WATCH: The 75th Red Deer Highland Games, a celebration of Scottish culture

Event Chair Janessa McCormack shared with rdnewsNOW his reflections on the event reaching three quarters of a century.

“The Highland Games are a celebration of Scottish culture. Also, with all the history of those events that started there, like the Highland Dance; originally it was done before the guys went into battle. Pipers and drummers have also been involved for a very long time,” said McCormack, who chaired the event for five years, and notes that the event is one of the oldest cultural events in the center of the Alberta, if not the oldest.

“In Canada, we’re known as a mosaic, not a melting pot, and any time you can celebrate a culture that brings new things to another country or region, to me, that’s really, really important. .

Ben Arthur, Vice President of Event and Director of Athletics, as well as a competitor in heavy events – i.e. sheaf throwing, caber throwing, rock throwing, hammer throwing – also shared his love for the Games, noting that anyone who showed up on Saturday could sign up to test their mettle.

The Games also included LARP, sheepdogs herding ducks and miniature golf, of course, Scotland being the birthplace of this sport in its own right. Organizers also recognized several life members of the society and read a land acknowledgment.

“What the Highland Games means to me as a Scotsman and a new Canadian — recently a new citizen — is sharing my culture with people who wouldn’t have the opportunity to experience it in travelling,” says Arthur, 31, and a Canadian resident for more than a decade.

“Maybe you won’t go to Scotland or the UK, but it’s as close as you can get in a day, and for you to get down, whether you’re Scottish, Dutch, Canadian or native, it doesn’t matter. It’s not about Scottish people coming together to enjoy the culture, it’s about sharing our culture with everyone from all walks of life All ages, all genders are welcome here, and we look forward to (continue) to share it with all members of our community.

For more information on the Red Deer Highland Games Society, visit reddeerhighlandgames.com.

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