Clans and Heritage
Immerse yourself in Scottish culture, craftmanship and pageantry
The Fergus Scottish Festival is proud to host many Clan Societies who will help you understand the clan system and your clan in particular.
If you are wearing Highland dress you are welcome to participate with your clan. Why not join the Clan Society?
Those in highland dress and whose clan is not represented, are welcome to join Chief Steven MacTavish and his clan at their tent.
Best Clan Trophy Winners
Clan Dignitaries Attending
Madam Pauline Hunter of Hunterston, Chief of Clan Hunter and of that Ilk, 30th Laird
Madam Pauline Hunter became the 30th Clan Chief in 1995 on the death of her father Neil Hunter, the 29th Laird. Her work as Clan Chief has grown over the years and she now devotes much of her time to the Clan. Her aim is the preservation of Hunterston Castle as the ancestral home and seat of Clan Hunter (since the 12th century), to provide a focal point for all Clan Hunter members worldwide for present and future generations.
Chief Steven Edward Dugald MacTavish of Dunardry
Steven Edward Dugald MacTavish was born in Montreal Quebec, Canada in 1951 and now lives in Ontario. The Chief and his wife, Leslie, share their lives with his daughters, Tracy and Deborah, Leslie’s son, Craig and four grandchildren. His background is varied and he has worked numerous jobs (warehousing, phone equipment, driving and driving instruction and transportation management).
Chief MacTavish is the 27th hereditary chief of clan MacTavish (from an unbroken line), having inherited the chiefship from his father, Edward Stewart Dugald MacTavish (26th Chief of Clan MacTavish).
Chief John Alexander MacArthur of that Ilk
Born in Calcutta, India and raised in Edinburgh, the Chief was educated as a horticulturist in Britain and the United States. He has worked in several notable settings including Lochalsh Woodland Garden, a National Trust for Scotland Property and Castle Kennedy Gardens as Head Gardener to the Earl of Stair. He is now retired.
Chief MacArthur inherited the clan Chiefship in 2004 following the death of his father, James Edward Moir MacArthur (born Calgary, Alberta, 1914), who was the first Clan Arthur Chief for 231 years.
Commander Richard Baird of Rickarton, Ury and Lockwood
Commander Richard Baird was born in 1958, the son of John Francis Holman of Rickarton and Lady Diana Baird, daughter of James Ian Keith, 12th Earl of Kintore.
Richard runs a farm of 6000 acres near Stonehaven, south of Aberdeen. It is the last remaining working estate of Bairds in Scotland. He holds many positions with historic/civic committees and groups throughout Scotland, and as well is a member of the Queen’s Archers, guarding the Queen during ceremonies and activities when she is in Scotland. He lives with his second wife Polly and has three children, Louise, Angus and Amelia.
Following a family convention in 2019 the Lord Lyon commissioned Richard as the leader of Clan Baird.
Patrick Colquhoun, Younger of Luss
Patrick Colquhoun, born in 1980, is the son and heir apparent to the present chief Sir Malcolm Rory Colquhoun, 9th Baronet of Luss, 31st Laird of Luss and 33rd Chief of Colquhoun. Patrick serves as assistant Chief Executive Officer for the Luss Estates Company, which is committed to supporting and sustaining the local community and preserving the heritage and historical lands of this ancient clan for future generations. The lands in the Loch Lomond area have been held within the Colquhoun family since 1150 AD, when the lands were granted to the Laird of Luss. Patrick is married to Charlotte and has two children, Arthur and Rory.
Visit with Ken McGoogan as he talks about his books
Ken McGoogan is a globe-trotting, history-hunting storyteller who has explored Scotland from Cape Wrath to the Mull of Kintyre and from Aberdeen to St. Kilda. Ken has published fifteen books – mostly nonfiction narratives, but also novels and memoirs. Find out more at www.kenmcgoogan.com
Discover your Scottish heritage with a visit to our genealogy tent. Members of the Ontario Genealogical Society and other independent genealogical researchers can help you start on the path of research, or help guide you as you progress through your family discoveries. They can suggest, and show you, many of the on line tools available to research and store your ancestors’ information, as well as explain the many resources available through the OGS.
Gaelic Society of Toronto
The Gaelic Society of Toronto was formed with the goal of keeping alive knowledge of the Gaelic language and culture and connecting Gaelic-speaking people in Toronto and surrounding areas. Throughout the changes in its structure over the years, the Society continues to support and sustain Gaelic language, history, culture and community in various ways, either through the direct activities of the Society or by supporting the efforts of others who also seek to sustain and promote the Gaelic language and culture.
The centuries old art of sheep shearing has been brought to life for many years here at the Festival by Tom Redpath, a professional shearer. This year Tom has decided to hang up his shears and will be introducing Peter Kudelka, another professional shearer. Peter’s goal is to educate the audience on the traditional craft and demonstrate the intricacies of shearing a full grown sheep, while bringing a little history, humour and music into the mix.
See the Heilan Coos!
Come visit with our small herd of Highland Cattle, courtesy of Mark Scharringa of the MCCattle Company of Arriss, Ontario. The Highland is a Scottish breed of rustic cattle, originating in the Scottish Highlands and the Outer Hebrides. It is a hardy breed, able to withstand the intemperate conditions in the region. Highlands are raised primarily for their meat, which is growing in popularity due to being lower in cholesterol than other forms of beef.
The Soldiers of the ’45, and friends, historic re-enactors, bring to life a patrol camp of the Atholl Brigade, an important part of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s forces during the Jacobite uprising of 1745. The encampment will include craftsmen and smiths, soldiers and their wives and children and Highland gentry, all gathered together to fight for the return of the House of Stuart to the Scottish throne.
Try your hand at swinging a hammer to forge hot metal, just like the settlers did! Our team of talented blacksmiths have graciously returned to teach and demonstrate the skills used since ironworking began. Hands-on instruction will be given to those who dare to deliver the hammer’s blow; safety will be ensured for all who participate.