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​Grand chieftain welcomes everyone to 25th anniversary of Kincardine Scottish Festival

July 7, 2024

Grand chieftain Duncan Hawthorne of the United Kingdom, former president and chief executive officer of Bruce Power, welcomed everyone to the 25th anniversary of the Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games, Friday night, at Victoria Park.

Lauded by event organizers for the $1-million donation made by him and his wife, Lesley, in support of the Kincardine Hospital capital campaign, Hawthorne smiled and said, “Kincardine is still our home, and when that home needs something, everybody pitches in.

“This is a great weekend to celebrate Scottish heritage, and to have a fun time. I officially declare the Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games open.”

The evening began with the Canadian national anthem, sung by Christine John, in Ojibway, French and English. Tracy Primeau then gave the land acknowledgement.

Festival president Tony Doherty welcomed the dignitaries to the stage to say a few words.

“What an historic time for this great festival, celebrating 25 years,” said Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb. “To the founders and Tony (Doherty), and to all the volunteers, congratulations! This is a tremendous event. You can’t find a better venue than this for a Scottish festival, and you’ve got perfect weather!

“I’m pleased to see Duncan (Hawthorne) here. Few executives have made such an impact on the community. Enjoy the weekend!”

Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson echoed those sentiments. “You know it’s the Kincardine Scottish Festival when you can hear the stirring sounds of the pipes and drums!”

She then presented Doherty with a certificate of recognition for 25 years of the festival.

Kincardine mayor Kenneth Craig said he received an E-mail from a woman in Kincardine, sharing her concerns about land development in the area. However, she was contacting him from Kincardine, Scotland, not Kincardine, Ontario.

“You have to be proud of where you come from, what you’ve been given, and your heritage,” he said. “We’re proud of this festival and all it brings to the community. Thank you to the many volunteers for their hard work and dedication to this event.”

Terry Rothmaier, senior vice-president of nuclear operations at Bruce Power, said he had planned to wear a kilt and tell some jokes at the festival. However, the jokes he found on-line were not family-appropriate, and his kilt was sent to Kincardine, Scotland!

“Congratulations on 25 years of the Kincardine Scottish Festival,” he said. “Actions speak louder than words, especially when bagpipes are involved! The real heroes are the volunteers, with more than 300 of them working at this event. Enjoy this amazing festival!”

Melanie Milne then sang the national anthems of the United States and Scotland.

Former NHL’er Glenn Healy and the Highland Creek Pipes and Drums of Pickering took to the stage and the piping circle to perform for the crowd.

Healy noted that 20 years ago, he and his band stood in the pouring rain to perform. “I vowed then, that if I came back again, I would do the sword dance, so here goes.”

Glenn Healy of the Highland Creek Pipes and Drums, attempts to do the sword dance, but it replaced by a proper dancer, James Mainsprize, Friday night, at the Kincardine Scottish Festival

As he prepared to dance among two swords, his band-mates dragged him aside and brought in proper dancer, James Mainsprize, who gave a great performance.

The Highland Creek Pipes and Drums were followed by the Practically Hip, the U2 Desire Tribute Band, and the Glengarry Bhoys, with DJ Joseph J wrapping up the evening’s entertainment.

The festival continued through Saturday and Sunday. Stay tuned for more coverage in the Kincardine Record.

The Highland Creek Pipes and Drums of Pickering warm up before their performance at the Kincardine Scottish Festival, Friday night

To learn more about the band, check it out on Facebook at and Instagram at

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