St David's day 3 

Welcome to March – where did January go?   With the weather being so nice and mild it might even be April!   How is the year of the sheep going?

Sheep dancing


winter kippford beach

Kippford Beach

Once upon a time there was a man who was peacefully driving down a windy road. Suddenly, a bunny skipped across the road and the man couldn’t stop. He hit the bunny head on. The man quickly jumped out of his car to check the scene. There, lying lifeless in the middle of the road, was the Easter Bunny. The man cried out, ‘Oh no! I have committed a terrible crime! I have run over the Easter Bunny!’

The man started sobbing quite hard and then he heard another car approaching. It was a woman in a red convertible. The woman stopped and asked what the problem was. The man explained, ‘I have done something horribly sad. I have run over the Easter Bunny. Now there will be no one to deliver eggs on Easter, and it’s all my fault.’

The woman ran back to her car. A moment later, she came back carrying a spray bottle. She ran over to the motionless bunny and sprayed it. The bunny immediately sprang up, ran into the woods, stopped, and waved back at the man and woman. Then it ran another 10 feet, stopped, and waved. It then ran another 10 feet, stopped, and waved again. It did this over and over and over again until the man and the woman could no longer see the bunny.

Once out of sight, the man exclaimed, ‘What is that stuff in that bottle?’

The woman replied, ‘It’s harespray. It revitalises hare and adds permanent wave.’


Well it wasn’t the biggest attendance at the Ceilidh Dance on Friday with only about 60 coming along but we had loads of fun.   It was great to have Daniel and Michelle coming to teach a few dances.   It gives me a rest and they get some good experience as they are both starting out on the long road to becoming Scottish Country Dance teachers.   It takes about 4 years or so of classes, exams and teaching to get fully certified.   We wish them all the best and hope they will come back again and teach some other dances.

Calanaish, our Ceilidh band, is growing – we had 6 players on Friday and our very many thanks to them all.   They are what make the Ceilidh dances special both for the dancers and the teachers.   It was good to see the engineering students from UBC back again and great that they were joined by a group from Regent College but we missed the Fencing club along with many others.   It is time for you all to get busy helping to spread the word and get the attendance back up for the next dance on Friday, March 27.   Last Friday we lost money so we really need to make that up.

winter kirkton Glen Balquidder

Kirkton Glen, Balquidder

A Note from Jean :

Dear Fellow Dancer, Once again we have a Teachers Training programme happening at the Vancouver Branch with the exams to be held in May 2015.    Our teacher candidates rely on a Support Cast of fellow dancers to be ‘Stooges’ for their practice sessions.  Training sessions are held at the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver (upstairs).  If you are interested in helping our Teacher Candidates, please contact Jean Wagstaff 604-464-8103 / for further information.

Your support will be much appreciated. 

Many thanks, Jean Wagstaff  and the 2015 Candidates


CelticFest Vancouver have announced that tickets for the week-long event from March 6 – 17 are now on sale at   You can find all the information on their website at

Note that the Dem Team will be dancing in the Tom Lee Theatre  929 Granville Street, Vancouver  at 1 p. m. on Saturday, March 14.

Also the RSCDS is entered in the parade again which is on Sunday, March 15.   Cathrine would love to have a record-breaking turnout for this event.  It is fun, not too strenuous – we march and do a little bit of “dancing” as we go along.   Here is the note from Cathrine:

Here it is, folks! Come and help us promote Scottish Country Dancing! Join in the parade Sunday March 15th. Show some tartan!!

We gather on the Granville St. bridge between 10 and 10:30 am. The parade starts moving at 11 and takes about 20-30 minutes. Rain gear is advisable, as are sturdy shoes. We’ll do a simple dance routine that keeps us moving along behind the lead truck with the best dance music in the world emanating from it!

We’ve been asked to do a 15 minute street show on Granville Street after the parade. (around noon or 12:30) If you can stay for that, we can get the onlookers up to dance, and hand out pamphlets and do a few actual dances. We had a good response from the crowd last year at this!

Please let me know if you can join us. We need BIG numbers, to make our presence felt! We don’t want to be outdone by the Irish or Welsh!

Cathrine 604 299 6447 Cathrine Conings


St David's day 1

The next regular Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, March 27, 2015 (back to the last Friday of March & April) – in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver.  Start to make plans to come along as we really need all of you. 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. Think of the great exercise you get as well.   See below for more information.

I have probably sent this out before but it is quite a few years ago now so it may be of interest to some of you.  A Bob Martin from South Carolina shares his method of cleaning his kilt as he feels that taking a kilt to a dry cleaner is too tough on the fibers.

“Spot the kilt with undiluted Woolite on any spots or soiled areas, using a soft brush if necessary.   Fill the bathtub with about 6” of cold water & 12 capfuls of Woolite.  Swish the kilt around until it is completely soaked, then fold it and lay it apron side down to soak for an hour.    Let the dirty water drip off, then hang on the clothesline with lots of pins and rinse it COMPLETELY with the garden hose.   Let drip dry out of direct sunlight.   Use a pressing cloth when touching up the pleats with an iron.
Note:   Shrinkage is caused by heat and agitation, so be sure to use cold (but not icy) water and handle the kilt gently.

These are not my words and I take no responsibility for what may happen to your kilt.


Thanks to some ground work by a student a Scottish Country Dance class at SFU has started.   They are on Wednesday evenings and will continue every Wednesday from 7 – 9 p.m. in Forum Chambers.   Contact Louise at for more information and please tell all your student friends.

SFU’s Centre for Scottish Studies will be offering beginning Gaelic classes Monday nights at 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm starting January 20.  The classes will be held using video technology with instructor Fiona Smith — either from a location at SFU or in your home if you have a computer and internet connection.  If you are interested in participating, please contact Leith at

The Humanities Department at SFU is offering a Celtic Mythology course this summer, taught by Dr. Antone Minard. It will be meeting on Saturday afternoons. The course outline can be obtained and questions about the course can be directed to Dr. Minard at

winter lauder



St David's day 2 

WHY GOD MADE MOMS Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world.  And my Mom eats a  lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.


 Lovely week but I did not get out to the garden.   Fortunately Margaret did!!   The area we call a “lawn” has been sprayed with moss killer so now it is all black.   It needs to be raked, covered with a layer of topsoil and re-seeded.   Our “lawn” is on an old cedar bog and is always very wet.   I think there must be a spring under it as even in the summer it is squishy.   Dance classes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday with the Ceilidh on Friday so not too strenuous.   Looks as if this week it will be dancing every night.   Got my car back from the visiting family so back onto the volunteer Cancer drives.


Thanks to Steve at the Celtic Treasure Chest there is now an online list of all the Celtic societies as well as a calendar of events:


There are always some specials at The Celtic Treasure Chest’s stores.  Check them out at

Celtic Fashions on E-Bay – go to

A young priest arrives at the monastery. He is assigned to helping the other priest in copying the old canons and laws of the church by hand. He notices, however, that all of the priest are copying from copies, not from the original manuscript.
So, the new priest goes to the Bishop to question this, pointing out that if someone made even a small error in the first copy, it would never be picked up! In fact, that error would be continued in all of the subsequent copies.
The Bishop says, ‘We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.’
He goes down into the dark caves underneath the monastery  where the original manuscripts are held as archives in a locked vault that hasn’t been opened for hundreds of years. Hours go by and nobody sees the old Bishop . . So, the young priest gets worried and goes down to look for him.
He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing,
‘We missed the R !  We missed the R !    We missed the R !’
His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying  uncontrollably.
The young priest asks the old Bishop, ‘What’s wrong, father?’

With A choking voice, the old Bishop replies, ‘The word was…


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 United Scottish Cultural Society (USCS). Memberships in this Society are for individuals only and presently cost $10 annually. Membership Application Forms may be obtained either at the Centre or on the USCS website – .   The cost is only $10.

Any person may join USCS and Scottish Country & Ceilidh Dancers are encouraged to show their support by doing so. If any USCS member would like to be more involved, then, Darryl Carracher, the Manager at the Centre, will be pleased to give you further information. We have replaced the roof which was a major expense and we have also finishing painting and sprucing up the main hall and hope you all like what we have done. Upgrades to the Centre are also being considered so it is particularly appropriate that dancers join USCS. No final decisions on these upgrades will be made before Members of USCS are fully informed.

A number of proposals regarding the future of the Centre (the building) were presented at the A.G.M. and these are to be discussed by each Member Society/Association and were discussed at a Special meeting of the United Scottish Societies Auditorium Ltd. last Wednesday, February 25, 2015.   A motion was made to refer the proposals to the Directors and to get more details on the various options suggested but the motion was defeated in a close vote – 8 for and 9 against.   The matter will likely be raised at the next meeting of the USCS.


St David's day 4


winter Loch a'Chroisg

Loch aChroisg


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, March 27th, 2015. 

Canada Day maple leaf line


St David's day 5

 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!!


You can join the e-mail list of the SFU Scottish and Celtic Society; the club connecting you to all things Scottish and Celtic at SFU and the community. As members of this mailing list, you will receive updates on events and learning opportunities. All are welcome to participate and enjoy. Facebook Group: As of today, our new Facebook Group is launched and available to join. It is an ‘Open’ group. Anyone can join and invite their friends. We will create Facebook ‘Events’ for all our occasions. Join today at this link:


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

Old Steam Powered Vehicles    Watch the driver steering as he gets around the first turn.   We’ve come a long way!

Willie Nelson’s Card Trick.   This is really hard to believe – Watch closely. . . . How does he do it??

Willie and his card trick

More to try on your bucket list!!


The next Ceilidh Dance will be on Friday, March 27, 2015.    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.


The slowly growing list has stayed at the lofty height of  362.   I should be more grateful that it is increasing but it will take many weeks at this rate to get it back to 400 so I really need your help to get the subscriptions back up again.   Thanks for all your support.

Please pass along the website to your friends and ask them to subscribe – it is free!!

At time of writing this last week’s newsletter was opened by only 227 subscribers.  Because the list is growing that was just 62.9% of the total list.   I know some of you prefer to go to the website and open the newsletter from there so the number is probably much higher.

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


Events happening in the immediate future include the Burnaby dance on March 7 along with two other events that day and the Vancouver CeltFest parade on the 15th. 

Please see “Coming Events” below for all information.

St David's day 6

Kids are  Quick

TEACHER:         Glenn, how do you spell “crocodile?”
GLENN:              K-R-O-K-O-D-I-A-L”
TEACHER:        No, that’s wrong
GLENN:              Maybe it is wrong, but you asked me how I spell it.


TEACHER:       Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD:         H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER:       What are you talking about?
DONALD:          Yesterday you said it’s H to O. __________________________________


If anyone has any suggestions or complaints regarding the newsletter, please let me know – 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.

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

Mar  7 Last of a series of 3 Ladies Step Dance classes will be held on Saturdays February 7, 28 and March 7 from 1 – 3 p.m.   Please register with   Cost $37.50 for the 3 classes (no drop ins)
Mar  7 Burnaby Dance 7:30 p.m. in Confederation Centre, 4584 Albert Street, Burnaby with music by the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra – $20 – crib notes and programme at
Mar  7 Westcoast Fiddlers Barn Dance Fundraiser at the Southridge Fellowship Church, 22756 48th Ave, Langley Doors at 5:30 – Dance at 7pm, to The Tartan Players band.   Easy dances, taught and called by Louise Steinway Westcoast Fiddler performances, Concession dinner, Silent auction.    Info: 604-312-7578 Advance tickets $15, $10 kids, 35 family (2 adult, 2 kids)    At the door $20, $15 & $45.
Mar 14 Bellingham social
Mar 14 Portland Oregon Branch 36th Annual Workshop & Ball with teachers Roberta Gotfried & Bob McMurtry and musicians Deby Benton-Grosjean & Cynthia Soohoo – get info from
Mar 15 Celtic Fest parade – Everyone needed so we can put on a good showing for the large crowd of spectators – see notice earlier in newsletter.
Mar 21 50th Anniversary Heather Ball, Hellenic Centre, 4500 Arbutus Street, Vancouver with music by Torridon Scottish Dance Band featuring guests Ian Muir and Judi Nicolson.   Tickets ($100) available online at or phone 604-929-2944 for reservations.   Dinner at 5:30 p.m.     crib notes and programme at
Mar 25 White Rock-  St. Patrick party – wear green
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 $10 (students $8)
Mar 28 Glenayre Annual Dance at St. Laurence Church Hall, 825 St. Laurence, Coquitlam at 7:30 p.m. —  $10
Mar 28 SFU Pipe Band is holding a benefit concert and ceilidh for cancer at the SFU Theatre beginning at 6:00pm.  All proceeds will go to the BC Cancer Centre and Foundation to aid brain cancer research. The band is dedicating this concert to Andrew Bonar, a piper in the band, who is recovering from cancer.  Tickets are available for purchase at the following links:  Concert Tickets: Ceilidh Tickets:
Mar 28 Vancouver Island Scottish Country Dance Society One-Day Workshop and Dance with teacher Fiona Miller and class musician Mary Ross.   Music for the dance by the Tartan Players.   Colwood Community Hall, 2219 Sooke Road, Victoria —  all info at    
Mar 29 White Rock spring workshop Sullivan Hall, 6306 152nd Street Surrey with teacher Maureen Lyon.   Info and to register 604-944-6678 or
Apr   1 Ceilidh at SFU – more info to come
Apr 11 Nanaimo Scottish Country Dancers welcome everyone to their annual one day workshop with teachers Ruth Jappy & Rebecca Blackhall-Peters as well as musicians Julie Smith & Deborah Jones.   This is a great workshop for basic & intermediate dancers.   No need to take your car they will meet you at the ferry!!  All info and registration form at
Apr 11 Bellingham social


The Dem Team are dancing at:   Celtic Fest Vancouver on Saturday, March 14 at 1 p.m. on the Tom Lee stage on Granville Street and then at Capilano Mall on Sunday March 15 with time to be arranged but 3 p.m. or later.

 “““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““` “ 


Loch Arklett


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. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Winter Loch Doon

Loch Doon

The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, March 27, 2015 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: and here is a link to the Facebook advert: 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 – $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.


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

This is a really good time to come along and join in one of many Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes as they are starting up again.    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 or www, for a list of class locations and times.

St David's day 8 

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.

St David's day 10

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).

St David's day 7

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 or Note that the latter website has the latest updates to temporary changes to times and locations

St David's day 7

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 –



What is the difference between girls/women aged: 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, 58. 68, and 78 ? 

At 8 — You take her to bed and tell her a story. 

At 18 — You tell her a story and take her to bed. 

At 28 — You don’t need to tell her a story to take her to bed. 

At 38 — She tells you a story and takes you to bed. 

At 48 — She tells you a story to avoid going to bed. 

At 58 — You stay in bed to avoid her story. 

At 68 — If you take her to bed, that’ll be a story! 

At 78 — What story??? What bed??? Who the hell are you??? 



For upcoming events see and Other announcements etc: Seattle Branch – info at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on Friday, March 27, 2015 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!!!


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 or the Face-book page

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

winter loch eckLoch Ekk 

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 2014/15 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course —


March 27
April 24
September 25

Come along and get some great exercise while also having lots of fun. We hope to have lots of new Ceilidh dancers and we might even have Louise and maybe Daniel and/or Michelle to help with the calling.  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.

 Winter Loch Harport

Loch Harport

We would like 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 – – 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 – – 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     Please check the website – for updates, pictures and news.

Dance – it is good for your health.

winter Loch Lomond view

Loch Lomond

Keep sending jokes, pictures and info you wish to have included. Don’t forget to look at our web pages at    If you know of anyone who would like to be on the mailing list please send them the web address – 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 363 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.


 Clever Signs  

On a Maternity Room door:

“Push. Push. Push.”


At an Optometrist’s Office :

“If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”


On a Taxidermist’s window:

“We really know our stuff.”



Winter Loch Lubnaig

Loch Lubnaig

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 –


Winter Loch Morlich

Loch Morlich

Here we are at the first day of March, the Camellias have been out for weeks, now there are Magnolias blooming (ours is just waiting to burst open), the clematis are leafing and climbing and my garden needs a lot of work!!

Get your tickets for the 50th anniversary Ball  at – you’ll find more information about this great event on that webpage  

Get then NOW!!!

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