Kincardine Scottish Festival becoming international event


By Barb McKay


This year’s Scottish Festival is pulling in the largest pool of national and international talent yet, according to the event’s organizers.


The 2015 Scottish Festival and Highland Games will be held July 3-5 in Kincardine with competitions, heavy events, workshops and concerts. The Festival has lined up major Canadian performers Ashley MacIsaac and The Barra MacNeils to headline the concert events this year. Other performers include the popular Celtic group The Mudmen, The Thogs, champion fiddler Shane Cook, The Ballagh Family, harpist Loril Shannik, The Kincardine Scottish Fiddle Orchestra and the Kincardine Community Singers.


There are several pipe bands travelling to Kincardine from across Canada and the United States this year to take part in the piping and drumming competitions. For the first time, the renowned George Watson College Pipes and Drums from Edinburgh, Scotland will take part and will perform in Victoria Park at 4 p.m. on July 3.


“They’ve entertained (Queen Elizabeth) so we’re right up there,” said event manager Janice Griffith. “We’re really becoming an international festival. It’s looking very, very good.”


On the Friday evening, the Companions of the Quaich will hold a Scotch tasting and dinner in the hospitality tent at Victoria Park, followed by opening ceremonies.


The Scottish Festival is expanding its workshops program this year. Cook will host a fiddle workshop on Saturday, July 4, along with step dancer Emily Flack, second generation member for the Leahy family musicians. As well this year, the Gaelic Society of Toronto will host a Gaelic workshop, Talk Gaelic to Me, and the Festival will post some of its wayfinding signs in Gaelic.


Also on the Saturday, the Highland dance competitions will be held and 18 dancers from Great Britain will compete. There is a new location for the heavy events this year in Robinson Park off of Russell Street. Andrea Zimmer will host children’s activities in the gazebo at Victoria Park and there will be Clydesdale horses, Highland cattle and sheep in the park throughout Saturday.


Griffith said this year’s Scottish Festival is gearing up to be the best yet, thanks to a great group of volunteers. Last year nearly 300 volunteers helped to make the event possible and a similar number of people are helping out this year. Griffith said there is still room for more volunteers and those interested can contact the Scottish Festival committee at 519-396-9300.


This year, tickets for the main events can be purchased at Harbour Rose Boutique on Queen Street by cash or cheque, or visit Ticket Scene. For more details, visit