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Barra MacNeils will headline the Free New Year’s Eve concert at Ottawa City Hall

The popular Cape Breton band were unveiled as participants in the TD
Hogmanay show by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. The event is being organized by the newly formed Scottish Society of Ottawa and will also feature Scottish dancing, pipe bands, Scotch tasting, ice skating, ice sculptures and a fireworks after the bells usher in the New Year.

“I’m pleased that such a fun, family-oriented event will be held at City
Hall and on the Rink of Dreams. It will be a great way for everyone to ring in the New Year, as well as celebrate Ottawa’s Scottish community,” said Mayor Watson.

Senator Doug Finley, chair of the Scottish Society, said Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve, is a national Scottish party day and the Society decided to import some Celtic cheer to fill a gap in Ottawa’s social calendar.

“More than five million Canadians claim Scottish heritage. We hope some of them will come out to show their pride in being Scottish. And we hope non-Scots will turn out too and enjoy the free show,” he said.

The Barra MacNeils hail from Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia, and consist the six MacNeil siblings ­ Sheumas, Kyle, Stewart, Lucy, Ryan and Boyd ­ plus bassist, Jamie Gatti. 2012 marks their 25th anniversary in an outstanding touring and recording career. ”Ottawa is one of our favourite cities to perform in. We’ve always had a strong following and a supportive fan base here for many years. It’s for those reasons that we are especially proud and excited to be part of the New Year’s Eve Hogmanay celebrations. We’re looking forward to helping our nation’s capital ring in the new year with a big show!” said Stewart MacNeil.

Also appearing on the main outdoor stage at City Hall will be folk band Ecosse, led by Wakefield, Que.,-based Scottish singer Bobby Watt; and, Sprag Session, an energetic Celtic fusion band from Cape Breton. Inside City Hall, there will be performances by the Sons of Scotland pipe band, the Glengarry pipe band, the Kemptville Legion pipe band, the Katharine Robinson Dancers, the Celtic Cross Dancers and the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. The audience will be invited to take part in Scottish dances like the Gay Gordons and Dashing White Sergeant. The whole event starts at 6pm and runs until 12.30am.

For more information:
John Ivison ­ thescottishsocietyofottawa@gmail.com