canadian Kilt Skate in your community is easy. Basically you need three things:

  • An ice surface -- preferably outdoors;

  • Skaters looking for a good time;

  • Some skaters willing to wear kilts, tartan and other Scottish regalia.

But the great success of the Great Canadian Kilt Skate has been due to the added touches that make for a memorable event. Some of these include:

  • Choose a date where you’ve got a good chance of cold weather and hard ice – statistically, the coldest week of the year is the end of January, beginning of February.

  • Get the word out to your members and networks. Social media has been a powerful tool for kilt skates.

  • Look for partners in your community: Highland dance companies; Scottish country dancing clubs; curling clubs; hockey teams; highland regiments; Scottish pubs. Look for partner organizations that can add some youth and exuberance to the festivities!

  • Provide hot chocolate and a birthday cake – the original kilt skates were organized to celebrate the birthday of Sir John A. Macdonald, born January 11, 1815, in Glasgow.

  • Set up a table with information on your organization -- and a sign-up sheet for new members and volunteers.

  • Decorate with Scottish bunting and regalia – the Government of Scotland can help.

  • Contact the Protocol Office at city hall and have them proclaim your kilt skate day as the official Scotland-in-Canada Day in your city.

  • Arrange a venue where people can celebrate (and warm up!) with an after-party: Is there a Scottish pub near your ice surface? Ask them if they’d like to help out!

  • Media publicity: Newspaper, radio and television love the idea of people going skating in their kilts. Here’s something from the 2015 skate.

  • Social media presence: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, MeetUp – put them all to work!

  • Stay in touch with your kilt skate colleagues in other partner cities. There’s a good-natured rivalry over who gets the most skaters out on the coldest day, and at the end of the season, we'll declare one city to be the Kilt Skate Capital of Canada!

This year, the 4th Annual Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate will once again be held in cities across Canada.  Check the hyperlinks for activities in your community.

a birthday cake for sir john a.

a birthday cake for sir john a.

Invite the local scottish societies and dance troops to take part in the kilt skate.

Invite the local scottish societies and dance troops to take part in the kilt skate.