Ben Loyal and the Kyle of Tongue

Snow has been replaced by rain but there are the occasional glimpses of clear sky.  Not much sunshine, yet, but it is warmer.  The clocks went forward last weekend.  Gosh was I sleepy getting up and hour earlier at 7 30 to catch the 8 a.m. bus to go to the Rugby 7’s.  I was there both days and thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle and the athleticism of the players.  Too bad Canada lost in the quarters and good for England upsetting the Springboks in the final.

It is the Heather Ball tomorrow and the Concert on Sunday so I hope everyone has a good time.  You can still attend the Concert as tickets will be available at the door.  Luke Brady is an excellent musician and it would be a shame not to hear him play more than 8 x 32 bars!!

Don’t forget to put the Ceilidh Dances on your 2017 calendars – March 31 and April 28 (the last Friday of each month).   Come to the Ceilidh  a week on Friday – March 31, to welcome Spring and have lots of fun for next to nothing!




Lossiemouth & the aurora borealis


Some facts you may not know about Canada

The Mall of America is owned by Canadians.


It is too late to buy a Heather Ball ticket but you can still get a Luke Brady concert ticket.
March 19  Luke Brady Concert in Holy Trinity Anglican Church at 3 p.m. – $20 tickets at the door.

Balvaird Castle



 For sale: Long skirt and matching sash from Claire Charles of Pitlochry. Ancient Douglas tartan (blue and green). Length 31.5”. Size “Easyfit.” Perfect for Heather Ball and TAC balls. Brand new. Please contact Rosemary at 604-298-6552 or


Bellwood Heather Collection, Perth


The next regular Ceilidh Dance is the Last day of the month and the last Friday too!! – That is Friday, March 31, 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.


Bonnington Linn


The US/Canada border is the longest international border in the world and it lacks military defense – so far!!


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.


Buchanan Castle


Theresa May will frustrate Nicola Sturgeon’s hopes of a second independence referendum for as long as six years as she draws the battle lines for her defence of the “precious, precious Union”.

The Prime Minister decided Scotland should not be given a vote until Scots have seen how Brexit works out, and will call Nicola Sturgeon’s bluff by challenging her to prove at the next Scottish elections in 2021 her claim that she has a “cast iron” mandate for a new poll.

Mrs May infuriated the First Minister by formally rejecting her demand for a referendum between autumn 2018 and spring 2019, saying “now is not the time” for a vote on the future of the Union.

Ms Sturgeon described the decision as a “democratic outrage” and said she remained “determined” to hold a poll on her own timescale. She added that she would “consider my options and what I should do” if a Scottish Parliament request for permission to hold a referendum is turned down.

Caledonian Canal at Dochdarroch


The next Ceilidh Dance is on Friday, March 31, 2017 – that is the last Friday of this month.  That will be the sixth one for the season and the third 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 and really easy. Everything is taught from scratch – you won’s be the only newbie!  

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 has no weapons of mass destruction since 1984 and has signed treaties repudiating their possession.


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 will enjoy send me the link.

Sound On; Full Page:-


 Thought this was an interesting video clip.   You might be able to identify some of the London locations (better with full screen).

Grammar test


The next Ceilidh Dance is Friday, March 31st, 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.

Crammond from the air


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.


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 19 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.   Luke Brady is a skilled and versatile young Scottish accordionist and keyboarder. Growing up with Scottish music, he began playing for a dance class at age 15. His music soon made him popular among dancers everywhere. Luke’s band issued five CDs with a blend of traditional and modern tunes, many composed by Luke himself.  He is a full-time musician, playing for different forms of dance including ballet. Luke travels with his band to events throughout the UK and beyond. Luke’s concerts highlight musicians who have inspired him and reflect events and travels in his life as a musician. Dancers and non-dancers alike love listening to Luke’s variety of music genres and styles as well as his lively Scottish tunes.  Tickets available online at  or at the door while they last.
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
Aor  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 CANCELLED
Apr  8 Please join the Centre for Scottish Studies at SFU in celebrating Tartan Day with a wonderful afternoon of free lectures and cultural entertainment on Saturday April 8, from 2-5 pm at the SFU Harbour Centre Campus (downtown Vancouver) in room 1900, the Fletcher Challenge Theatre. Please register for your free ticket: by April 1 for catering purposes.
Apr 19 White Rock AGM
Apr 22 Deep Cove Spring Dance
Apr 22 Change of date —  see April 29
Apr 22 Vancouver Island Spring Fling
Apr 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 $12 (students $10)
Apr 29 NEW DATE —    Nanaimo Spring Dance
Apr 29 Vernon One Day Workshop & Dance with teacher Bernadette Thill, Edmonton and musician Mary Ross, Victoria.  Information and registration form
May  7 White Rock Annual Spring Tea 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.

Crammond Kirkyard with star trails

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 2 weeks away  – Friday, March 31, 2017 with live music by Calanaish.   This is the third dance of the year and we need a huge attendance with everyone coming along for a really fun evening.


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

Devil’s pulpit in Finninich Glen

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).

After the attack on Pearl Harbor during WWII, Canada declared war on Japan before the U.S. did.

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 –


Dornoch Firth



For upcoming events see and

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

The next regular monthly Ceilidh Dance will be held on   Friday, March 31, 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 —

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.)

a sure sign of spring

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.

Dunfermline Abbey

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 366 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.



Dundarave 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, March 31!!

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

Duncan MacKenzie