The Malcolm Scottish Society
In December of 2016, the Three Sisters Scottish Festival Society, organizers of the Highland Games in Canmore in previous years, announced the Games would be cancelled in 2017 as the group had dissolved due to loss of volunteer members.
After discussions with the Highland Games organizers, Spring Creek has decided to take the lead with the formation of a new non-profit society to ensure that the Games stay in Canmore – The Malcolm Scottish Society.
“The Highland Games draws more than 5,000 visitors to Canmore a year and it celebrates the unique Scottish Heritage of the Town.” says Frank Kernick, president of Spring Creek. “We couldn’t stand the idea of losing such a special event so we stepped up. It will still be a community run event. We’re helping with several other tourism groups to kick start a new organization as the Scottish Festival Society has done a great job over the years and deserves a break.”
“The Highland Games have become an integral part of our community identity over the years – and a well loved event at the end of the summer. ” says Mayor John Borrowman, “As well, the games continue to bring visitors here to enjoy our beautiful mountain town, and add to the sustainability of many small businesses.”
The Three Sisters Scottish Festival Society (1991-2017)
The mandate of our Society was to foster and encourage our Celtic culture and tradition in all its forms – dance, music and sports, and to establish the Canmore Highland Games as an entertainment/cultural destination event.
It seems especially fitting to have a Highland Games in Canmore, as one of the first Highland Games known was organized by King Malcolm III Canmore (1058-1093). Held at a fairly flat meadowland (the Brae O’Mar) along the River Dee, this sporting event was used for a royal contest to find the swiftest and strongest man in the kingdom with the necessary stamina to carry Malcolm’s messages across the land.
Certain aspects of the games are so well known as to have become emblematic of Scotland, such as the bagpipes, the kilt, and the heavy sports, especially the caber toss. While centered on competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, and Scottish heavy athletics, the games also include entertainment and exhibits related to other aspects of Scottish and Celtic culture.
The image on the left was part of the original poster created for us in 1991 by established local Bow Valley artist Holly Middleton.