Juno-nominated Beòlach to take center stage at ScotFestBC in Coquitlam

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The Nova Scotia group is heading west for the 90th Highland Games, and its organizer continues to pray for no rain as the event fully returns.

There will be no rain.

That’s what Coquitlam resident Mike Chisholm prays as one of the city’s biggest events returns – in full – this weekend.

As executive director of ScotFestBC, Chisholm has faced harsh weather conditions at a few past events at Town Center Park. Now Chisholm shakes his head and smiles as he remembers the monsoons that drove the crowds away.

This year, he said, he has secured a huge tent to keep guests dry as they lift their kilts to the sound of the Ceilidh stage.

“We are just putting the finishing touches on our Highland Games,” Chisholm told the Tri-City News.

“We’re in the best shape we’ve ever had. Rain or shine, but if it rains, we have 8,000 square feet of coverage.”

And the organizers of the 90th annual ScotFestBC: BC Highland Games have plenty going for the Ceilidh stage on Friday night (June 17) and all day Saturday (June 18).

Beòlach, a four-piece band from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, who were nominated for a 2021 Juno Award in the Traditional Roots Album of the Year category, topped the performance.

The Celtic ensemble will be touring British Columbia, playing Harrison Festival on Thursday, June 16, followed by ScotFestBC on:

  • June 17 at 7:30 p.m.
  • June 18 at 2:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m.

They end their journey in Western Canada with a Father’s Day show at the Sid Williams Theater in Courtenay.

“Beòlach is setting the tone for the future of ScotFestBC by bringing in award-winning Celtic bands from across the country,” said Chisholm.

Meanwhile, there will be plenty of activity on other stages on the festival grounds on the east side of Lake Lafarge.

Open Friday evening

The Games officially open Friday night (free admission) at 6 p.m. with chef du jour Robert McNeil, a Coquitlam resident who manages the SFU Pipe Band, kicking off the celebrations with a cannon blast from the 78th Fraser Highlanders.

On Saturday (entrance fee), the Highland Dancers will begin their competition on the Main Stage at 8:30 a.m., while Coquitlam businessman Paul Manocha will be the emcee of the Heritage Stage, which features multicultural numbers from 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Residents and visitors can also cheer on the athletes as they throw hammers, rocks and cabers on the Lew Ross Scottish heavyweight event ground for the Provincial All-Stars Invitational.

Chisholm believes the 90th Games will stand out “because of the attitude of the people who go there.”

“Everyone is coming back, like the good old days,” he said.

“We are looking forward to a great event and celebrating all that we used to do before the [COVID-19] pandemic.”

Tickets for Saturday are $20/$15/$10 through the ScotFestBC website, where you can also find more information.

The News from the three cities is a partial sponsor of ScotFestBC.

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