Toronto Joins Nation-wide Celebration of Scottish Heritage



January 9, 2017

Toronto Joins Nation-wide Celebration of Scottish Heritage

TORONTO – For the third straight year, kilted skaters will take to the ice this winter to honour Scottish heritage, and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday as well as the 202nd birthday of Canada’s first Prime Minister for the Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate. For the first time, Kilt Skate events will be held in Toronto, at the Nathan Phillips Square from 12-2:00 p.m. on January 21.

“We are excited to partake in the 2017 Kilt Skate events. We are hoping for a great turnout and to make a strong first showing in this now nation-wide event,” said Kimberley Henwood, Policy and Fraternal Operations Coordinator at the Sons of Scotland Benevolent Association, which is hosting the event in Toronto. “So many Toronto residents trace their ancestry to Scotland, that we’re excited to show off our heritage and bare our knees on the ice!”

Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate had its origin as an annual birthday party in an Ottawa home near the. In 2015, the Scotland Society of Ottawa approached the organizer, Don Cummer, to turn his gathering into a city-wide event to celebrate the 200th birthday of the architect of Confederation and Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Within weeks it morphed into an event held in five of Canada’s ten provinces. This year, Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate will be held in six cities.

For Canada’s 150th birthday, the Scotland Government is supporting each of the partner city’s events.

“More than five million Canadians trace their ancestry to Scotland,” says Chris Maskell, who represents the Scottish Government. “We’re incredibly proud of that Scottish heritage, and we want to celebrate the enormous contribution that Scots and those of Scottish decent have made here in Canada – perhaps none more so than Sir John A. Macdonald.” The Scottish government is keen to help the Scottish Canadian community maintain their connections to Scotland. “This year marks the 150th birthday of Canada, but it also Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology,” says Maskell. “There’s never been a better time to come and visit Scotland.”

“We’re delighted to partner with the Scottish Government,” says the Scottish Society of Ottawa’s Chair, Kevin MacLeod. “Sir John A’s Great Canadian Kilt Skate is indelibly Scottish and undeniably Canadian. It speaks to the Scottish contribution to Canada’s multicultural heritage, and this winter, for Canada’s 150th birthday, it’s bigger than ever.”

Added Henwood, “No matter where you are, this event is open to everyone. It’s a chance to nurture your inner Scot. You don’t have to be Scottish. You don’t even have to wear a kilt. Just come to the party with a spirit of Scottish fun and fortitude, and wear Canada’s favourite colour – tartan!”

All those wishing to partake in the Toronto Kilt Skate on January 21 can join the fun at Nathan Phillips Square from 12-2:00p.m. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available for a nominal fee, which will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto. For more information about the Toronto Kilt Skate, visit

The Sons of Scotland is a not-for-profit, member-oriented, fraternal benefit association. We involve ourselves with community events, local charitable organizations and organize activities for members, family and friends to attend. As a fraternal association, we provide social activities for our members and encourage involvement in our communities. We also offer life insurance and financial products for the benefit of our members. You don’t need to be Scottish to be a member; we welcome all those who have an interest.”

For more information:
National event:; #KiltSkate2017
Toronto event:
Facebook: @Sons1876
Twitter: @SonsScotlandCA

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