Calgary Burns Club
Jim has had a lifelong interest in the poetry and songs of Robert Burns and has been a member of the Calgary Burns Club since 1982. The Club holds one of the largest annual men only Burns nights in the world, every January. Not everyone is in favour of men-only or women-only Burns clubs (and, yes, there are women-only clubs!). Sensitive to the issue, Jim was one of the founding members of Schiehallion Scottish Heritage Society in 1990. One of Schiehallion’s initial purposes was to be a Burns club open to all and continued its affiliation with the World Burns Federation until folding in 2016.
Jim has performed at countless Burns suppers in Canada and abroad, singing and reciting Burns’ works.
Irish Cultural Society
Jim became involved with the ICS through his then business partner in cabinet making, with whom he also produced live concerts, hosting the likes of Gaberlunzie, The Fureys, The Battlefield Band, Moira Kerr and The Tannahill Weavers. A gifted singer of Scottish and Irish traditional songs and a fair bodhran player himself, Jim was very much in support of establishing a local branch of Comhaltas Celtoiri Eireann, an umbrella of Irish music, singing, dancing and folklore. He was honoured to represent Calgary at the North American gathering in St. Louis, Missouri in the 1990s.
Through Comhaltas, Jim did ceilidh dancing and placed first with his team from Scoil Ard Na Graine at the North American championships in 1991.
The 78th Fraser Highlanders
Jim joined the Fort Calgary Garrison in 1986 and has always been proud of the Frasers’ commitment to youth development. One of the highlights for him was fulfilling a promise he made while Officer Commanding (OC) to take the youth pipe band on a tour of Scotland. Many parents, volunteers and donors made this trip possible in 2011. The band members enjoyed an event-filled tour which culminated in a mess dinner in Beauly, Inverness-shire. Another successful tour was made in 2015 and plans are underway for the next tour. Jim is the Bard of the Fort Calgary Garrison.
First and foremost, Jim is interested in Celtic traditions: music, song, stories and a dram or two...
Scottish Country Dancing
Jim started Scottish country dancing in 1976 and earned his Teacher’s Certificate in 1985. He has served on committees of the Calgary Scottish Country Dance Society, the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - Calgary Branch, and taught weekly classes and workshop sessions.
Scottish Societies of Calgary
Multiple Scottish organizations in Calgary united every year to build a float for the Calgary Stampede Parade. Jim was one of many volunteers who helped the SSC win first place in the multicultural category from 1981 to 1998.
The Scottish Tartans Authority (STA)
The North American Celtic Trade Association (NACTA)
Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)
How often have you heard that “what goes around, comes around”?
Jim has long supported community organizations in their fundraising efforts with donations in cash or in kind. Over the years, Jim has been pleased to assist more organizations than he can remember, but among them are:
- Dreams Take Flight
- Grande Prairie Highland Games
- Foothills Highland Games
- Royal Order of Antediluvian Buffaloes - Medicine Hat Chapter
- Royal Canadian Legion
- Irish Cultural Society
- RSCDS Edmonton Caledonian Branch
- Edmonton Scottish Society
- RSCDS Medicine Hat Branch
- St. Andrew-Caledonian Society of Calgary
- Three Sisters Festival Society (Canmore Highland Games)
- Calgary United Scottish Games Association (Calgary Highland Games)
- RSCDS Saskatchewan Branch
- Lethbridge Scottish Country Dancers
- Red Deer Scottish Country Dancers
- Calgary Highland Dance Association
- Calgary Irish Music and Dance Association
- 78th Fraser Highlanders (Fort Calgary Garrison)
- Calgary Burns Club
- Boy Scouts of Canada
- Girl Guides of Canada Blackfoot District
- Irish Society of Western Manitoba
- Brandon English Society
- Schiehallion Scottish Heritage Society
- Medicine Hat Masonic Lodge
- Calgary Police Service Pipe Band
- Irish Dance Association of Red Deer
- Canadian Federation to End Violence Against Women
- Brady School of Dance - Winnipeg
- St. Giles Scottish Country Dance Club
- Rotary Club - Calgary Chinook
- Chinook Soccer Association
- Houston Academy Red Deer
- Canadian Friends of Scotland
- Edmonton Irish Sports & Social Club
- Medicine Hat Burns Club