November 9, 2017 – Isle of Skye

Yes I am on the Isle of Skye.  We crossed from Mallaig on the ferry (you have to reverse on!) this morning at 8 am,  It had snowed overnight about 1,500 feet and the mountain tops looked good when we could see them.  Typical of Skye it rained on and off all day but every now and then the clouds cleared for 1/2 an hour or so and the scenery was fabulous.  We are being treated to a very fancy (for Skye) hotel for one night then it is back to Arisaig for 3 nights down to Kilbarchan for 2 or 3 more, then back home.

We have had a wonderful holiday spending a week in Slovenia, a few days in Surrey, UK, 2 nights in France where we visited Vimy to see the memorial (1st time through the chunnel) and then Scotland.  We got around!  I meant to send more than one newsletter but my computer is not working so I am using the guest one in the hotel to send this.  I hope it gets out.

Thanks to Alison & Co for the Ceilidh in October which I hear went well.  I will be at the next one and I hope to see many of you there – it is the last one for 2017.  So come and celebrate St. Andrews Day and come to the Ceilidh dance is on Friday November 25 – lots of time for you to plan on coming and inviting your friends to join you for a fun evening.

There is lots of dancing but you don’t need to be scared as we teach you everything.  If it is your first time try to come to the class at 7 then when the dance starts at 8 you’ll be a pro – well nearly.  Alison and I will be there and maybe some others to talk you through the dances and there is food and drink too – even gluten free.

So remember, Friday, November 25 at 7 pm.  We really need you all so call your friends and arrange a group.



Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them? 











fall-highland-folk-museum-newtonmoreHighland Folk Museum – Newtonmore


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is next week – Friday, November 25, 2016 and I hope you can come.  


I have updated the class info including the starting dates if known and a new class in Aldergrove.   Check them out under the “Classes” tab.


I have updated the calendar with known dates at this time – see the Upcoming Events tab.


fall-hoddam-castleHoddam Castle




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:


The Celtic Treasure Chest on Dunbar has new owners and is not closing.   The store will be closed October 16 to November 1 for re-stocking.  You are invited to attend the Open House on November 2 – 5 from 10 am to 5 pm and on Nov 6 from noon until 4 pm.  Come and meet the new owners and stock up on al, your favourite foods.

Celtic Fashions on E-Bay – go to


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.






The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, November 25th, 2016.  That will be the third one for the season and the last one of 2016.  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.  

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!!


 Canada Day maple leaf line


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

An interesting look at a duck farm in South Africa that has a very special purpose that I never would have imagined. Duck farmer Denzel Metthys manages over 1,000 Indian Runner ducks who are used as a natural form of pest control on the Vergenoegd Winery. Each day the “Quack Squad” parades in front of the farm house on their way to the fields where they eat their fill of snails helping to keep the vineyard healthy.

You may have seen this before, but always nice. Enjoy if you have not seen our country from the air.




The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, November 25th, 2016.   Same time, same place, same price, 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.



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.

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


COMING EVENTS IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS: Note: Please check list of classes for all start times and locations.  Sorry I have no way of updating this from over here.

Oct 26 White Rock Halloween Party with refreshments – wear costume
Oct 28 – 30 Asilomar Weekend with teachers Graham Donald (UK); Pat Coyle (ON); Sara Gratiot (CA); Robert McOwen (MA); Linda Pettengill (CA) and Andrew Smith (KA) and music by “Tullochgorum” (MA) and “StringFire” (CA).   Details at
Oct 29 Gleneagles Fall Dance in Christ the Redeemer Gymnasium, 595 Keith Road (off Taylor Way), West Vancouver at 7:30 $15
Oct 30 White Rock fall workshop and dance wear sale
Nov  5 Scottish Soft Shoe Step dance 1 – 3 p.m. in the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 8853 Selkirk Street, Vancouver – 1 block from the Scottish Cultural Centre – info 604-929-2745 – $45 for 3 classes
Nov 11 Lady Aberdeen Tea Dance hosted by the Fort Langley Scottish Country Dance Club, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver at 1:15 – a donation of a plate of food would be most welcome – $10 children $5
Nov 12 Scottish Soft Shoe Step dance 1 – 3 p.m. in the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 8853 Selkirk Street, Vancouver – 1 block from the Scottish Cultural Centre – info 604-929-2745 – $45 for 3 classes
Nov 12 VFO Fund Raising Concert, Highlands United Church, North Vancouver 7:30 – $15
Nov 19 Scottish Soft Shoe Step dance 1 – 3 p.m. in the Taiwanese Canadian Cultural Centre, 8853 Selkirk Street, Vancouver – 1 block from the Scottish Cultural Centre – info 604-929-2745 – $45 for 3 classes
Nov 19 St. Andrew’s Ball, Diamond Ballroom, 1495 West 8th Avenue, Vancouver  6 – 11 p.m. – $125  Tickets at Eventbrite
Nov 23 White Rock St. Andrew’s social – wear blue
Nov 25 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 $12 (students $10)
Nov 26 Delta Borderer’s Fall Dance
Nov 29 Fort Langley Voyageurs St. Andrew’s Dance
Dec  3 Children’s Christmas Party – North Shore Children SCDC
Dec  7 White Rock Christmas party and last class of 2016 – bring cash for the Food Bank
Dec 11 Gleneagles Ball, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver 1:30 – Tickets $110 from Susan Haug 604-984-7458
Dec 13 Glenayre Christmas Party
Dec 28 Betwixt & Between Dance


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.


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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The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, November 25, 2016 with live music by Calanaish.   This is the last dance of the year so everyone come along.

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 – $12 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. There is a link on both our website and the Branch website

Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes have started up again for another season.  Check out the class locations and come along – see the “Classes” tab.  

Dance - blue

Come to a class in November – 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 patrick's Day Dancers

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 or 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 –


fall-isle-of-mullIsle of Mull




For upcoming events see and

Other announcements etc:
Seattle Branch
– info at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on   Friday, November 25, 2016 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 $12 ($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 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.


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 2016/17 season shapes up as follows:
All on Fridays of course —

November 25

January 13
February 20
March 31
April 28

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 ($12 or $10 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.

fall-isle-of-scalpayIsle of Scalpay

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.



Kidrummy Castle


This newsletter reaches out to some 359 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.






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 – and come to the Ceilidh Dance on Friday, November 25!!

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


Duncan MacKenzie