Robbie Burns Day is a Scottish holiday that takes place on January 25th each year. It’s commemorated in Vancouver with traditional Scottish celebrations.
After not much happening in the way of live, in-person events over the past couple of years, a small number of celebratory activities are happening in the Lower Mainland in 2023. See below for details.
Robbie Burns Day
Robbie Burns Day (or Rabbie Burns Day) is named after a Scottish poet who was born on January 25th in 1759. Burns Suppers are normally held on or near the date of his birthday to celebrate his life and poetry.
2023 Robbie Burns Day Celebrations in the Lower Mainland
The following three events are happening in 2023 in Vancouver, West Vancouver and Coquitlam.
Robbie Burns Supper
The Vancouver Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society hosts a Burns Supper on Saturday, January 28th. It takes place at the Scottish Cultural Centre at 8886 Hudson Street in Vancouver.
Tickets cost $110 (or $100 for members of the BC Highland Dance Association, BC Pipers Association, Gaelic Society of Vancouver, Sons of Scotland, Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, and St Andrew’s & Caledonian Society of Vancouver).
The event features traditional Scottish food, live entertainment and dancing.
For details about this event, visit the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society‘s website.
Robbie & Rabbits: Celebrating Burns Night and Lunar New Year
The West Vancouver Memorial Library celebrates both Robbie Burns Day and the Lunar New Year with a free event from 4:00 until 6:00 pm on Wednesday, January 25th, in 2023.
The event begins with bagpiping at 4:00 pm by the Memorial Peach Arch outside and across the street from the library. After that, in the library’s Welsh Hall, there is Chinese tea for people to enjoy, the reading of Robbie Burns poetry, and both Chinese and European music.
This event is free to attend, but advanced registration is recommended as space is limited.
To learn more and to register, see the West Vancouver Memorial Library‘s website.
Robbie Burns with Blackthorn
Place des Arts in Coquitlam celebrates Robbie Burns Day from 7:30 until 10:00 pm on Saturday, January 14th, in 2023. Performing at the event are the Celtic band Blackthorn and fiddler Rosie Carver. Tickets cost $21 for adults and $16 for students.
The venue’s address is 1120 Brunette Avenue.
To register for the event visit the Place des Arts website.
Past Robbie Burns Day Celebrations in the Lower Mainland
The following two events have taken place in the past, but aren’t happening in 2023. Hopefully they will again in the future.
SFU Robbie Burns Dinner
The SFU Pipe Band Organization hosted its annual dinner celebration in 2020 on January 25th at the Executive Plaza Hotel in Coquitlam. The event featured Haggis and other traditional Scottish foods, readings of poetry written by Robbie Burns, dancing, and performances by the SFU Pipe Band and Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band. Tickets cost $80 and the event ran from 6:00 to 11:30 pm. The event isn’t happening in 2023, but hopefully will again in 2024.
For details about this event click SFU Robbie Burns Dinner.
A Robert Burns Celebration
Because of COVID-19, not much happened in the way of events (of any kind) in January of 2021. Live events actually weren’t permitted at all. Whereas most annual Robbie Burns-themed events were cancelled, one still happened in a virtual format on the Saturday of January 23rd that year. “A Robert Burns Celebration” was an online event presented by Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Scottish Studies and ScotFestBC.
Admission to the event was free, although participants needed to register in advance.
Other Celtic-themed events that take place in the Lower Mainland include the following:
- CelticFest Vancouver – a festival that takes place around St. Patrick’s Day.
- BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival – a cultural and sporting event in Coquitlam in June.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s January Calendar
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Best Places for History & Culture
- Vancouver Shows & Entertainment