It is snowing, again, as I start to compose this newsletter.  After the ice rain on top of the snow the shrubs and trees are all bent and may be broken.  There are icicles on the evergreen outside my window – it looks nice but I am sure the tree will be suffering.  Our metal roof sheds the snow in a great rush and you don’t want to be caught under it when it falls!   Hopefully it will warm up and we will see the last of the snow and our cold weather

Don’t forget to put the Ceilidh Dances on your 2017 calendars – February 24, March 31 and April 28 (the last Friday of each month).   Come to the Ceilidh on February 24 to work off the extra calories from all the haggis and good Chinese food!

Torridon Mountains



Traigh golf course near Arisaig


Some facts you may not know about Canada

Canada consumes more macaroni and cheese than any other nation in the world.


Love to Dance workshop and ball registrations are available online at  Get yours completed and sent in before they fill up.  It is only 13 days away.  Rebecca and Ruth for teachers – what better can you get?

Valley of the Moffat Water


Another triumph for the Tam O’Shanter Dancers.  A full house of over 300 attended their annual Burns Supper last week.  From the greetings and welcome well decorated entrance way, to the warm hall hung with standing stones, banners, flags, etc. along with a cottage, a framed sign featuring the theme of this year – “Friendship brings us here tonight” – and the tales set for dinner, it really looked very beautiful and inviting.  Then there was to piping in of the haggis, the Address to the Haggis so ably given, the super meal provided by Dutchman Caterers followed by the entertainment (which I cannot comment on as I did not see it, but, from comments heard afterwards was very enjoyable) and the Ceilidh dancing.  It certainly was a success and the Tam O’Shanter Dancers should be very proud.  They deserve all the praise for a job well done.

It is coming – be prepared


Jean has a used kilt and new sporran for sale.  Dress Murray of Atholl medium weight; 40″ waist and the length would fit a man up to 6′ tall.  The sporran is black leather with chain strap. $160 —  contact Jean at


View to the Cuillins from above Carbost


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is this month – That is Friday, February 24, 2017 and I sure hope you can come.  


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


Wallace Monument near Stirling


Canada is the world’s most educated country by percentage: over half its residents have college degrees.


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.  Come and meet the new owners and stock up on all your favourite foods.  I hear they have just received new stock from Marks & Spencers.

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.


Wester Ross


Ben Lomond from Ben Vorlich


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, February 24, 2017.  That will be the fifth one for the season and the second one of 2017.  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. A great way to get in shape after all the Burns and Chinese New Year indulgencies.  

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!!


 Police departments in Canada give out “positive tickets” when they see people doing something positive.


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.

Sound On; Full Page:-

Let’s Dance

Subject: Judges Lack Confident in This 9 Years Old Kid Until She Stars Singing! Amazing! – YouTube

Original Classic Car Owner

I thought you might find this an interesting item, especially on the American Super Bowl Day


The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, February 24th, 2017.   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.

Glenfinnan from the train


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.


Canada’s lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees fahrenheit (-63 celsius) in 1947.

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


Feb 10 – 12 RSCDS Edmonton Annual Workshop & Ball with teachers Rebecca Blackhall-Peters, Heather Graham and Ron Wallace plus musicians Lisa Scott, Mary Ross & Judi Nicholson.  Registration & all info at
Feb 18 Love to Dance Scottish Workshop & Tea Dance 8.30 am to 4:30 pm with teachers Rebecca Blackhall-Peters and Ruth Jappy with music by the Tartan Players.   Register early at or get a form from your teacher.
Feb 18 Vancouver Island Valentine Dance
Feb 22 White Rock “Heart” party – wear red
Feb 24 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)
Mar  4 Burnaby Spring Dance 7:30 p.m. Confederation Centre, 4584 Albert Street, Burnaby with music by the Vancouver Fiddle Orchestra.  Admission $20 – programme etc. at
Mar 10 Irish Sports Personality Night – St. Mary’s Ukrainian Hall – $75 includes a 3 course meal, live music etc.
Mar 12 Sharon Shannon at St. James Hall – from  $40 –
Mar 14, 16, 18 “Almost a Stepmom” at Havana Theatre – from $15 – with Keara Barnes –
Mar 15 Heather Ball walkthrough at the Scottish Cultural Centre with Luke Brady – $8
Mar 17 Welsh Men’s Choir at Christ Church Cathedral with guests Julie Begg & Tim Fanning – 604-878-1190
Mar 17 -18 Celtic Village ($10 cover charge after 7 pm) Robson Square & Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza – Mini Highland Games, pipe bands, dancers, street performers, face painting and Much more.
Mar 18 Irish Ceili at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Hall – $25 –
Mar 18 Heather Ball in the Scottish Cultural Centre, 8886 Hudson Street, Vancouver with music by Luke Brady’s Dance Band from Scotland.  Reception 5:45; Supper 6:15; Tickets – $80
Mar 19 Luke Brady Concert in Holy Trinity Anglican Church at 3 p.m. – $20
Mar 25 Vancouver Island SCDS Workshop and Ball
Mar 29 White Rock St. Patrick’s party – wear green
Mar 31 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)
Apr  1 Glenayre Spring Dance
Apr  7 Carlos Nunez at the Vogue Theatre.  If you thing Spain is just Flamenco, you are about to make an amazing discovery.  Tickets start at $37.50
Apr  8 Children’s Easter Party – North Shore Children SCDC


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.

Loch Lyon

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.

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

The next Ceilidh Dance is nest week – Friday, February 24, 2017 with live music by Calanaish.   This is the second dance of the year so everyone come along and dance off all those calories added recently.

Rannoch Moor

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

River Leven at Dumbarton

Scottish Country Dance (SCD) classes started up again for another session in January but it is never too late to join in.  Check out the class locations and come along – see the “Classes” tab.  

Dance - blue

Come to a class in February – 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 in the new year. There are classes all around and on different nights so GIVE IT A GO!   Make it a New Year’s resolution.  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).

Canada is the second largest country in the world, right after Russia.

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 –


Sunrise over the Black Mount



For upcoming events see and

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

The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on   Friday, February 24, 2017 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 —

February 24
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.


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 360 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.



Duffus Castle


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, February 24!!

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

Duncan MacKenzie