All the very best wishes to you and yours for 2020.  May the New Year bring you all good health, prosperity and happiness.  May you find the time to come to the Ceilidh dances for they are full of joy, bring you good health for the body and the mind and they are not expensive!!

Scottish country dance classes will be starting up again next week – you can check the location and times of all the classes on the Ceilidh dance website or at rscdsvancouver.org – you never know it just might be your thing!

Dean Castle country park

We hope all those enthusiastic dancers who came out to the November ceilidh will bring all their friends to celebrate the New Year at the ceilidh dance on Friday, January 10, 2020 and those who were unable to come last month will not only come but will tell all their work/school mates to come along.  We need about 72 paying attendees just to break even.  We nearly made that at the last ceilidh but we really need everyone’s support.  Tell people about the ceilidh dances, how much fun they are, how reasonable, the fact that you don’t need to know anything or need a partner, how patient the teacher is and what a great band we have.

Word of mouth really is the best form of advertising and we ask you all to help us.  This will be an excellent way to work off these extra grams and clear your head so please do come along – it really is a fun evening.


The hall has been booked for another season of Ceilidh Dances.  The dates are:
January 10; February 28; March 27 & April 24 that is the last Friday of the month except for January as that is a busy time in a Scot’s calendar – Robert Burns.  If you are interested in attending a Burns Supper then try the one run by the RSCDS on January 18.  You can find out more at www.rscdsvancouver.org  and purchase tickets too.  Tickets are selling fast so plan now.

You can help by coming along to the Ceilidh dances, by bringing friends (and enemies!) by telling people about the Ceilidh Dances, by bringing a group of 8 or more so that you all qualify for a discount of $1 each.  No partner or experience required and remember if you claim to have two left feet we’ll show you how to use the right one!


The next Ceilidh Dance is the Friday, January 10th – that is next week!  The dance will follow the usual format with the “class” from 7 – 8 pm and the dance, with Calanais providing the music, from 8 – 11 pm.  Mark your calendars NOW!   Even if you can’t make it in time for the class; come to the dance, it is lots of fun.

If you have a group of 8 or more, then everyone in your group qualifies for $1 discount off the amazingly low admission price of $15 ($10 for students).  You have to let everyone in your group know the password you have chosen which you then relay to me (www.ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org) before midnight on the Wednesday preceding the dance, that way you do not all have to arrive together.

There are refreshments/drinks (including beer, cider, juice, etc.) available for a donation   So apart from the fun, exercise and great music of Scottish Ceilidh dancing there is all the ingredients for a great evening.

No need to be scared if you don’t know how – we will teach you and you won’t be the only newbie.  You will be a star before the night is out.  Make it a date – it will be a night you won’t forget.


For those new to ceilidh dancing the class is a great introduction to Scottish Country dancing and you will soon find out you are not the only one who does not know their left from right or back from front!!  We teach everything and the dance follows the same format.  Everything is very relaxed so you don’t have to worry about anything.  If you can walk; you can dance.  Wear flat comfy shoes and loose, layered clothing as it is warm work reeling and spinning.

What is a Ceilidh dance? It is informal, easy Scottish Country dancing in a relaxed style for all ages. We teach everything, no experience or partner required just a desire to have fun an ability to move to the wonderful beat of the lively music and to enjoy the company of other like-minded folk.


The next Ceilidh dance is on Friday, January 10, 2020 at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver with the usual class at 7 pm and the dance following from 8 – 11 pm. Pay at the door – $15 ($10 for students). Tell your friends etc. about the dances, they are lots of fun.

  • The other dates are
  • 2020
  • January 10
  • February 28
  • March 27
  • April 24

The dances are all held at the Scottish Cultural Centre,  8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver (73rd and Hudson which is between Granville and Oak Streets). They are all held on Friday evenings and where possible the last Friday of each month – the exceptions are December (as we never schedule one but we have one in early January) and January (because of Burns.)


A Taliban terrorist, desperate for water, was plodding through the Afghan desert when he saw something far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he hurried toward the mirage, only to find a very frail, little old Jewish man standing at a small makeshift display rack selling ties The Taliban terrorist asked, “Do you have water?”

The Jewish man replied, “I have no water. Would you like to buy a tie? They are only $5.”

The Taliban shouted hysterically, “Idiot Infidel! I do not need such an over-priced western adornment. I spit on your ties. I need water.

“Sorry, I have none – just ties – pure silk – and only $5.”

“Pahh! A curse on your ties, I should wrap one around your scrawny little neck and choke the life out of you, but I must conserve my energy and find water!”

“Okay,” said the little old Jewish man, It does not matter that you do not want to buy a tie from me, or that you hate me, threaten my life, and call me infidel. I will show you that I am bigger than any of that. If you continue over that hill to the east for about two miles, you will find a restaurant. It has the finest food and all the ice-cold water you need. Go in peace.”

Cursing him again, the desperate Taliban staggered away over the hill.

Several hours later he crawled back, almost dead, and gasped, “They won’t let me in without a tie”


Ullapool’s creel tree

Scottish Country dance classes will be starting up again shortly and you will be made very welcome if you want to come along – it is never too late.  Now would be a good time to come to a class and see what all the fuss is about.  Why not give us a try – you never know it just might be the fun exercise class that you have been looking for.  Music, movement, memory, camaraderie, laughter and a sense of achievement are all things you will experience.  Come on – what have you got to lose, most first classes are free.  Look under the “classes” tab for a class near you.


The Importance of walking

Walking can add minutes to your life.
This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing
home at $4,000 per month.

The next regular Ceilidh Dance is FRIDAY January 10, 2020.  I sure hope you can come and bring lots of friends.






My grandpa started walking five miles a day when he was 60.
Now he’s 97 years old and we have no idea where the hell he is.

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.


I have to walk early in the morning, before my brain figures out what I’m doing…


The Scottish Cultural Centre is a pretty unique and wonderful asset and space is available for rent to anyone or any group. The Centre does not run itself but is actually run by the  Scottish Cultural Centre Society (SCCS) which is a charitable society.  Donations, bequests are welcome and a tax deductible receipt will be issued for gifts of more than $25.


Holy Isle from Lamlash


The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, January 10, 2020. That will be the fourth one of  the season and the first of 2020. There is lots of time for you all to get yourselves and your friends organized to come along for another fun, filled evening. Come and dance, it is lots of fun and really easy. Everything is taught from scratch – you won’t be the only newbie!


Hoy Hills from Harray Loch, Orkney


Michelle has very kindly made up a Facebook event page for the Ceilidh but you need to “Search for Vancouver Ceilidh on Facebook and “Like” us to receive updates on upcoming Ceilidhs and other events”. Then, if you “Like” the Vancouver Ceilidh FB page (do as described above), you too will receive updates AND be able to share those updates and events on your personal Facebook page to your friends and ask that they “Like” and “Share”, etc. Ceilidh Dances are great ways to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries etc. Invite all your friends to come and join you at the Ceilidh. You are welcome to bring your own cake and we’ll even sing for you!!


Ingliston House


I joined a health club last year, spent about 250 bucks.
Haven’t lost a pound.
Apparently you have to go there!

Every time I hear the dirty word ‘exercise’,
I wash my mouth out with chocolate.


Some fun and interesting sites: – note if you have a link to something you think others will enjoy send me the link. Sound on, full screen:

Some shed –

Model airplanes

British army dog

This video clip is worth watching–  (warm-up exercises anyone?)


Nike ad

Not bad for a TV ad


COMING EVENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS: Note – please check the Branch website www.rscdsvancouver.org for and last-minute changes.

Jan 10 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)
Jan 11 Nanaimo New Year Ball
Jan 18 Branch Burns Supper at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson St., Vancouver.   Bar 6:00 and Dinner 7:00; Tickets $70 or $60 for RSCDS Members available in November through local SCD clubs or online through Paypal at www.rscdsvancouver.org.  More info from Gil Beattie at 604-224-6751.  A traditional meal with haggis a dance programme to suit everyone to the music of the Tartan Players – Performance by Strictly Scottish.
Jan 18 Vancouver Island Rabbie Burns social
Jan 25 Seattle Burns Night
Feb 14 – 16 RSCDS Edmonton Caledonian Branch Invites you to help us celebrate our 50TH” ANNUAL WORKSHOP & BALL
Chateau Lacombe Hotel.  TEACHERS; Ruth Jappy; Mary Murray & Antoine Rousseau.  WORKSHOP AND BALL MUSIC BY Kathy Fraser Collins; Fred Collins with guests Ian Muir; Judi Nicholson and Mary Ross.
information please contact Ann at 780-224-7191, or ann_mac@shaw.ca
Feb 14 – 16 Aloha Winter Weekend, Honolulu, Hawaii.  Teacher Rachel Pusey.  Info rscdsHawaii.org or email MLindsay@hawaii.rr.com  Music by Humuhumunukunukuaoua’a and Stathspey Society Band
Feb 15 Vancouver Island Valentine’s Tea dance
Feb 22 Love to Dance workshop & dance at Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.  Teachers Richard Bennett, Salt Spring & Heather Graham, Bellingham.   $55 ($40 with beginner coupon of full-time students) $15 for dance only.  Very popular so register early.  Registration forms available though local clubs or online at www.rscdsvancouver.org  Lunch provided.  More info from Jean at 604-371-1939 or Fran at 604-922-6842
Feb 28 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)
Feb 29 Seattke Branch Grange dance
Feb 29 Please save the date for the University of Victoria, SFU Centre for Scottish Studies, and Saint Mary’s University symposium “Coastal Scots,” taking place in Victoria at the St Andrews Presbyterian Church at Broughton and Douglas streets.  Our keynote speaker for this event is David Worthington from the University of the Highlands and Islands who will present on “Scotland’s Coastal Pasts.”  This FREE full day event features a line up of speakers including Wendy Wickwire (Uvic), Jean Barman (UBC), Katie McCullough (SFU), Hilary Doda (Dalhousie/SMU), Sylvia Olsen, and Erin Grant. With a performance by the Victoria Gaelic Choir.
Mar  8 Burnaby Spring Tea Dance in Confederation Hall, 4584 Albert Street, Burnaby at 1.00 p.m.  Music by Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra – $25
Mar 14 Vancouver Island Ceilidh dance
Mar 21 Heather Ball at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver with music by Colin Dewar and Alasdair MacLeod.  Reception 5:45, Dinner 6:15, Grand March 7:45.  Tickets – $80 RSCDS members; $90 non-members
Note: $95 ($105 non RSCDS members) for both Ball and concert
Mar 22 Concert with Colin Dewar and Alasdair MacLeod at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1440 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver at 2 pm  Tickets for concert only – $20
Mar 27 Ceilidh Dance at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver – no partner or experience required – live music with Calanais – refreshments available – class from 7 – 8 p.m. followed by dance from 8 – 11 p.m. – all dances walked, talked and called – admission at the door $15 (students $10)


I do have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them.

The advantage of exercising every day is so when you die, they’ll say,
‘Well, he looks good doesn’t he.’


 The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, January 10, 2020 – that is 1 week today!  Same time, same place, same amount of fun and entertainment. Now it is up to you all to help by planning on coming along and bringing loads of friends, family, acquaintances, etc. Please do your best to spread the word. Let me know if you would like a poster to put up.

Inverebrie Ellon


What a great gift this newsletter would make (and it is free!!) Please pass along the website to your friends and ask them to subscribe. www.vancouverceilidh.org

Please keep opening the newsletter!! Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.


Sir Winston Churchill was once asked about his position on whisky.
Here’s how he answered:

“If you mean whisky, the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody
monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home,
creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the
mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples
men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into
the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness and
hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fibre of
my being.”

“However, if by whisky you mean the oil of conversation, the
philosophic wine, the elixir of life, the ale that is consumed when
good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the
warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean good cheer, the
stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly
gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man
to magnify his joy, and to forget life’s great tragedies and
heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours
into our treasuries untold millions of pounds each year, that provides
tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our
dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways,
hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation… then
my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favour of it..!!!”

“This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise on matters
of principle!!!”

He had a way with words!



If anyone has any suggestions or complaints regarding the newsletter, please let me know – ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org Please do not complain to your server that this is junk mail. There is a link on the e-mail should you wish to unsubscribe.



Come Scottish Country Dancing – it is lots of fun. Just ask anyone who came along to the Dancing in the Park. We had great audience participation so I hope you will all come along and join one of our great classes or at least come to one of the Ceilidh Dances.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

If you are going to try cross-country skiing,
start with a small country.

I know I got a lot of exercise the last few years,……
just getting over the hill.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, January 10, 2020 with live music by Calanais. This is the fourth dance of the season. We need a good attendance with everyone coming along for a really fun evening

Isle of Mull from Oban

You still have time to spread the word about all the Ceilidh Dances as that is the best (and cheapest) form of advertising. It is great exercise and fun, for all ages, too. Here is a link where you can watch a short video of a Ceilidh Dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MvUwZnY9Ms and here is a link to the Facebook advert: https://www.facebook.com/events/597360563665264/597360566998597/
The format for all of the regular monthly Ceilidh Dances will be the same with the class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 – 11 p.m. and all dances will be walked and talked through.

They are all held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver. The price is only – $15 or $10 for students which, for what you get is a super bargain – everyone is welcome. No partner is required and you should wear FLAT, comfy shoes and loose clothing. Children are also welcome but should be prepared to dance with other people as some of the dances require a change of partner. Don’t forget to bring a few extra $$$$ to help defray the cost of the refreshments which are otherwise free.


The Branch has opened a Facebook Page at “RSCDS-Vancouver” – check it out there are some good pictures etc. www.facebook.com/rscdsvancouver. There is a link on both our website www.vancouverceilidh.org and the Branch website www.rscdsvancouver.org


A WOMAN was flying from  Melbourne to Brisbane ..
Unexpectedly, the plane was diverted to Sydney Along the way. The flight attendant explained that There would be a delay, and if the passengers wanted To get off the aircraft the plane would re-board In 50 minutes.
Everybody got off the plane except one lady who was Blind. The man had noticed her as he walked by and Could tell the lady was blind because her Seeing Eye Dog lay quietly underneath the seats in front of her Throughout the entire flight.

He could also tell she had flown this very flight before Because the pilot approached her, and calling her by Name, said, ‘Kathy, we are in  Sydney for almost An hour. Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?’
The blind lady replied, ‘No thanks, but maybe  Max  would Like to stretch his legs.’

Picture this:

All the people in the gate area came to a complete standstill when they looked up 
and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a Seeing Eye dog!

The pilot was even wearing sunglasses.

People scattered.

They not only tried to change planes, but they were trying to change airlines!


Knapps Loch, Kilmalcolm.

Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes are a place where you will be made very welcome.  Try the link to “classes” or go to www.rscdsvancouver.org and check for a class near you or one that has a convenient time and try it out.

Dance - blue

Come to a class soon – You will be made very welcome. Many classes have a policy that the first night is FREE! Plan to come along to try out a class. There are classes all around and on different nights so GIVE IT A GO! Go to either www.rscdsvancouver.org or www,vancouverceilidh.org for a list of class locations and times.

For those who don’t know SCD is a fabulous pastime (much better and lots more fun than golf!!) and is super exercise for body and mind. SCD is, naturally, rooted in Scotland but there are groups in almost every country so you can learn here and then dance with other groups when you vacation or travel. SCD is not to be confused with Highland Dancing which is more solo dancing. SCD is usually done with a partner in groups or sets however you do not need to come with a partner. It is more akin to Square Dancing.

It takes a year or two of classes, workshops, etc. to learn the basics then you can hone your skills in advanced classes. You start by learning the steps and formations. Dances (of which there are over 13,000) are made up of these formations so a good grounding will give you the ability to learn a new dance fairly quickly. SCD has its HQ in Scotland and is known as the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (RSCDS) and there is a Vancouver Branch of the RSCDS under which there are many clubs throughout the Province (there is also a Branch in Seattle).

There are a great many classes and the ones in the Vancouver area are listed on the website. Come along – check us out – the first night is usually free and thereafter it will average about $6 a night and that’s for a 2 hour class!   You will find many friendly people who will be eager to help you and welcome you to their club. You never know you actually might like it!!  Check the list of classes at either at www.vancouverceilidh.org or www.rscdsvancouver.org. Note that the latter website has the latest updates to temporary changes to times and locations.


as well there are classes all up and down Vancouver Island, a number of the Gulf Islands, the Cariboo, Okanagan, Sunshine Coast, etc. etc. and there are various groups all over this great Province, Country, World and who knows where else! Check the Branch website for all these details – www.rscdsvancouver.org




A Scotsman goes to the dentist and asks how much it is for an extraction.
“$85 for an extraction sir” was the dentists reply.
“Och huv ye nay got unythin cheaper”, replies the Scotsman getting agitated.
“But that’s the normal charge for an extraction sir”, said the dentist.
“What aboot if ye didnae use uny anaesthetic?”, asked the Scotsman hopefully,
“Well it’s highly unusual sir, but if that’s what you want, I suppose I can do it for $70”, said the dentist.
“Hmmmm, what aboot if ye used one of ye dentist trainees and still wi’ oot anaesthetic”, said the Scotsman,
“Well it’s possible but they are only training and I can’t guarantee their level of professionalism and it’ll be a lot more painful, but I suppose in that case we can bring the price down to say $40”, said the dentist,
“Och that’s still a bit much, how ab oot if ye make it a training session and have yon student do the extraction and the other students watchin and learnin”, said the Scotsman hopefully.
“Hmmmmm, well OK it’ll be good for the students I suppose, I’ll charge you only $5 in that case”, said the dentist.
“Wonderful, it’s a deal” said the Scotsman…”Can ye book the wife in for next Tuesday”


For upcoming events see www.vancouverceilidh.org and www.rscdsvancouver.org.

Other announcements etc:
Seattle Branch
– info at www.rscds-seattle.org ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held Friday, January 10, 2020 in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, (73rd & Hudson which is between Oak & Granville), Vancouver,

We need everyone to help us get as many new comers (as well as former Ceilidh Dancers) as possible to come and join us. The Ceilidh Dances are a great way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Invite all your friends along. Contact me if you will have a group of 8 or more and we can give them a discount!!!

We Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! It only costs $15 ($10 for students) – it is worth so much more in fun, exercise and camaraderie. Use any access to free adverts etc. You can also use things like the YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh2HV3OPBgw or the Face-book page https://www.facebook.com/p.php?i=116203315&k=Z5C5Y4TZPT6G6BD1PKZZTWQQQ6BAW26L34AV&oid=164741310207760 https://www.facebook.com/events/597360563665264/597360566998597/

Suggestions to improve our advertising are always welcome. Don’t forget to tell them about the website www.vancouverceilidh.org and get them to “subscribe” to the newsletter.

Most of you have been to at least one Ceilidh Dance so you know how it goes. You don’t need a partner; you don’t need any experience; you should wear FLAT soft soled shoes; we walk, talk, and call every dance and you should come to have fun and have a good evening of exercise and entertainment and maybe even to learn!

There is a FREE class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance from 8 – 11 p.m. with music by Calanais. Remember to bring some extra cash so you can make a donation towards the cost of the refreshments. Without these donations we will have to increase the price of admission again!!

The schedule for the 2018/19 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course and, except for January, it is the last Friday of the Month —

January 10
February 28
March 27
April 24

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We hope to have lots of new Ceilidh dancers. Remember to bring your smiles and wear flat shoes.
Please do your best to assist us in letting as many people know as possible. Use Face-book, e-mail, telephone or even word of mouth and tell everyone you know what a fun night it is.

We would like to attract more young adults and students from Universities and all the colleges. Somehow we have to get word out to these students etc. Please do all you can to help us. Come one, come all to the same place (Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver) and the same time (7 p.m. for the class and 8 – 11 p.m. for the dance) and the same amazing price ($15 or $10 for students.)

Linlithgow Palace

You should check the website – www.vancouverceilidh.org – from time to time as you can find various pages listing “Ceilidhs and Events;” Classes:” Duncan’s List;” etc. On these pages you can check all the upcoming events, where all the classes are located, times, etc. and some places to find Scottish things or some local trades, etc. I will continue to highlight the more current events in each week’s newsletter but, as stated, the calendar of all events will be available on the website.

You should also have a look at the Vancouver Branch website from time to time – www.rscdsvancouver.org – as there is always useful information on it and it is a very good-looking site.

If you have any questions regarding the Ceilidh Dances send them to me at ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org Please check the website – www.rscdsvancouver.org for updates, pictures and news.

Dance – it is good for your health.

Keep sending jokes, pictures and info you wish to have included. Don’t forget to look at our web pages at www.vancouverceilidh.org If you know of anyone who would like to be on the mailing list please send them the web address – www.vancouverceilidh.org and ask them to subscribe.

The boathouse at Loch Arklet

If anyone has good pictures from the Ceilidh Dances please send them to me so I can put them on the web page. If you have any announcements please send them to me preferably in Word; Times New Roman 12pt format with a layout similar to the one used in this newsletter. I occasionally hear of an event somewhere in our beautiful Province, on the Island or in the Interior, but don’t know all the details.


This newsletter reaches out to some 386 subscribers from all over the Province, Country and to many other countries as well, so please send me the details of your event and I will only be too happy to include them.


Rhu near Helensburgh


Enjoy yourselves – come Scottish Country Dancing – for it is good for your health and you never know you just might …..!

See Coming Events on the website for info – www.vancouverceilidh.org

May your troubles be one, may your blessings be more,
and may nothing but happiness come through your door.

Duncan MacKenzie ceilidh@rscdsvancouver.org