Come Join Us for the Following Event!
Robert Burns Day Celebration
12:00-1:00 pm, Friday, January 23, 2015
SFU Harbour Centre
For the last 3 years, the Centre has hosted a very successful marathon reading that has brought old and young together in celebration of the Scottish bard. Last year’s marathon went for a record 6 hours! This year, we are asking people to come down and make history in a different way by joining us for a mass reading/singing of Burns’s most popular works -- “To a Mouse” and “A Man’s a Man” – plus the traditional haggis-addressing and socializing. Starting at noon, our celebration will also feature performances of Scottish music and song. Check our website for more details closer to the event.
Past Events ...
Interested in Learning Gaelic?
An introductory session was held Monday, October 20th, 2014, 8:00-9:00 pm, Burnaby campus, Saywell Hall 10051. Classes with instructor Fiona Smith from Victoria will being in January by video link from the Burnaby Campus.
St. Andrews Day Celebration: The Jocelyn Pettit Band
7:30-9:30 pm, Thursday, November 27, 2014
Room 1900, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver
With grace and passion, vibrant fiddler, stepdancer, singer, and composer Jocelyn Pettit has ignited stages across Canada, the U.S., Scotland, France, and Malaysia with her dynamic and expressive style of Celtic music and dance. She has appeared on national television and radio, received multiple award nominations, and shared the stage with The Battlefield Band and The Chieftains. Joined by her fine band (Siew Wan Khoo, on piano and fiddle; Joel Pettit, on behrán; and Bob Collins, on guitar), Jocelyn focussed on Scottish and Cape Breton music for what proved to be an upbeat and joyous evening of music, song, and dance.
Dr. Kevin James (U. of Guelph), “’[T]he Highlander is glad to see the tourist, as the hunter is glad to see game’: The Victorian Traveller in Scotland”
7:30-9:00 pm. Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Room 7000, SFU Harbour Centre, 55 West Hastings Street. This talk brought to life a prominent figure in Victorian travel writing: the Highland innkeeper, drawing on humorous tourists’ remarks and vivid illustrations. Appraisals of Highland hospitality, which travellers claimed was dispensed in measures as limited as whisky at a Highland inn on Sunday, offer us an opportunity to consider the inn as a site of welcome and refreshment, the strictures of Victorian Sabbatarianism, and the struggles of the innkeeper against challenges thrown up by landlordism, Nature and the volatile tourist market. In the face of such inhospitable conditions, how hospitable could the innkeeper afford to be?
"Back to the Future: Remembering the 1707 Act of Union" Monday, September 15, 2015
Thanks to everyone who came out to the talk last night, "Back to the Future: Remembering the 1707 Act of Union"! There was a great crowd of students, faculty and members of the public--and CBC TV was there recording the whole event and talking to attendees (it's slated to air Wednesday on the National).
Here are the results for the 69 people who took part in the mock vote with the question Should Scotland be an independent country?:
YES: 48 70%
NO: 18 26%
Undecided or spoiled: 3 4%
The poll is completely unscientific, of course, but for the participants in the Centre for Scottish Studies' event last night, the ayes have it. Stay tuned for Thursday when the really hard decisions have to be made by the people in Scotland!
|Attendees at Monday night's talk were asked to mark their ballot.|
|Thomas Budd, President, SFU Scottish and Gaelic Society, and Professor Leith Davis, Director, SFU Centre for Scottish Studies, confer over the mock election results.|
Tartan Day 2014
On April 5th SFU's Centre for Scottish Studies hosted a talk, "Scotland's Future," by Humza Yousaf, Scotland's Minister for External Affairs and International Devleopment. Entertainment was provided by the Vancouver Gaelic Choir and the Junior North Shore Celtic Ensemble. The event was held by Simon Fraser University Morris Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Asia Pacific Room, 100-580 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC.
The 3rd Annual Robbie Burns Day Marathon Reading Saturday, January 25th, 2014
WE DID IT!! Simon Fraser University's Centre for Scottish Studies set another world record for the recitation and singing of Burns's works: 6 hours!! Thanks so much to all volunteers and all the participants who came down to read and cheer us on! Special thanks to Tricia Barker for co-ordinating the event!
For more details of the day's events see SFU's Robert Burns Marathon
A Round Table Discussion for a Renewed and Revitalized Scottish Community in Metro Vancouver with some of the prominent Scottish societies and association in the Lower Mainland.
Fletcher Challenge Theatre, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings, Vancouver, BC
The intent of this gathering was to map out a blueprint for how we can join together to reclaim our visibility and viability in this place we now call home. We want to build a bigger, stronger and more vibrant Scottish community to promote Scottish culture, history, music, language, dance and art to the public at large.
"ON THE EDGE: TRANSITIONS, TRANSGRESSIONS, AND TRANSFORMATIONS IN IRISH AND
June 19 to 23, 2013, Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
30 panels, cutting edge academic research, and inspiring community events.
ALL OF THE FOLLOWING EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
International Keynote Speakers:
Liam McIlvanney, University of Otago, New Zealand, “Scottish Poetry in the South Seas”
Wednesday, 19 June, 8:00 p.m. Rm. 1400 SFU Harbour Centre
Marjory Harper, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, “Minds on the Edge: Immigration and Insanity in Canada, 1867-1914, with particular reference to British Columbia”
Thursday, 20 June, 7:00 p.m. Rm. 1400 SFU Harbour Centre
Community Panel: "Roots and Routes: Community Initiatives in the Irish and Scottish Diasporas": This panel is designed to focus on the work done by community members to highlight Irish and Scottish culture. Presentations will be followed by a general discussion involving audience members.
Tricia Barker on SFU's Burns marathon
Brendan Flynn on the Ireland Canada monument
Rosemary Coupe on Scottish dancing in BC
Maura de Freitas on the history and aims of The Celtic Connection
Todd Wong (on Gung Haggis Fat Choy)
Jon Bartlett and Rika Ruebsaat on Irish song in Australia vs. in Canada
Screening Singing Against the Silence: The Gaels of Nova Scotia (26. min.), directed by Michael Newton, St. Francis Xavier University AND Steafán Hanvey, Look Behind You! A Father and Son’s Impressions of the Troubles in Northern Ireland Through Photograph and Son (multimedia presentation and lecture).
Practical workshop on Oral History led by Marjory Harper, University of Aberdeen
The Centre for Scottish Studies Cultural Tent at this year's B.C. Highland Games!
Thanks to everyone who joined us at this year's B.C. Highland Games, June 22, 2013, Percy Perry Stadium (formerly known as Coquitlam Town Centre Stadium). For more information, visit the B.C. Highland Games website at www.bchighlandgames.com/.
SFU Centre For Scottish Studies Cultural Tent Presentations:
12:30 “Up Close and Personal with Burns” Teresa Margaret King is a distant relative of Robbie Burns. She will give a talk on tracing her family roots and the honour and obligation of her unique heritage.
1:30 “What are Highland Games?” Fan favourite, Lew Ross, gives another presentation about the history of Highland Games. His knowledge and wit makes the conversation engaging and fun!
2:30 “All You Need to Know About Haggis” Butcher extraordinaire, Robert Goodrick, will give a talk about Haggis. The history, the facts and even the myths! He’ll also be bringing along some samples.
3:30 “Blas beag den Ghàidhlig - a little taste of Gaelic” John MacLeod, past Chief of the Vancouver Gaelic Society, will be giving a short introduction about Gaelic as well as giving a simple lesson and leading the audience in a few songs
SFU's Scottish Studies Centre Celebrates National Tartan Day 2013: A Tribute to Our Scottish Roots
This event took place on Monday, April 8, 2013 at SFU Harbour Centre, Vancouver. We featured the launch of our long-awaited "Scots in BC" website (with information on how you can add your family history to the site), a short talk on the history of "Scots in BC," dancing with the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society (Vancouver Branch) http://www.rscdsvancouver.org/ as well as music by the Vancouver Scottish Fiddle Orchestra http://www.vancouverfiddleorchestra.ca/.
2nd Annual Marathon Reading of Burns’s Poetry for Burns Day, 2013
The Burns Day 2013 marathon reading held on Jan. 25 was a tremendous success! Not only did we beat our record from last year, but we exceeded our goal of 5 hours--we set a new world record of 5 hours and 41 minutes of reading and singing!! It was an amazing event, and a real testament to Burns's legacy and proof of the continuing power of face to face community connections in an era of social media.
For more information on the Robert Burns Marathon 2013, see SFU's Robert Burns Marathon.
Anna Hepburn, Mary Queen of Scots: The Last Letter (a dramatic production)
7:30-9:30 pm, Thursday, November 22, 2012. Room 1900, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings St, Vancouver
The Vancouver premiere of an Edinburgh Fringe show, this one-woman play starts with Mary Stuart, sitting, writing a letter to the brother of her first husband, Henry III of France. (The material quoted is actually from the original letter written at that time, six hours before her execution.) During the course of writing the letter, Mary breaks off to recall her life and the events which have shaped her destiny and her ultimate tragic end. While listening to her recounting the exciting and disastrous situations that she had to face during her lifetime, the audience is taken through a roller-coaster ride of emotions. Her major life events include her idyllic early years in France, the excitement of her early marriage to Francis the Dauphin, his ill-fated and catastrophic death and her move to Scotland. We follow her struggle with the power-hungry Scottish nobles and the preacher John Knox, her marriage to the notorious Lord Darnley, his murder, and her disastrous marriage to Bothwell, right through to her imprisonment by her own cousin, Elizabeth I. Using only documented telling of events and conversations noted at that time, actress Anna Hepburn shows the brutality of the situations in which Mary found herself.
Jack Whyte, “Robert the Bruce: What Made Him Tick, and What Ticked Him Off?”
7:30-9:00 pm, Thursday, September 20, 2012. Room 1900, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings St, Vancouver.
This was an opportunity for Jack’s many fans to come and hear him take a page out of his soon to be released book Renegade. For more information about Jack please go to: www.jackwhyte.com.
The Centre for Scottish Studies Cultural Tent at this year's B.C. Highland Games!
Thanks to everyone who joined us at this year's B.C. Highland Games, June 23, 2012, Percy Perry Stadium (formerly known as Coquitlam Town Centre Stadium). For more information, visit the B.C. Highland Games website at www.bchighlandgames.com/.
SFU Centre For Scottish Studies Cultural Tent Presentations:
12:30pm "Robbie Burns: The First Centenary" Leith Davis, Professor of English and Director of the SFU Centre for Scottish Studies speaks about the 1859 Burns Centenary.
1:30pm Highland Games History Fan favourite, Lew Ross will be sharing his vast knowledge (and wit) on everything you wanted to know about the Highland Games!
2:30pm Scottish Writers In BC Local writers Ray Eagle and Jim McWilliams will be speaking about and sharing stories from their latest books.
3:30pm Scottish Dance Rosemary Coup will be giving a presentation on the history of Scottish Dance.
Congratulations to the SFU Pipe Band for their outstanding show in New York… from your friends at the Centre for Scottish Studies.
"Scottish Voices From the Diaspora," Dr. Marjory Harper
Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 7:30-9:00 pm, in Room 1600 at SFU's Harbour Centre campus (515 West Hastings St.).
Tartan Day, 2012
Our Tartan Day Extravaganza took place this year on April 4, 2012 from 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm at Rm 1420 SFU Harbour Centre. This was a celebration of our community contributors with songs from the Gaelic Choir, dancing from the Vancouver Royal Scottish Country Dance demonstration team, and the launch of our "Scottish Voices From the West" Oral History Project.
The Oral History Project is currently available at: http://content.lib.sfu.ca/cdm/search/collection/soh. The project is being continually updated, so check back often.
A message from Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Scottish Government, regarding our Tartan Day 2012 Celebration:
I am very sorry not to be able to be with you all this afternoon, for what I am sure is a wonderful gathering at the Centre for Scottish Studies in Vancouver. I had very much hoped to be with you in person to enjoy the Tartan Day celebrations and am certainly sorry to be missing Dr Sheridan's presentation on our newly renovated National Museum of Scotland and what I know will be wonderful entertainment from the Gaelic Choir and Vancouver Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
I do however look forward to visiting Vancouver next week and meeting some of you as I continue the annual Scotland Week celebrations. Scotland and Canada are of course inextricably linked through our history. Canada is a country of many people and many parts, but we Scots are fiercely proud of the significant contributions we have made to Canadian politics, education, religion, sport, technology and culture.
Today, more than 5 million Canadians claim Scottish ancestry, so many of them in British Columbia. Their stories are brought to life in "Scottish Voices from the West" a rich, online resource which shines a light on the profound and enduring influence of Scots in this region. I very much look forward to having the opportunity to look through the site and hear the many histories first hand.
My best wishes again for your event this afternoon and I look forward to being in Vancouver very soon to add my own Scottish voice from the West as we work together to build Scotland and Canada's relationship for the future.
Book Release: Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture
Published February 2012. Edited by Sharon Alker, Whitman College, USA, Leith Davis, Simon Fraser University, Canada, and Holly Faith Nelson, Trinity Western University, Canada. Series: Ashgate Series in Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Studies. To purchase the book, click here.
This new book re-orients critical understanding of Robert Burns by examining his reception and representation in the Americas. While recent scholarship has usefully positioned Burns within the context of British Romanticism as a spokesperson of Scottish national identity, Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture considers Burns's impact in the United States, Canada, and South America, where he has served variously as a site of cultural memory and of creative negotiation. Ambitious in its scope, the volume is divided into five sections that explore: transatlantic concerns in Burns's own work, Burns's early publication in North America, Burns's reception in the Americas, Burns's creation as a site of cultural memory, and extra-literary remediations of Burns, including contemporary digital representations. By tracing the transatlantic modulations of the poet and songwriter and his works, Robert Burns and Transatlantic Culture sheds new light on the circuits connecting Scotland and Britain with the evolving cultures of the Americas from the late eighteenth century to the present.
Marathon Reading of Burns’s Poetry for Burns Day, 2012
The Burns Day 2012 marathon reading held on Jan. 25 was a tremendous success! There were about 250 people who came by for it at different times, and the event was featured on a number of media: CBC TV, CTV, CityTV, News 1130,
650AM, etc. We set the record for the longest continuous recitation of Burns: 4 hours, 12 minutes and 27 seconds!
Click here to view photos from the event (photo gallery requires Adobe Flash Player)
For information regarding this year's Robert Burns Marathon 2013 go to SFU's Robert Burns Marathon.
St. Andrews and Caledonian Society Special 125th Anniversary Event
Dr. Gerard Carruthers (Director, Robert Burns Centre, U. of Glasgow): "The Unpseakable Scot: The Image of the Scot in the Media." 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 30, Room 1420, SFU Harbour Centre, 515 W. Hastings Street.
Some recent identifications of the Scottish 'character' in print and broadcast media are discussed. Among other aspects covered are the dour Scot, the Scot lacking in confidence and the Scot elbowing himself to the top of the British political tree. Are such traits and tendencies real, or are they mere caricatures? Has anything changed in the depiction of Scots since TWH Crosland published his 'The Unspeakable Scot' in 1902?
As 2011 marks the 125th anniversary of the St. Andrews and Caledonian Society in Vancouver, we will also be celebrating the occasion in style with a reception to follow the talk. Everyone is welcome, and there is no charge for this event.
St. Andrew's Ball & 125th Year Celebration of the St. Andrew's and Caledonian Society
Saturday November 19th, 2011 - Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Hotel
For tickets, please contact Blair Dymond: email@example.com or (604)731-8799
*Proceeds from the Ball support the Simon Fraser University Center for Scottish Studies
"The Truth About St. Kilda," To Dr. James Russell (Professor Emeritus, UBC)
Wednesday, October 26 7:30 pm. SFU Harbour Centre rm 1530, 515 West Hastings
Reverend Donald Gillies was born on St. Kilda in 1901. He emigrated to Canada in 1927, then in 1946 moved to the Vancouver area where he died in 1994. In 2004, Rev. Gillies’ daughter, Peggy Askew, alerted James Russell and Harry McGrath of the Centre for Scottish Studies to the existence of her father’s memoirs. The book will be available for purchase at
Check out our Podcasts for more information.
"The Quest for New Caledonia: Scots in the Pacific Northwest," Dr. Ted Cowan
Thursday, October 6 7:30 pm. SFU Harbour Centre rm 7000, 515 West Hastings
Ever since Sir William Alexander received the grant of Nova Scotia in 1620, Scots had striven to establish their 'New Caledonia' in the New World. Several unsuccessful ventures shared the name. When BC was created in 1858 it was originally to be named New Caledonia, an appellation first coined by Simon Fraser. This talk explores the remarkable Scottish contribution to the opening up of the Pacific Northwest, mainly, though not exclusively, through the fur trade. It touches on such themes as the rivalry between the fur trade companies, the exploration of the northwest, the establishment of the frontier with the US, the globalisation of trade and the creation of the multicultural province that is BC.
Check out our Podcasts for more information.