Home Vancouver Events Calendar Festivals and Events in Vancouver in 2024 BC Highland Games and Vancouver’s ScotFestBC Scottish Festival

BC Highland Games and Vancouver’s ScotFestBC Scottish Festival

ScotFestBC at Town Centre Park

ScotFestBC: The BC Highland Games is a Metro Vancouver Scottish festival that takes place in mid-June at Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam.

In 2024 the festival happens June 14th & 15th which is the Friday and Saturday of the Father’s Day weekend.

For the event’s official website, visit scotfestbc.com.

 


This article contains information about the following:

Admission | Schedule | General Events | Sports, Music & Dance | Workshops & Demos | Entertainment | Sporting Events | Tips & Advice | ScotFestBC Video | Other Information

Click any of the above links to jump to a specific topic, or continue reading to learn all about the event.


 

ScotFestBC: The BC Highland Games & World Music Festival

ScotFestBC is an annual event featuring athletic competitions, Celtic dancing, live music, whisky tasting and bagpiping! It’s a family-friendly event and lots of fun!

The event used to be just ScotFestBC and the British Columbia Highland Games, which was both a cultural festival and a sporting event. In 2023, in addition to the Scottish festival and sports competitions, the event also combined with the World Music Festival which is new and features performances by Canadian artists from different cultural backgrounds.

The British Columbia Highland Games took place on a Friday and Saturday in mid-June, 2023, by Lafarge Lake at Town Centre Park in Coquitlam. There was also the free World Music Festival on the Sunday. Admission to each of the other two days of the festival cost up to $25 depending on your age. Weekend passes were also available for up to $35 per person.

ScotFestBC has been a terrific event for decades! Now that it’s combined with the World Music Festival, the event is even more fun and entertaining than ever! If you like live music, cultural events, outdoor markets, British cars, athletic competitions, whisky and everything to do with Scotland, you’ll love this event! We highly recommend it!

Conveniently, the event takes place near the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain Station.

 


For tickets and the most up-to-date information, visit the official ScotFestBC website.


 

BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival

 

Festival Admission

In 2023, admission to ScotFestBC and the British Columbia Highland Games on the Friday cost $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and $10 for children (ages 6 to 12). Tickets for the Saturday cost around $25 for adults, $20 for students and seniors, and $10 for children (ages 6 to 12). Admission for the full weekend was about $35 for adults, $30 for seniors and $20 for children. Kids ages 5 and under were admitted free every day of the festival. We expect prices for the event in 2024 to be similar.

This past year’s World Music Festival was also free for everyone to attend on the Sunday. However, Whisky School Classes cost an extra $35 to $45 on both the Saturday and Sunday (and usually sell out in advance), plus gate admission.

 

Festival Schedule

Below was the schedule for 2023. We divided the schedule up into General Events, Live Entertainment, Competitions, and Workshops & Demonstrations.

Some of the activities took place on the festival’s Main Stage, while others happened in the field and other locations. Many of them overlapped with each other.

(Note: The following event times, locations and other details were subject to change.)

 

LaFarge Lake Concert Stage

 

General Events Schedule

Below was the schedule for the general events that happened in 2023.

 

Friday, June 16th, 2023

  • 6:00 pm – Official opening ceremony
  • 10:00 pm – Festivities end

 

Saturday, June 17th, 2023

  • 7:00 am – Gates open to the public
  • 10:00 pm – Festivities end

 

Sunday, June 18th, 2023 (World Music Festival)

  • 10:00 am – Free festival begins
  • 5:00 pm – Free festival ends

 

Highland Pipe Band on the Track
Pipe Band on the Main Track

 

Sports, Music and Dance Competitions

 

Saturday, June 17th, 2023

 

Main Stage

  • 8:30 am – “The Vancouver Championship” of Highland dancing

 

Heritage Stage

  • 8:30 am – Pre-premier Highland dancing competition

 

Big Tent Stage

  • 10:00 am – Open Piobaireachd

 

In The Meadow

  • 9:00 am – BC Pipers’ Association Solo Piping and Drumming Competition
  • 2:00 pm – BC Pipers’ Association Pipe Band Competition (all grades)
  • 4:00 pm – SFU Pipe Band (Grade 1 Band Competition)
  • 5:00 pm – Massed Bands

 

In the Heavy Events Field

  • 8:00 am – ScotFestBC Scottish Heavy Weight Competition

 


For tickets and full details visit the official ScotFestBC website.


 

Highlander by Vendor Market Village

 

Workshops and Demonstrations

A number of whisky-tasting and other cultural workshops and demonstrations took place in various locations including in the Highland Village and Whisky Tent.

 

Friday, June 16th, 2023

  • 7:00 pm – Whisky & Oysters

 

Saturday, June 17th, 2023

  • 11:00 am – Dough Medley
  • 12:00 pm – Gord Pollock
  • 1:00 pm – Graeme Macaloney
  • 2:00 pm – Dr. Leith Davis
  • 2:45 pm – Robert MacDonald
  • 3:45 pm – Robyn Carrigan

 

Sunday, June 18th, 2023 (World Music Festival)

  • 11:00 am – Traditional Pakistani Wedding Culture
  • 12:00 pm – Buffalo Heart Medicine Healing Society
  • 1:00 pm – History of Chinese Calligraphy
  • 2:00 pm – History of Yoga (Prem Neote)
  • 3:00 pm – History & Traditions of Iranian Wrestling
  • 4:00 pm – History of Grenadian Maypole Dancing

 

Highland Dance Trio
Kids on the Highland Dance Stage

 

Live Entertainment (Non-Competitive Schedule)

Below was the music and live entertainment schedule for 2023. (Note: Times and performer details were subject to change.)

 

Friday, June 16th, 2023

 

On the Main Stage

  • 6:15 pm – “Pipes in the Park” with the SFU Pipe Band

 

On the Big Tent Stage

  • 5:15 pm – Blackthorn
  • 8:00 pm – Sharon Shannon

 

Pat Chessell Band
The Pat Chessell Band

 

Saturday, June 17th, 2023

 

On the Heritage Stage

  • 12:00 pm – Doug Medley
  • 1:00 pm – Strictly Scottish
  • 1:45 pm – O’Connor School of Irish Dance
  • 2:30 pm – Dunvegan Highland Dance School
  • 3:15 pm – Penk O’Donnell Irish Dancers
  • 4:15 pm – Pat Chessell

 

On the Big Tent Stage

  • 1:00 pm – Cookeilidh
  • 2:00 pm – Pat Chessell
  • 3:00 pm – Cookeilidh
  • 4:15 pm – Blackthorn
  • 6:00 pm – Blackthorn
  • 7:15 pm – Sharon Shannon

 

Blackthorn at BC Highland Games Festival
Blackthorn at ScotFestBC

 

Sunday, June 18th, 2023 (World Music Festival)

 

On the Main Stage

  • 11:15 am – Kvitka Ukranian
  • 12:00 pm – Forro do Cana with Andrea Monteiro & Rafael Costa
  • 1:00 pm – Roots Peruvian Folk Dance
  • 2:00 pm – Shot of Scotch Highland Dancers
  • 2:25 pm – Royal Academy of Bhangra
  • 2:45 pm – Bhangra/Scottish Fusion
  • 3:00 pm – Bhangra for Everyone
  • 4:00 pm – Git Hayetsk First Nation Dancers
  • 5:00 pm – Sadé Awele and Serengeti

 

On the Heritage Stage

  • 12:00 pm – DJ Paul Manocha with Lili and Las Pumas Flamenco
  • 12:45 pm – Silk Road Music
  • 1:45 pm – Prananam: Gaelic/Hindustani Fusion
  • 2:45 pm – Forro do Cana with Andrea Monteiro & Rafael Costa
  • 3:45 pm – Bero Saker Fusion
  • 4:30 pm – Pierre Schryer and Adam Dombres

 

In The Meadow

  • 11:00 am – Jai Yoga
  • 12:00 pm – Sweet Pan Entertainment Steel Drum Band
  • 1:15 pm – British Columbia Regiment Band
  • 2:00 pm – Sansho Daiko Drummers
  • 3:00 pm – JP Fell Pipe Band

 

On the Big Tent Stage

  • 1:00 pm – Robin Layne & The Rhythm Makers
  • 2:00 pm – Sadé Awele and Serengeti
  • 3:00 pm – Pierre Schryer and Adam Dombres
  • 4:00 pm – Robin Layne & The Rhythm Makers
  • 5:00 pm – Sharon Shannon

 

On the Main Gate Plaza Platform

  • 11:45 am – Scottish Country Dance
  • 12:45 pm – Mariachi Los Dorado
  • 1:30 pm – Scottish Country Dance
  • 2:15 pm – Mariachi Los Dorado

 


For tickets and the most up-to-date information, visit the official ScotFestBC website.


 

Mariachis los Dorados
Mariachi Los Dorado

 

Sporting Events

In addition to bagpiping and dancing events, the BC Highland Games also involves Heavy Events competitions which are open to athletes ages 19+ (although competitors ages 16 to 18 can register with a parent’s permission). Registration for the events closes a couple weeks before the games.

There are three categories of Heavy Events: Distance Events, Height Events and the Caber Toss.

Distance competitions include the Stone Putt, Weight for Distance Throws and the Scottish Hammer Toss.

Height Events include the Weight Over Bar competition which involves throwing a 56-pound weight (for men) or a 28-pound weight (for women) over a bar. Similarly, the Sheaf Toss involves throwing a 10- to 20-pound simulated bale of hay over a bar with a pitchfork.

The Caber Toss is the event where contestants throw giant poles as far as they can, with each pole weighing from 70 pounds to 130 pounds and being between 15 feet and 23 feet long.

 

Highland Games Heavy Throwing Event
Heavy Events at the BC Highland Games

 

Tips & Advice

Below are some suggestions to help you make the most of your visit to the BC Highland Games.

TIP #1: Take public transit if you can. The Lafarge Lake – Douglas SkyTrain Station is right next to the site and there are bus stops as well.

TIP #2: If you can only stay for a short time, then go in the afternoon. That’s when things are most interesting.

TIP #3: If you want to attend one of the Whisky School Classes, register early as they usually sell out well in advance.

TIP #4: If you plan to compete in the Heavy Events, be sure to register at least two weeks prior to the day of the games. Also, if competing, be sure to prepare well and know what you’re doing! The weights are heavy and you don’t want to injure yourself!

TIP #5: Wear your tartan if you have some! You’ll fit right in!

 


For tickets and full details about the festival visit the official ScotFestBC website.


 

ScotFestBC Pipe Band Video

Below are a couple of videos to give you an idea of what to expect at ScotFestBC: The BC Highland Games & World Music Festival. The first one is just a short video clip of a pipe band playing at Town Centre Park at ScotFestBC in 2022. If you attend the festival, you’ll see lots of bands like this one.

 

 

This second video shows scenes of ScotFestBC and the BC Highland Games from 2018. That year the festivities actually happened in a slightly different location. They were still at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park, but at the other end of the park, where the stadium and running track are. More recently, the events happen near the Lafarge Lake part of the park.

Although the scenes in the following video are at the old location, they still show very clearly what the festival is all about. In the video, and at the festival today, you’ll see dancing, bagpiping, sporting events and lots of people having fun!

 

Other Information

For further details about the event, see the ScotFestBC: British Columbia Highland Games & World Music Festival website. And for information about a similar event on Vancouver Island, check out the Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival which takes place in May.

To learn about the town and surrounding area, see our article about the City of Coquitlam.

For other events taking place in the Lower Mainland, check out the following: