Scots don tartans, brave the cold at 4th annual Calgary Kilt Skate
Gaelic choir, bagpipe players regaled skaters at event
Scottish-Canadians celebrated their dual heritage on Sunday by donning kilts and skates at Olympic Plaza.
Attendees at the fourth annual Calgary Kilt Skate were serenaded by a Gaelic choir and bagpipes as they braved the chilly –20 C weather with bare knees peeking out beneath their tartans.
Hot cocoa was served to keep participants warm, and they also cut into a cake to belatedly celebrate the birthday of John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister.
"We're basically celebrating Canadian heritage," said event organizer David Aftergood. "We're celebrating Canada, and the multicultural aspect of Canada."
Highland dancers also danced on the sidelines as skaters whizzed past.
Aftergood said that Calgary has strong Scottish roots, as the city's name means "clear running water" in Gaelic.
Six other communities across Canada participated in the event this year: Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Alexandria, Ont.
The event was originally started in Ottawa to celebrate Sir John A. Macdonald's bicentennial.
With files from Audrey Neveu