What is Tartan Day in Canada?

Majestic mountains, an abundance of freshwater and northern winters to warm your heart - Scotland shares so much with its Canadian cousin. With a Scottish Government office in Ottawa, trade and business links between the countries are stronger than ever.

But back to Tartan Day in Canada. Where did it all begin? Well, turn the clock back to a meeting of the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia on 9 March 1986. Members, Bill Crowell, and Jean MacKaracher-Watson, put forward the following motion to the Federation:

"That we establish a day known as 'Tartan Day'. This to be a day chosen to promote Scottish Heritage by the most visible means. The wearing of the Scottish attire, especially in places where the kilt is not ordinarily worn, i.e.: work, play or worship."

Starting originally as 'Tartan Day in Nova Scotia', Jean MacKaracher-Watson approached every provincial Legislative Assembly in Canada, the federal parliament and other Scottish-cultural societies across Canada, to help get such a date established.

After ten years, the special day was approved in every Provincial Assembly from sea-to-sea by the Premier's proclamation or Members' Bill. The last was at the National Assembly at Québec City, where it was finally proclaimed in December 2003, 16 years after it the first such proclamation in Nova Scotia.

With thanks to The Federation for Scottish Culture in Nova Scotia