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New tartan to be unveiled for the first ever Colchester County Highland Games on 9 September 2017


A new Colchester Nova Scotia tartan has been created to mark the Canada 150 celebrations and the launch of the Colchester County Highland Games & Gathering.

Colchester was the home of the woman (Bessie Murray) who designed the Nova Scotia tartan in 1953 which became Canada’s first official tartan in 1956 and so the Games organisers wanted to be the place to have the first and the last tartan in Canada on the day of the very first games in their county.

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The Tartan was created to tell the story of Colchester County and Nova Scotia, with red to represent the red loamy earth, green to represent the forests, and then three colours woven in to represent the three peoples who have shaped Nova Scotia into what it is today.  The committee chose Black to represent the Mi’kmaq (taken from their medicine wheel where the colour represents the North), Gold for the Acadians (and from the daffodil of the county flag) and Blue for the Scots (and the Bay of Fundy - which has the highest tides in the world).

Tartan timeline

The process of creating the tartan has run as follows, over the past year:

  • August 2016 - Permission obtained from the county to create the tartan
  • August 2016 - ‘Red Label Kilts & Designs’ from Cape Breton enlisted to design the tartan (design fee generously waived in honour of the games)
  • Members of the Highland Games Committee raised funds in order to create, register and produce the tartan and some first edition kilts.
  • February 2017 - from multiple initial tartan designs the committee choose one. Then three members of the committee helped edit the tartan until they got exactly what they wanted. 
  • May 2017 - Enough funds raised & Tartan design sent to the weaver (Lochcarron in Scotland)
  • July 2017 - Prospective date for receiving the Tartan
  • 8 September 2017 - Public unveiling of the tartan at a special ceremony in the Colchester civic square

The unveiling of the tartan

Linda Finnie, Colchester County Highland Games co-ordinator told History Scotland: 'Other than the weaver, the designer and those three members of the committee who made the final design changes, no one has seen the actual tartan itself. The computerised photo on the register in Edinburgh does not truly represent the tartan.There are subtle differences, the ‘real’ design is stronger, prettier and we are proud to have assisted in it’s creation!'

We invited, and are honoured to have ‘Clann An Drumma’ - a band from Glasgow,  Scotland to participate in our Tartan reveal, they will also be playing on our live music stage on the day of the games. A local band - ‘Good Times Fiddlers’ have written a song to commemorate the tartan and will also be playing on both days.'

The Colchester Colchester County Highland Games & Gathering will be held on 9 September 2017 at Jennifer Drive Ball Fields, Bible Hill, Colchester County, NS. For more information, visit the website.


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30/06/2017 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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