The Resilient Scots are Celebrating “Scottawa” in January – Virtually!

The Scottish Society of Ottawa (SSO) will be celebrating virtually this OttScot 2021 Festival season. Upcoming events include the traditional Hogmanay celebration of New Year’s Eve on December 31, the Great Canadian Kilt Skate Ottawa edition on Jan 16, and on to a celebrity-packed Burns Supper on January 23, and a dozen smaller events round out the Festival to help ward off the long days of January in the Capital.

The OttScot 2021 Festival will be bigger than ever, with lots of activities for all ages. The SSO kicked off the festival with a successful St. Andrew’s Day Whisky Tasting on November 30th. The event sold out in three days, proving the popularity and reach of virtual events.

A Fiery and Bold Hogman-eh! on December 31st will include a ticketed event to attend a drive-in production from 6 to 7pm. Hosted by Graham Richardson, ticket holders can expect a spectacular evening, with musical and dance performances on the big screen by the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, the American Rogues, Coig, Beth Malcolm, Natalie McMaster, Donnell Leahy, and Family, the RCMP Pipes and Drums, and the Campbell Trio, Change of Step dancing, RCMP Dancers, and the Ottawa Highland Dance Association.

A count-down to midnight will happen at 7:00 pm (midnight in Scotland)!  A virtual edition of the production can also be enjoyed from home from 6 to 7 pm, or 11 pm to midnight, or at your convenience. We will have incredible OttScot Celebration boxes for purchase to help you feel the Scottish warmth and tradition of the evening. The exciting Hogman-eh! production will also be broadcast on Rogers TV and will be posted to the SSO YouTube channel. Links will be found on our website and social media.

The Great Canadian Kilt Skate Home Edition will unite Canadians across the country as people pull on their kilts and skates and take to ponds, lakes, and backyard rinks. The SSO is coordinating the participation of Scottish organizations across Canada (and beyond) and encouraging participants to video themselves skating in their own social bubbles and submit for a compilation video. In Ottawa, people can skate at home, or register to skate in limited numbers at Lansdowne on January 16 from 10 am – noon.

The Gala Burns Supper will be held on January 23rd with the delivery of a gourmet dinner to your home in the National Capital Region. You will also receive (or can purchase separately) a link to the virtual traditional celebration. The line-up includes celebrity guests Graham McTavish who will deliver the Immortal Memory, Donnell Leahy presenting the Toast to the Lassies, and Natalie McMaster giving the response. The Pipes and Drums of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa (Duke of Edinburgh’s Own), the Ottawa Highland Dance Association, and a variety of entertainments will be featured, and the Ode to the Haggis will all be part of this virtual event.

A dozen events (or more) during the month will round out the OttScot 2021 Festival including dancing, cooking, cartooning, and Gaelic language lessons, travelogues, a book launch, storytelling, trivia and more.

The Scottish Society of Ottawa has a mission to “promote an awareness and appreciation of Scottish culture, and its significant contribution to the fabric of Canadian society and identity through widespread public engagement among as many Canadians of all backgrounds as possible.” Events are the prime way the Society shares the promotion and awareness, and the volunteers are working overtime during this pandemic to produce the best possible events that can be appreciated by as many as possible.

Just a hint – for ticketed events, buy your tickets early!  Scottish Society of Ottawa paid members get a head-start on access as well as a discounted price, so a canny Scot might consider purchasing the membership. Tickets make great Christmas gifts, and can be purchased on-line with no contact necessary.

You will have to keep checking in to keep up with the everchanging logistics, but you can expect magic!

» More information and ticket information can be found at or on social media.