A nice week to rest after the busy Burns season although it is rather cold, at least for Vancouver anyway, with temperatures dipping down to -7C  and highs barely above freezing.   There has been glorious sunshine though but earlier in the week it was windy which made it even colder.   The weather prognosticators are telling us we may get snow tomorrow but that it will be short lived  as we will be back to normal rain by Tuesday at the latest.   I saw folk skating on the ponds in the wildfowl refuge which I have not seem for a long time.


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, February 28, 2014 – in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.   This is a fun and inexpensive way to have an enjoyable evening out with family and friends.  Tell at least 2 friends to join you, forward this e-mail to more friends and encourage them to sign up for the newsletter and to come to the Ceilidh Dance.  What a great way to have a fun, inexpensive night out and think of the great exercise you get as well which we all will need after these chocolates we are expecting from our Valentine(s)!!

It is time to register for the “Love to Dance” workshop which is on next of Saturday morning, February 15.   I see that the Level 1 class is full so you better get moving.  You can register online at www.rscdsvancouver.org or pick up a form at any of the classes.   This is a super workshop for all levels and the teaching and musician staff are some of the best.   Don’t put it off – REGISTER NOW!!   The workshop was sold out last year.

Of course you can all come to the Dance in the afternoon following the workshop with music by the Tartan Players and a great programme for all levels.   See details at www.rscdsvancouver.org

There are other workshops coming up around the Province with one in Victoria on March 29, White Rock/Surrey on March 30 and another in Vernon on April 26.  Check out the information listed under Upcoming Events

Volunteers are needed to help at the RSCDS Booth at the Zoomer Show in the Vancouver Convention Centre on Saturday February 22 and Sunday, February 23.   If you can spare an hour to help you can get free entry to the Show.   Please contact Cathrine Conings
Publicity Coordinator, RSCDS Vancouver Branch publicity@rscdsvancouver.org

Tickets are available now for all the Celtic Fest Events – info@celticfestvancouver.com

There is another interesting concert at the Rogue Folk Club on February 14 featuring Carlos Nunez a world-renowned piper from Spain.  Information is on the Events list.

The Celtic Treasure Chest sent out a warning that Health Canada might be banning the sale of some Scottish products in Canada including Irn Bru and Jaffa Cakes!!

A series of 3 Ladies (Men too!) step dance classes are planned for February 22. March 1 & 8 – see Coming Events page on the website for more details.

If you want to suggest a dance(s) for the Puget Sound Crossroads programme next June please contact Elinor  at   elinor3@frontier.com

Winter - view from Kyle of Lochalsh

View from Kyle of Lochalsh

SFU’s School of Scottish Studies Burns Day Event broke the Guinness Book of Records for the longest recitation of Burns works.   They set the new record at 6 hours and 16 seconds.   Congratulations to all involved and especially to Leith and Tricia.

Here are links to another three Canadian regiments which were part of the decorations at the Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance on November 11, 2013.

Lady Aberdeen 32 Lady Aberdeen 31 Lady Aberdeen 30

 Alison commented “The information was gathered off websites etc. It is only the basics of the wealth of historical and current information available. I included only the older ‘regiments’ – there are many other corps and units, plus naval ships and Air Force squadrons – and Engagement or Battle Honour information up to World War II. There is much more about each regiment’s more recent activities in Korea, Afghanistan, Bosnia, and many Peace-keeping duties.”



They told me I had type A blood , but it was a Type- O.

A dyslexic man walks into a bra .

Winter - view to Dunfermline

View to Dunfermline

An article in a recent edition of the National Post is applicable to the Ball and to Scottish Country Dancing in general. Check out https://life.nationalpost.com/2013/11/02/jane-macdougall-it-battle-of-fun-vs-the-gym-scottish-dancing-wins-every-time/ Thanks Gill for the tip.


heart line


winter - Wallace monument

Wallace Monument




Which American actor is  married to Nicole Kidman?

Forrest  Gump.

On which street did Sherlock  Holmes live?

Er. …  …

He makes bread . .  ..

Er ..  ……

He makes cakes . .  ..

Kipling  Street?


The Highland Games Committee are planning a meeting of all interested in helping at the Games on June 21, 2014.   The meeting is scheduled for 7 pm in the Scottish Cultural centre on Monday, February 17.

They still needs volunteers for next year. They need to fill these positions: Children’s Events Co-ordinator – organizing the line-up of events which is pretty easy to do, and day of just making sure everything runs smoothly Programs – this job takes more work in the last couple of months prior to the games, making sure all copy is submitted, having it put into a program and submitted to a printer. Sponsorship/Advertising and promotion – Cher is going to do the social media aspect, Mary Jane may be around to help out again for sponsorship and advertising, but we need extra help. Someone to develop an advertising plan, to find new advertisers and sponsorships, and to be responsible for writing requests for grants and sponsorships from a list that the City of Coquitlam has provided.

Any volunteers can contact Jim – james.e.bain@gmail.com Joan – jdrabyk@shaw.ca or myself. Glenna Urbshadt – gurbshadt@shaw.ca



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Winter - West Lomond from Falkland Hill

West Lomond from Falkirk Hill

Quiet week at least dance wise ending with a quiet Ceilidh Dance with just over 50 in attendance.  We had a lot of fun and got through more dances than usual but that number will not support continuing the Ceilidh dances unless I raise the admission price which I am loath to do.  That means it is up to all of you to get moving.   Set the TV to record your favourite shows, get off the couch, take a break from studying, come for a night of good exercise and lots of laughs.   The next one is on Friday, February 28 so ……….

Last week I mentioned the snowdrops were up and out but this cold snap has hurt them.   We did some pruning last Monday and I hope it wasn’t too much.   I guess we will see in a few months time.   It looks very bare right now.   We have had to thaw the hummingbird feeders each morning and they are waiting for us to hang them back up.   We are not sure how many there are around.  We did see three at one time but they are territorial and we have only seen one at a time at the feeders so don’t know if it is the same one each time or not.   We have not been introduced so are not on first name terms!!   Yesterday afternoon a Varied Thrush crashed very hard into the window and unfortunately did not survive.   It must have been being chased.


Valentine - pig


valentine - cupid


The next Ceilidh Dance is the on Friday, February 28th, 2014.   Please call all your friends and arrange to bring them along to the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver to the class from 7 – 8 p.m. and the dance following from 8 – 11 p.m. with the live music of Calanais.  Admission at the door is only $10 (students etc. $8) but unless we get a big increase in attendance the price will have to go up.  No partner or experience necessary – just bring your smiles and I would suggest flat, comfy shoes.

Michelle has very kindly made up a Facebook event page for the Ceilidh which you can forward to your friends.   The link is:  https://www.facebook.com/events/597360563665264/597360566998597/

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!!


There were some very good pictures taken at the January 4, 2013 Ceilidh Dance which have been posted on the RSCDS Vancouver Branch Facebook page. If you do not want your picture on that page please contact web@rscdsvancouver.org. The link for the pictures is: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.316825198419573.56421.149674745134620&type=3


SFU’s Tartan Day celebrations featured the launch of the long-awaited “Scots in BC” website with information on how you can add your family history to the site. The website can be accessed at: https://www.scottish.sfu.ca/scots_in_bc_project It is well worth a visit.


Winter - wester_ross - snow

a view in Wester Ross

Some fun and interesting sites:  – note if you have a link to something you think others would enjoy please forward them to me.

Thanks to Francis who comments “It rains in Scotland?”


An interesting article



It doesn’t hurt to have a little Biblical humor to start the day….

Q. Which Bible character had no parents?

A.. Joshua, son of Nun.

Auld Country Tours are a big supporter of our Ceilidh Dances James Johnson [auldcountrytours@gmail.com]


valentine arrow



Winter - Wick Bay


The next Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, February 28, 2014.  Same time, same place, same price (so long as there is a big attendance), 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. We need to improve the attendance to make the dances financially viable. Please do your best to spread the word. Let me know if you would like a poster to put up.

Winter _kemneyhill



  For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.  


A new website for kilts and accessories. Prices seem excellent, no idea of quality or trustworthiness though: www.aglowmusichouse.com


Subscriptions have been fairly stable with a few new additions but some also unsubscribing.   This newsletter will go out to 379 people in many cities, provinces & countries. Now my current goal is to get back to 400!! Please pass along the website to your friends and maybe they will subscribe – www.vancouverceilidh.org

Third place last week – at least percentage wise.   Some 62.4% of the 378 subscribers opened last week’s newsletter.  I know some of you prefer to go to the website and open the newsletter from there so the number is even higher.   It does my heart good to see the numbers rise so please keep opening the newsletter!!   Any and all comments and suggestions are welcome.


An online contact for dance and marching shoes (ghillies, pumps, brogues, etc.) is Bruce Griffith at www.avriel.com


valentine bear greeting

The Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra will be playing at the Ceilidh for Cancer on February 22.   Plan to come along to support this worthy cause and have fun too. See Coming Events.

Events happening in the immediate future include the Love to Dance workshop and dance on the 15th..  Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

Winter Aberdeen beach

Aberdeen beach


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.

Valentine couple

COMING EVENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS: Note: Please check list of classes for all start times and locations.

Feb 14 Carlos   Nunez — concert at the Rogue Folk Club, St James Hall, 3214 West 10th   Vancouver at 8 p.m. All info about this concert by world renowned piper at https://www.roguefolk.bc.ca/concerts/ev14021420
Feb 15 Love to Dance Scottish Workshop and Tea Dance.   Teachers Mary Murray and Simon Scott with   music by the Tartan Players.     Registration forms are now on website — www.rscdsvancouver.org .     Info 604-922-6842
Feb 22 Ceilidh to Conquer Cancer with the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra in   St. James Hall, 3214 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver at 7 p.m.   Tickets at the door or from 778-990-4620 —   Adults $25; Students $15; Children under 16 $10
Feb 22 1st Ladies (Men welcome too!) Beginner Step Dance   class – 1pm – 3pm   Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street,    Vancouver.   TEACHER:  Kay Sutherland; COST: $10   Drop In ($7.50 for students) per class.    Open to all interested in soft shoe Step Dance (Men too!) A follow up   to the very popular Ladies Step Dance Mini- Workshops.   This   will be a Beginner class – just the basics.  For more info email me     kay_sutherland@hotmail.com or phone  604 929 2745
Feb 23 – 28 RSCDS Winter School, 2014 in Atholl Palace Hotel, Pitlochry,   Scotland with teachers Duncan Brown, Eric Findley, Pat Houghton & Anne   Smyth with musicians Muriel Johnstone, George Meikle, Iain Robertson &   Peter Shand.  The Ball will be held in   the spectacular ballroom of Blair Castle.     Info & online booking at www.rscds.org
Feb 28 Monthly Ceilidh Dance of the season at the Scottish Cultural   Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.     Class at 7 p.m. and dance following from 8 — 11 p.m. and all for the   fantastic price of $10 (students $8) — info 604-536-9481
Mar   1 2nd Ladies (Men welcome too!) Beginner Step Dance   class – 1pm – 3pm   Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street,        Vancouver.   TEACHER:  Kay   Sutherland; COST: $10 Drop In ($7.50 for students) per class.  Open to all interested in soft shoe Step   Dance (Men too!) A follow up to the very popular Ladies Step Dance Mini-   Workshops.   This will be a Beginner class – just the   basics.  For more info email me   kay_sutherland@hotmail.com or phone      604 929 2745
Mar   8 3rd Ladies (Men welcome too!) Beginner Step Dance   class – 1pm – 3pm   Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street,        Vancouver.   TEACHER:  Kay   Sutherland; COST: $10 Drop In ($7.50 for students) per class.  Open to all interested in soft shoe Step   Dance (Men too!) A follow up to the very popular Ladies Step Dance Mini-   Workshops.  This will be a Beginner   class – just the basics.  For more info email me   kay_sutherland@hotmail.com or phone      604 929 2745
Mar  8 Burnaby Dance in the Confederation Centre, 4584 Albert Street,   Burnaby at 7:30 p.m. with music by the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra- admission   $20
Mar  8 Bellingham monthly Dance
Mar 8 — 16 CelticFest Vancouver — more information to come — info@celticfestvancouver.com
Tickets go on sale January 22 — register now to get preferential booking
Mar 16 CelticFest Vancouver annual parade
Mar 22 Heather Ball in the Gizeh Temple, 3550 Wayburne Drive, Burnaby   with the fantastic sprung floor and the great music of the Scottish Accent   Band.   Reception 6:00; Dance 7:00   followed by a light supper.   Tickets   $85 (30 & under $65) through PayPal at www.rscdsvancouver.org  Info   604-925-9333 or simon.scott@telus.net

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Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.

If Wal-Mart is lowering prices every day, how come nothing is free yet?



  Winter Alttnacealgach Motel


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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.

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winter Arrochar Alps & Loch katrine

Loch Katrine & the Arrochar Alps

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, February 28, 2014 with live music by Calanaish. 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. The price is only – $10 or $8 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.


For those who enjoy listening to Scottish music, song, banter etc. try www.andysceilidh.co.uk/ this is a radio programme that you can get sent to you and listen any time you want. Andy is asking everyone to send in their requests so if you have a favourite Scottish tune, song, recitation, band, performer, choir or whatever send an e-mail to andyrossbw@aol.com


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

It really is never too late to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes and well any time is a great time to do it. 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 next week. 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.

valentine dragons

For those who don’t know SCD is a fabulous pastime which 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 below. 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, 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


Valentine fishlove2


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

Winter assynt Snowcap


Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at www.rscds-seattle.org A monthly Challenge Class is held on the 2nd Friday each month in the upper building, Room 7, Phinney Neighbourhood Association, 4532 Phinney Avenue, North Seattle at 7:30 p.m. Info at www.rscds-seattle.org   Next class:  February 14, 2014

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, February 28, 2014 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 12 or more and we can give them a discount!!! This will be the fifth regular Ceilidh Dance of the 2013/14 season and it would be great if we could double the attendance of the dance last week.

We Really NEED YOUR HELP to advertise the Ceilidh Dances!!!! It only costs $10 ($8 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


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.

Thanks to good attendances last year the finances for the 2012/13 season will still allow the cost to be the amazingly low price of $10 or $8 for students and we provide refreshments although we do ask for your donations towards their cost.  But low attendance this season might mean we have to look at increasing the admission in future. 

We always need your support both by coming along and by helping us to advertise these dances by whatever means you use to communicate with your friends be it e-mail, Face-Book, Twitter, Text or even telephone! 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 2013/14 season shapes up as follows: All on Fridays of course — 2014

February 28
March 28
April 25

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We are still working on improving the strength of the smile muscles as well as the bows and curtsies! 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 need to attract students from Universities and all colleges. Somehow we have to get word out to these students. 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 ($10 or $8 for students.) 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.

winter Bathgate sunrise

Bathgate sunrise

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.

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 379 subscribers (at long last we are over the 400 mark!) 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.


Tony and Yvonne were 85 years old and had been married for sixty years. Though they were far from rich, they managed to get by because they carefully watched their pennies.

Though not young, they were both in very good health, largely due to Yvonne’s insistence on healthy foods and exercise for the last decade.

One day, their good health didn’t help when they went on yet another holiday vacation and their plane crashed, sending them off to Heaven.

They reached the pearly gates, and St. Peter escorted them inside. He took them to a beautiful mansion, furnished in gold and fine silks, with a fully stocked kitchen and a waterfall in the master bath. A maid could be seen hanging their favorite clothes in the closet. They gasped in astonishment when he said, ‘Welcome to Heaven. This will be your home now.’

Tony asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. ‘Why, nothing,’ Peter replied, ‘remember, this is your reward in Heaven.’

Tony looked out the window and right there he saw a championship golf course, finer and more beautiful than any ever built on Earth..

‘What are the greens fees?,’ grumbled Tony..

‘This is heaven,’ St. Peter replied. ‘You can play for free, every day.’

Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch.

‘Don’t even ask,’ said St. Peter to Tony. This is Heaven, it is all free for you to enjoy.’
Tony looked around and nervously asked Yvonne ‘Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods and the decaffeinated tea?’
‘That’s the best part,’ St. Peter replied. ‘You can eat and drink as much as you like and you will never get fat or sick. This is Heaven!’

‘No gym to work out at?’ said Tony
‘Not unless you want to,’ was the answer.
‘No testing my sugar or blood pressure or…’
‘Never again’

Tony glared at Yvonne and said, ‘You and your Bran Flakes. We could have been here ten years ago!’


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

Winter Alness point

Alness Point


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