Great Scotsman! A festival in Coquitlam on Labor Day weekend


ScotFestBC: The British Columbia Highland Games will be held September 3-4 at Town Center Park in Coquitlam.

Mike Chisholm has dreamed of this moment for 16 months.

Since the pandemic struck last spring and subsequently closed gatherings, the executive director of ScotFestBC: The British Columbia Highland Games has been working behind the scenes to prepare for the reopening of British Columbia.

He has lined up vendors, vendors and artists in anticipation of the easing of restrictions by Dr Bonnie Henry and the City of Coquitlam this summer.

Now, with Stage 3 in full swing, Chisholm is eager to put their program into action and deliver one of the first paid events of 2021 to the public.

Chisholm said the thirst for partying is high and musicians and dancers are excited to return for fun at Town Center Park.

“These Games are an opportunity to motivate so many groups in the Scottish community,” he told the News from the three cities the 15th of July. “It gives them a chance to pick up their instrument or their dance shoes and leave.”


His program starts on Friday September 3 with a recorded 5km Tartan Run around the park followed by ‘Pipers in the Park’, a free showcase featuring four world-class piping legends: Dr. Jack Lee, Alan Bevan, Alastair Lee and Zephan Knichel from the 1st year Simon Fraser University bagpipe group.

The piobaireachd (pronounced “pi-broch”) Will be hosted by Shaunna Hilder, a Port Coquitlam bagpiper who is now with SFUPB rival: ScottishPower.

While this is happening on the TD Community Stage, Macaloney Distillery will host a whiskey and oyster tasting for 60 paying guests while on an 8,000 square foot lot. ft. tent – with an open liquor license – and a stage will be set up next to it.


At Saturday September 4 ScotFest will run all day, with door entry at $ 20 for adults, $ 15 for seniors / students, and $ 5 for children 6 to 12 years old.

Starting at 9:00 a.m., the BC Pipers Association will host its solo bagpipe competition in conjunction with the Heavy Events Provincial All-Stars Invitational.

Cultural workshops start an hour later, with presentations from Dr Leith Davis of SFU Scottish Studies (Jacobites); Fiona Smith (Gaelic); and Lew Ross (history of the BC Highland Games), among others, and activities for children.

The sea of ​​sound will rise between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. when Celtic artists Jocelyn Pettit Band, Blackthorn, Shot of Scotch, Heather Jolley Highland Dancers, Strictly Scottish and Robyn Carrigan from Nova Scotia perform on the TD Community stage. Plaza while the bagpipe groups return at 1 pm, on the east side of the amphitheater.

Asked about the shock of the senses on the spot, Chisholm shrugged. “Welcome to the Highland Games! he said.

However, there will be no Highland dance competition this year, due to a decision by Scottish Dance Canada; however, the Whiskey School will return as will the British Car Show. The 78th Fraser Highlanders (Fort Fraser Garrison) will also fire a cannon salute for the noon opening with dignitaries from Tri-City.

And for visitors arriving on two wheels – rather than getting off on foot at the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain station and walking east for 10 minutes – there’s free valet parking. Food trucks will be parked in the north parking lot and Rocky Point Ice Cream will be open at The Hub (green building).

Managed by the non-profit United Scottish Cultural Society (USCS), ScotFestBC 2021 will be a closed-air festival with no limit to the number of people in attendance. “There is a lot of space here to move around,” he said, surveying the amphitheater and lawns further east of Lake Lafarge.


Chisholm said he was grateful to the city for their $ 85,000 grant to secure the event; In recent years, ScotFestBC has drawn over 10,000 people to the park and generated economic benefits for the hospitality industry with competitors coming from across British Columbia and Washington State.

“This [city] crucial funding for us, ”said Chisholm. “The USCS is a non-profit organization and, after last year, we are not in a good financial position.”

“This event is our lifeline,” Chisholm said, “and everyone is happy to come back to it.”

The city’s tourism official strongly agrees, saying he is also excited to develop local attractions after almost a year and a half of hiatus.

“ScotFestBC is a summer tradition in Coquitlam for local residents and visitors alike, and has been deeply missed,” Eric Kalnins told the Tri-City News.

“In-person events like ScotFest BC are an important part of a community’s mix of things to see and do, and help define what a community is.

Kalnins added, “While the events were canceled, people realized how much of a part of the community live events. They provide a platform to meet new people, spend time with family and friends, and learn about different cultures.

“Live events are also a vital economic driver for local businesses and help increase awareness of Coquitlam as a great place to live and visit,” he said.

“There is definitely a pent-up demand to attend live events, and it’s great to see ScotFestBC return to Coquitlam in 2021.”

• To purchase tickets online for ScotFestBC or to volunteer, visit Helpers for the four-hour shifts will receive a meal and a T-shirt.


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