The United Scottish Cultural Society was formed by the prominent Scottish societies of Vancouver more than 50 years ago in an effort to create an amalgamated group of first and second generation Scots sharing a passion for perpetuating Scottish culture in all its forms.
From 1955 to 1985 , these societies congregated for ceilidhs and other social events in a former school they purchased at Fir Street and 12th Avenue they renamed The Scottish Auditorium. In 1986, construction on the present venue had completed, and a new chapter in the life of Vancouver's Scots had begun. Today, the United Scottish Cultural Centre extends beyond the reach of the Scottish community, and welcomes individuals and groups from a more divergent society than the one that existed when the Scottish Auditorium was in its heyday.
The United Scottish Cultural Society encourages the fostering and preservation of Scottish Culture in any and all of its forms, including music, dance, and the gaelic language. To these ends, the USCS also encourages the participation of, and fraternalism between, all Scottish groups.
B.C. Highland Dance Association
Formally established in 1934 and the major body of highland dancers and teachers in British Columbia. Host of the B.C. Provincial Closed Highland Dancing Championship.
B.C. Pipers Association
Promotes the playing of the Great Highland Bagpipe by organizing events for all pipers throughout the year. Annual Knock-Out competitions and Annual dinner held at the Scottish Cultural Centre.
Gaelic Society of Vancouver
The motto, “Follow closely traditions of your ancestry” has inspired members of this society since its inception in 1908. Established to foster matters of interest to Celts everywhere, the society aims to cultivate a more general knowledge of the language, literature and music of the Gael. Society meetings are held at the Scottish Cultural Centre on the first Saturday of every month, from October to May.
Moray, Nairn & Banff Association
Instituted in 1931 by the then recently-laden Scots from the Shires of Moray, Nairn and Banff, the association provided a common meeting place where members could share the memories and preserve the traditions, literature and history of those Shires and of Scotland at large. Meets on the fourth Saturday of the month, October to May.
Royal Scottish Country Dance Society
Class instruction that began in 1931 has experienced phenomenal growth. Now the Vancouver branch conducts classes in levels of proficiency. Groups are established throughout the Lower Mainland.
The Highland Association
Once one of the most active socities, staging ceilidhs and plays, to preserve the fraternalism and rich heritage of the Scottish Highlands and its people.
St. Andrew’s and Caledonian Society
The oldest existing organizaiton of its kind in the city of Vancouver, the St. Andrews & caledonian Society began in May 1886, merely a month after the pioneer settlement on Burrard Inlet became a city. Malcolm A. MacLean was the society’s first president and Vancouver’s first mayor. Promoting Scottish culture and ideals are still a large part of the society’s goals.
Sons of Scotland Benevolent Association
This leading Scottish fraternal association dates from 1867 in Canada and 1895 in British Columbia. Camps in 29 Canadian cities help to preserve things Scottish by promoting the aims of the association, which include fostering Scottish culture, maintaining a fraternal organization, provide an insurance fund, and promote member social functions and support community projects. Three of B.C.’s nine camps are members of the USCS:
Lord Tweedsmuir Camp (1939), Glamis Camp (1937), Glengarry Camp (1937).
District 16, which encompasses representatives of each of the nine camps, is itself a shareholder.
Vancouver Ladies’ Pipe Band
Now inactive, band members once wore the MacNab tartan in honour of founder Mary MacNab. The band was formed in 1927, and in its nearly 80 years won many awards. In 1980, it was the first all-ladies band to win a World Title.