- Highland Dance Competition – Saturday only
- Pipe Band Competition – Sunday only
- Heavy Games Competition ~ Saturday: Professional- Man. vs Sask. Sunday: Womens, Masters, Amateurs
- The 29th Annual MB Canoe & Kayak Marathon Championships – Saturday
- House Band Prairie Thistle, Prairie Community Youth School of Pipes & Drums, Drum Major Ken Boath- Saturday & Sunday
- “D” Division Pipes & Drums under Pipe Major Ryan Cadotte – Saturday
- Scottish Clans –
- The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada – Saturday & Sunday
- ANAVET Pancake Breakfast – Sat. & Sun.
- Sheep Shearing & Stock Dog Demonstrations – Saturday & Sunday
- Red Lion Scottish Food Booth
- Scottish Market (numerous vendors including direct sales & crafters)
- Scottish Auction
- The Red River North Tourism Heritage Committee
- The Manitoba Genealogical Society
- The Robert Burns Club of Winnipeg
- The Lord Selkirk Settlers Association of Rupertsland
- Gaelic Language – Saturday only
Live Re-enactment happening all day long!
- Hands of Lugh – Vikings
- Barony of Castle Rouge – Medieval
- Manitoba Living History Society – Red River Settlers (1812 – 1850 to Early 1900’s)
- Broadsword Academy of Winnipeg
- Winnipeg Knightly Arts
- Crescent Moon Horseback Archers – Sunday only
- Historical Horse Society – Sunday only
- Country Kickers Line Dance Group
- Lads n Lasses interactive Scottish Country Dance
- Kids in Kilts
- Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
- Wee Folk
- Face Painting
- Wee Heavy Games
To be determined…………
Highland Dance Competition
Highland dance or Highland dancing (Scottish Gaelic: dannsa Gàidhealach) is a style of competitive solo dancing developed in the Scottish Highlands in the 19th and 20th centuries in the context of competitions at public events such as the Highland games. It is now seen at nearly every modern-day Highland games event.Highland dancing is a competitive and technical dance form requiring technique, stamina, and strength, and is recognized as a sport by the Sport Council of Scotland.
In Highland dancing, the dancers dance on the balls of the feet Highland dancing is a form of solo step dancing, from which it evolved, but while some forms of step dancing are purely percussive in nature, Highland dancing involves not only a combination of steps but also some integral upper body, arm, and hand movements.
Highland dancing should not be confused with Scottish country dancing which is both a social dance (that is, a dance which is danced with a partner or partners) like ballroom dancing, and a formation dance (that is, a dance in which an important element is the pattern of group movement about the dance floor) like square dancing.
Some Highland dances do derive from traditional social dances, however. An example is the Highland Reel, also known as the Foursome Reel, in which groups of four dancers alternate between solo steps facing one another and a figure-of-eight style with intertwining progressive movement. Even so, in competitions, the Highland Reel dancers are judged individually. Most Highland dances are danced solo.
Most judges today evaluate a dancer on three major criteria: timing, technique and interpretation/overall deportment.
- Timing concerns the ability of the dancer to follow the rhythm of the music.
- Technique has to do with the correct execution of the steps in coordination with the movements of the rest of the body, including head, arm and hand movements.
- Artistic interpretation covers that essential element of all dance and artistry in general which cannot be quantified or reduced to any set of rules or specific points, but which does concern the ability of the dancer or performer to convey a sense of feeling, understanding, and appreciation of the art form.
- The ability of the dancer including the jumping height and the confidence.
In their original form many centuries ago, Highland games revolved around athletic and sports competitions. Though other activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider Highland athletics to be what the games are all about—in short, that the athletics are the Games, and all the other activities are just entertainment. Regardless, it remains true today that the athletic competitions are at least an integral part of the events and one—the caber toss—has come to almost symbolize the Highland games.
Although quite a range of events can be a part of the Highland athletics competition, a few have become standard.
- Caber toss: A long log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands (see photo). Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground first. The smaller end that was originally held by the athlete then hits the ground in the 12 o’clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary greatly in length, weight, taper, and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss.Competitors are judged on how closely their throws approximate the ideal 12 o’clock toss on an imaginary clock.
- Stone put: This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. There are two versions of the stone toss events, differing in allowable technique. The “Braemar Stone” uses a 20–26 lb stone for men (13–18 lb for women) and does not allow any run up to the toeboard or “trig” to deliver the stone, i.e., it is a standing put. In the “Open Stone” using a 16–22 lb stone for men (or 8–12 lb for women), the thrower is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release. Most athletes in the open stone event use either the “glide” or the “spin” techniques.
- Scottish hammer throw: This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb for men or 12 or 16 lb for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one’s head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.
- Weight throw, also known as the weight for distance event. There are actually two separate events, one using a light (28 lb for men and 14 lb for women) and the other a heavy (56 lb for men, 42 lb for masters men, and 28 lb for women) weight. The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown using one hand only, but otherwise using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The longest throw wins.
- Weight over the bar, also known as weight for height. The athletes attempt to toss a 56-pound (4-stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores.
- Sheaf toss: A bundle of straw (the sheaf) weighing 20 pounds (9.1 kg) for the men and 10 pounds (4.5 kg) for the women and wrapped in a burlap bag is tossed vertically with a pitchfork over a raised bar much like that used in pole vaulting. The progression and scoring of this event is similar to the Weight Over The Bar. There is significant debate among athletes as to whether the sheaf toss is in fact an authentic Highland event. Some argue it is actually a country fair event, but all agree that it is a great crowd pleaser.
- Maide-leisg (Scots Gaelic meaning ‘Lazy Stick’, Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [matʲə’ʎeʃkʲ]): Trial of strength performed by two men sitting on the ground with the soles of their feet pressing against each other. Thus seated, they held a stick between their hands which they pulled against each other until one of them was raised from the ground. The oldest ‘Maide Leisg’ competition in the world takes place at the Carloway show and Highland Games on the Isle of Lewis.
Many of the Heavy Events competitors in Scottish highland athletics are former high school and college track and field athletes who find the Scottish games are a good way to continue their competitive careers.
Increasingly in the USA, the Heavy Events are attracting women and master class athletes which has led to a proliferation of additional classes in Heavy Events competitions. Lighter implements are used in the classes.
Pipes and Drums
A pipe band is a musical ensemble consisting of pipers and drummers. The term used by military pipe bands, pipes and drums, is also common.
The most common form of pipe band, the Scottish/Irish Pipe Bands, consists of a section of pipers playing the great highland bagpipe, a section of snare drummers (often referred to as ‘side drummers’), several tenor drummers and usually one, though occasionally two, bass drummers. The entire drum section is known collectively as the drum corps. The tenor drummers and bass drummer are referred to collectively as the ‘bass section’ (or in North America as the ‘midsection’). The band follows the direction of the pipe major; when on parade the band may be led by a drum major, who directs the band with a mace. Standard instrumentation for a pipe band involves 6 to 25 pipers, 3 to 10 side drummers, 1 to 6 tenor drummers and 1 bass drummer. Occasionally this instrumentation is augmented to include additional instruments (such as additional percussion instruments or keyboard instruments), but this is typically done only in concert settings.
The music played by pipe bands generally consists of music from the Scottish tradition, the Irish tradition and the Breton tradition, either in the form of traditional folk tunes and dances or music from the Western tradition that has been adapted for pipes. Examples of typical pipe bands forms include marches, slow airs, up-tempo jigs and reels, and strathspeys. In recent years there has been a great deal of emphasis placed on new forms, especially the suite.
The bagpipers are responsible for providing all of the melodic material in the music. Generally speaking, all of the pipers play a unison melody on their chanters, with their drones providing the harmonic support and filling out the sound. These unison melodies are often quite complex and demanding. It is this complexity that provides much of the musical interest.
The pipe band drum corps is responsible for both supporting the piping with a solid rhythmic foundation and sense of pulse, often creating an interesting contrapuntal line unto itself. The line played by the drum corps (referred to as the ‘drum score’) is usually based on rudimentary patterns and can often be quite involved, with solo, unison and contrapuntal passages throughout. A popular pattern in many scores is for the lead drummer to play a phrase, and the section to play in response. This technique is known as seconds (sometimes referred to as chips, or forte)
The bass section (also referred to as a midsection) usually consists of a section of tenor drummers and a bass drummer. Their role is to provide rhythmic support to the entire ensemble. In this respect, the bass section allows the drum corps to delegate their timekeeping responsibilities and allows more freedom in the drum scores.
Generally, the bass drum provides a steady pulse, playing on the downbeat and on the strong beats of the bar, and the tenors support that pulse, often adding supporting beats, accents and dynamic interest.
A Scottish clan (from Gaelic clann, “children”) is a kinship group among the Scottish people. Clans give a sense of shared identity and descent to members, and in modern times have an official structure recognised by the Court of the Lord Lyon, which regulates Scottish heraldry and coats of arms. Most clans have their own tartan patterns, usually dating from the 19th century, which members may incorporate into kilts or other clothing.
The modern image of clans, each with their own tartan and specific land, was promulgated by the Scottish author Sir Walter Scott after influence by others. Historically, tartan designs were associated with Lowland and Highland districts whose weavers tended to produce cloth patterns favoured in those districts. By process of social evolution, it followed that the clans/families prominent in a particular district would wear the tartan of that district, and it was but a short step for that community to become identified by it.
Many clans have their own clan chief; those that do not are known as armigerous clans. Clans generally identify with geographical areas originally controlled by their founders, sometimes with an ancestral castle and clan gatherings, which form a regular part of the social scene. The most notable gathering of recent times was “The Gathering 2009”, which included a “clan convention” in the Scottish parliament.
It is a common misconception that every person who bears a clan’s name is a lineal descendant of the chiefs. Many clansmen although not related to the chief took the chief’s surname as their own to either show solidarity, or to obtain basic protection or for much needed sustenance. Most of the followers of the clan were tenants, who supplied labour to the clan leaders. Contrary to popular belief, the ordinary clansmen rarely had any blood tie of kinship with the clan chiefs, but they took the chief’s surname as their own when surnames came into common use in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Thus by the eighteenth century the myth had arisen that the whole clan was descended from one ancestor, with the Scottish Gaelic of “clan” meaning “children” or “offspring”.
Many clans have often claimed mythological founders that reinforced their status and gave a romantic and glorified notion of their origins. Most powerful clans gave themselves origins based on Irish mythology. For example, there have been claims that the Clan Donald were descended from either Conn, a second-century king of Ulster, or Cuchulainn, the legendary hero of Ulster. Whilst their political enemies the Clan Campbell have claimed as their progenitor Diarmaid the Boar, who was rooted in the Fingalian or Fenian Cycle.
On the other hand, the Clans Mackinnon and Gregor claimed ancestry from the Siol Alpin family, who descend from Alpin, father of Kenneth MacAlpin, who united the Scottish kingdom in 843. Only one confederation of clans, which included the Clan Sweeney, Clan Lamont, Clan MacLea, Clan MacLachlan and Clan MacNeill, can trace their ancestry back to the fifth century Niall of the Nine Hostages, High King of Ireland.
However, in reality, the progenitors of clans can rarely be authenticated further back than the 11th century, and a continuity of lineage in most cases cannot be found until the 13th or 14th centuries.
The emergence of clans had more to do with political turmoil than ethnicity. The Scottish Crown’s conquest of Argyll and the Outer Hebrides from the Norsemen in the 13th century, which followed on from the pacification of the Mormaer of Moray and the northern rebellions of the 12th and 13th centuries, created the opportunity for war lords to impose their dominance over local families who accepted their protection. These warrior chiefs can largely be categorized as Celtic; however, their origins range from Gaelic to Norse-Gaelic and British. By the 14th century, there had been further influx of kindreds whose ethnicity ranged from Norman or Anglo-Norman and Flemish, such as the Clan Cameron, Clan Fraser, Clan Menzies, Clan Chisholm and Clan Grant.
During the Wars of Scottish Independence, feudal tenures were introduced by Robert the Bruce that harnessed and controlled the prowess of clans by the award of charters for land in order to gain support in the national cause against the English. For example, the Clan MacDonald were elevated above the Clan MacDougall, two clans who shared a common descent from a great Norse-Gaelic warlord named Somerled of the 12th century. Clanship was thus not only a strong tie of local kinship but also of Feudalism to the Scottish Crown. It is this feudal component, reinforced by Scots law, that separates Scottish clanship from the tribalism that is found in aboriginal groups in Australasia, Africa and the Americas.
The revival of interest, and demand for clan ancestry, has led to the production of lists and maps covering the whole of Scotland giving clan names and showing territories, sometimes with the appropriate tartans. While some lists and clan maps confine their area to the Highlands, others also show Lowland clans or families. Territorial areas and allegiances changed over time, and there are also differing decisions on which (smaller) clans and families should be omitted. Some alternative online sources are listed in the External links section below.
This list of Clans contains clans registered with the Lord Lyon Court. The Lord Lyon Court defines a clan or family as a legally recognized group, but does not differentiate between Families and Clans as it recognizes both terms as being interchangeable. Clans or families thought to have had a Chief in the past but not currently recognized by the Lord Lyon are listed at armigerous clans.
Originally, there appears to have been no association of tartans with specific clans; instead, highland tartans were produced to various designs by local weavers and any identification was purely regional, but the idea of a clan-specific tartan gained currency in the late 18th century and in 1815 the Highland Society of London began the naming of clan-specific tartans. Many clan tartans derive from a 19th-century hoax known as the Vestiarium Scoticum. The Vestiarium was composed by the “Sobieski Stuarts”, who passed it off as a reproduction of an ancient manuscript of clan tartans. It has since been proven a forgery, but despite this, the designs are still highly regarded and they continue to serve their purpose to identify the clan in question.
Crest Badge: A sign of allegiance to a certain clan chief is the wearing of a crest badge. The crest badge suitable for a clansman or clanswoman consists of the chief’s heraldic crest encircled with a strap and buckle and which contains the chief’s heraldic motto or slogan. Although it is common to speak of “clan crests”, there is no such thing. In Scotland (and indeed all of UK) only individuals, not clans, possess a heraldic coat of arms. Even though any clansmen and clanswomen may purchase crest badges and wear them to show their allegiance to his or her clan, the heraldic crest and motto always belong to the chief alone. In principle, these badges should only be used with the permission of the clan chief; and the Lyon Court has intervened in cases where permission has been withheld. Scottish crest badges, much like clan-specific tartans, do not have a long history, and owe much to Victorian era romanticism, having only been worn on the bonnet since the 19th century. The concept of a clan badge or form of identification may have some validity, as it is commonly stated that the original markers were merely specific plants worn in bonnets or hung from a pole or spear.
Clan Badge: Clan badges are another means of showing one’s allegiance to a Scottish clan. These badges, sometimes called plant badges, consist of a sprig of a particular plant. They are usually worn in a bonnet behind the Scottish crest badge; they can also be attached at the shoulder of a lady’s tartan sash, or be tied to a pole and used as a standard. Clans which are connected historically, or that occupied lands in the same general area, may share the same clan badge. According to popular lore, clan badges were used by Scottish clans as a form of identification in battle. However, the badges attributed to clans today can be completely unsuitable for even modern clan gatherings. Clan badges are commonly referred to as the original clan symbol; however, Thomas Innes of Learney claimed the heraldic flags of clan chiefs would have been the earliest means of identifying Scottish clans in battle or at large gatherings.
- Clan Sinclair (Scottish Gaelic: Clann na Ceàrda [ˈkʰl̪ˠãũn̪ˠ nə ˈkʲaːrtə]) is a Highland Scottish clan who held lands in the north of Scotland, the Orkney Islands, and the Lothians. The chiefs of the clan were the Barons of Roslin and later the Earls of Orkney and Earls of Caithness.No certain record exists but it is likely that the Sinclairs came from Saint-Clair in Normandy. They first went to England (before they came to Scotland) with William the Conqueror during his invasion of England. One of the earliest recorded Sinclairs in Scotland was Henry of Saint-Clair/Sinclair, who obtained a charter for the lands of Herdmanston in Haddingtonshire in 1160.The chiefs of Clan Sinclair, the Earls of Caithness, descend from Sir William St Clare who was sheriff of Edinburgh and who was granted the barony of Roslin (Rosslyn) in 1280
- Clan Chief: Malcolm Ian Sinclair, 20th Earl of Caithness
- Crest badge: Note: the crest badge is made up of the chief’s heraldic crest and motto,Chief’s motto: Commit thy work to God (sometimes styled as Latin “Revela Domino opera tua”)Chief’s crest: A cock rampant
- Clan plant badge: Whin
- Lands: Midlothian, Orkney and Caithness
- Gaelic Name: Mac na Ceardadh
- Origin of Name: Placename, French de Sancto Claro
- Pipe Music: Spaidsearachd Mhic nan Cearda (The Sinclair’s March)
The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada
The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada is a reserve dismounted infantry Battalion under 3rd Canadian Division, 38 Canadian Brigade Group, based out of Minto Armoury in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada is a proud unit with a history ranging back to the First World War and is the oldest highland unit in Western Canada. The primary task of the unit is dismounted infantry, with a mission task of fielding an Influence Activities Company trained to operate across the spectrum of conflict through Civilian-Military Co-Operation (CIMIC) and Psychological Operations (PSYOPS).
The motto for the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada is “Ullamh”, which is Scottish Gaelic for “Ready.”
Sheep Dog Demonstrations
See the map for event times and locations. Note that the Calling of the Clans takes place at 11am. The gates open at 10am and the day wraps up about 6pm Saturday and 4pm Sunday.