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BC Highland Games and Vancouver’s ScotFestBC Scottish Festival

ScotFestBC at Town Centre Park

ScotFestBC: the British Columbia Highland Games is a Metro Vancouver Scottish festival that takes place at Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam.

Formerly called the “BC Highland Games and Scottish Festival”, it’s both a cultural festival and a sporting event. In 2022 it happened on the Friday and Saturday of June 17th and 18th (so just before Father’s Day Sunday).

For tickets and 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 | 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 British Columbia Highland Games

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 British Columbia Highland Games usually take place in June each year. The festival was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, and the 2021 festival was postponed to September 3rd and 4th. It took place in-person at Lafarge Lake.

In 2022 the festival took place on June 17th and 18th. Admission on the Friday was free for everyone. Admission on the main day, on the Saturday, cost between $0 and $20 depending on your age.

In past years the games and festival have taken place at Percy Perry Stadium at Coquitlam’s Town Centre Park. The 2019 event took place at the same park, but near Lafarge Lake instead of by the stadium. The same is the case in 2022 as the event site is directly next to the Lafarge Lake-Douglas SkyTrain station southwest of the lake.

 


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


 

BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival

 

Festival Admission

In 2022, all activities on June 17th were free to attend (except for Whisky & Oysters). However, tickets were required for festivities on June 18th. General admission to the BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival on the Saturday cost around $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, and $10 for children (ages 6-12). It’s free for kids ages 5 and under.

Whisky School Classes cost an extra $30 to $40 (and usually sell out in advance) plus gate admission. Everything else is included with gate admission.

 

Festival Schedule

Below is the schedule for 2022. We divided the schedule up into General Events, Live Entertainment, Competitions and Workshops & Demonstrations.

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

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

 

LaFarge Lake Concert Stage

 

General Events Schedule

 

Friday, June 17th, 2022

  • 5:00 pm – Gates Open to the Public

 

Saturday, June 18th, 2022

  • 8:00 am – Gates Open to the Public
  • 11:00 am – 1st Throw Ceremony (in the Heavy Event Field)
  • 11:15 am – Scottish Country Dancing Flash Mob
  • 1:15 pm – Scottish Country Dancing Flash Mob

 

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

 

Sports, Music and Dance Competitions

 

Saturday, June 18th, 2022

Main Stage

  • 10:00 am – Highland Dancing competitions

 

In The Meadow

  • 9:00 am – BC Pipers’ Association Solo Piping and Drumming Competition
  • 2:00 pm – Performance Bands and Competitions

 

In the Heavy Events Field

  • 9:00 am – ScotFestBC Heavy Events Provincial All-Stars Invitational
  • 5:15 pm – Massed Bands

 


For tickets and full details visit the official ScotFestBC website.


 

Workshops and Demonstrations

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

 

Friday, June 17th, 2022

  • 7:00 pm – Whisky & Oysters

 

Saturday, June 18th, 2022

  • 11:00 am – Rob MacDonald
  • 12:00 pm – The Gaelic Society of Vancouver
  • 1:00 pm – Reid’s Butchers
  • 2:00 pm – Dr. Leith Davis
  • 3:00 pm – Rosemary Coupe
  • 3:45 pm – Robyn Carrigan

 

Highland Dance Trio
Kids on the Highland Dance Stage

 

Live Entertainment (Non-Competitive Schedule)

Below is the music and live entertainment schedule for 2022. (Note: times and performer details are subject to change.)

 

Friday, June 17th, 2022

On the Main Stage

  • 6:10 – “Pipes in the Park” with Dave Hilder and Shaunna Hilder

 

On the Ceilidh Stage

  • 6:00 pm – The Pat Chessell Band
  • 7:30 pm – Beòlach

 

Pat Chessell Band
The Pat Chessell Band in 2022

 

Saturday, June 18th, 2022

On the Heritage Stage

  • 10:00 am – The Rheinlander Oompa Pa Band
  • 11:00 am – Roots: Peruvian Folk Dance
  • 12:15 pm – Strictly Scottish Dance Team
  • 1:00 pm – Silk Road Music
  • 2:00 pm – Dunvegan Highland Dancers
  • 2:20 pm – Royal Academy of Bhangra
  • 2:50 pm – Scottish/Punjabi Fusion
  • 3:00 pm – Shot of Scotch Highland Dancers
  • 3:30 pm – African Descent Society
  • 4:30 pm – Dancers of Damelahamid
  • 5:30 pm – Brazilian Swag
  • 6:15 pm – Finale

 

On the Ceilidh Stage

  • 11:15 am – Katari Taiko Drummers
  • 12:15 pm – Clanna Morna
  • 1:15 pm – The Pat Chessell Band
  • 2:15 pm – Beòlach
  • 3:15 pm – Pierre Schryer and Adam Dobres
  • 4:15 pm – Clanna Morna
  • 5:45 pm – Beòlach

 


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


 

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 16-18 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 lbs 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 to 130 lbs and being between 15 and 23 feet in length.

 

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

 

Tips and Advice

Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out 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.


 

Highlander by Vendor Market Village

 

Other Information

For further details about the event see the ScotFestBC & British Columbia Highland Games‘ 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: