Robbie Burns Day is a Scottish holiday that takes place on January 25th each year. It is commemorated in Vancouver with traditional Scottish celebrations.
In 2021 “A Robert Burns Celebration” was an online event presented by ScotFestBC and SFU’s Centre for Scottish Studies. See below for details. The coronavirus pandemic prevented most in-person celebrations, but hopefully that won’t be the case in 2022.
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.
2021 Robbie Burns Celebrations
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 this year, one still happened in a virtual format on Saturday, January 23rd.
“A Robert Burns Celebration” was an online event presented by Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Scottish Studies and ScotFestBC. The event ran from 6:30 until 9:30 pm on the Saturday before Robbie Burns Day.
The online celebrations included pre-recorded music with the SFU Pipe Band. The main part of the program began at 7:00 pm and featured a look at the life of the famous Scotsman and his poetry. Guests participating online had the opportunity to win a bottle of whiskey and a gift card to a Scottish clothing and gift store.
Admission to the event was free, although participants needed to register in advance.
To learn more about the 2021 event see the Simon Fraser University website. To learn more about other events that normally take place around Robbie Burns Day in Metro Vancouver, see below.
Past Robbie Burns Day Celebrations in the Lower Mainland
Below is a list of Robbie Burns Day events that took place in Vancouver in 2020. Most events were cancelled in 2021, and 2022 details are to be confirmed.
- Celebrating Robbie Burns – the band Blackthorn performed along with dancers and other special guests at Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver. The show included Scottish dancing, poetry and Celtic music. Admission cost $35 for adults, $29 for students and seniors, and $12 for children under the age of 12. Prices included the show, snacks, traditional Scottish dishes and beverage tasting. The event took place last year on Thursday, January 23rd, and began at 7:00 pm.
- SFU Robbie Burns Dinner – the SFU Pipe Band Organization hosted its annual dinner celebration in 2020 on Saturday, 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.
- 2020 Burns Supper – the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society hosts Robbie Burns Day celebrations most years. The event a couple of years ago took place at the Scottish Cultural Centre at 8886 Hudson Street in Vancouver from 6:00 until 11:00 pm. The event features dancing, Scottish food and music, and other cultural celebrations. Tickets cost around $60 for members of the RSCDS or $70 for non-members.
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