Scottish tapestry celebrates Scots around the world

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NEW GLASGOW – A unique and well-travelled exhibit was unveiled Sunday evening at Glasgow Square.

Making a home in New Glasgow until this Saturday-  the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Exhibition contains more than 300 panels from 34 countries- each reflecting a flicker of insight and reflection of Scottish heritage around the globe.

The event is being hosted by the St. Andrew’s Society of Pictou County in partnership with the Town of New Glasgow.

The Kirkcaldy linen panels were designed by Scottish graphic artist and illustrator Andrew Crummy based upon research, photos and text from groups and individual and were created by more than 1,000 people all told.

The tapastry was originally commissioned for the Homecoming 2014 event in Scotland which celebrated the Scots Diaspora throughout the world.

The public heard remarks on the occasion from Troy MacCulloch who served as emcee, Col. Barry Wark President of the St. Andrew’s Society of Pictou County, Mayor Nancy Dicks, MP Sean Fraser, Brigadier General J.J. Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, as well as Ms. Jenny Bruce, Tour Director for the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry.

Ms. Bruce explained how the panels each contained “amazing stories of courage and determination.”

“Scots have made an enormous contribution throughout the world over the centuries and these panels you see all around you are a testament to the unique stories of individuals and communities who have built new lives abroad and enhanced our Scottish heritage,” Bruce said. “These are the pioneers that travelled the world, brought their skills, their work ethics, and their religious ideals, combining this with resilience, courage and a spirit of optimism. Likewise their entrepreneurial and philanthropic qualities of success have been congregated and enriched the cultural history of many cities and towns throughout the world.”

Many of the panels came from Commonwealth nations and a large selection of them came form Canadian communities. The impact of the Scots in Canada did not go unnoted by any of the speakers.

“Our province and indeed our country has been so indubitably influenced by Scottish immigrants and their descendants,” said the Lieutenant Governor. “One only has to look at our province’s symbols to see the Scottish influence in Nova Scotia.”

The Diaspora Tapestry will be on display this week at Glasgow Square, wrapping on Saturday and tour director Jenny Bruce recommends multiple viewings to take in the panels completely. A bar-code based app that fills in the story behind the individual panels is available for Android and Apple users at ScottishDiasporaTapestry.org.


New Glasgow Mayor Nancy Dicks, Mrs J.J. Grant, Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia J.J. Grant, and Tour Director for the Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Ms. Jenny Bruce converse near a selection of the Diaspora Tapestry’s panels.                                               (Cameron photo)

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