Trenton Scottish Irish Festival Returns for its 27th Year with Female Heavy Event

By Total Sports Quinte

For 27 years, our community has enjoyed the culture and entertainment of a celtic festival in downtown Trenton and the Quinte Region.

The Trenton Scottish Irish Festival TSIF is the premiere event for all who love a traditional Scottish and Irish celebration. It all began one bright, sunny Saturday in late May, 1989 when a number of Trentonians boarded a bus, sponsored by Branch 110, Royal Canadian Legion bound for Toronto to enjoy a day of Celtic Music.

Among those in attendance that day were, Mayor Neil Robertson, Alderman Lloyd George, Alderman Valerie Thompson and the President of Branch 110, Mr. Ron Bryson.  As they watched the bands parade into the venue and enjoyed a full afternoon of music of the Pipes and Drums from various southern Ontario RCL Branches, it soon became evident that an event such as this could be held in the City of Trenton.

At that time, the City did not have a major Fall Season Event. They had a Summer Festival and a Winter Carnival and of late, there had been some strong suggestions that one was needed. It soon became apparent that we had found that Fall Event.

And so, the idea of a Celtic Festival in downtown Trenton was born. The following week, the Mayor called a small meeting of interested citizens of Celtic heritage to discuss the possibility of hosting a festival in Bayshore Park, in early September of the following year (1990).The Council of the Day pledged their support to this idea as did, Branch 110, Royal Canadian Legion, 413 RCAF Association and Canadian Forces Base Trenton.

Now it was up to this small Founding Committee.

The main resource soon became the friends in Cobourg who had been hosting a Highland Tattoo for many years. It was at this point, that the Founding Committee agreed that their event would be a “non-competitive festival”and further, that this Festival would recognize both the Scottish and the Irish heritages with no admittance to be charged in hope that the event would be more attractive and affordable for entire families.

The Festival Mandate was brief but to the point: “ that the City of Trenton (now Quinte West,) host an annual Scottish/Irish Festival which would be held the second Saturday in September and further…” that this event promote and encourage Celtic Music through song and dance.

A Standing Committee was formed consisting of:

• Maureen Scott, Chair

• Walter Gregory, Parade Marshall

•  John Croxford who agreed to seek out the bands

• The late Murray Martin whose Sunday Morning Radio Show, Scotty’s Corner was to become our strongest promotion tool. (Murray in later years became “The Voice of the Festival)
• Darryl Mitten who had numerous years working with vendors during the Summer Festival
• Bob Cameron whose past experience was in organizing the popular Festival Tent

From those humble beginnings, the festival has grown to the point where
it won a bid to host the 2017 Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation Women’s Heavy Event Championship. We are incredibly EXCITED to have this opportunity and hope you will join us in welcoming Canada’s top female heavy event athletes. Join us for our 27th annual Trenton Scottish Irish Festival SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th & SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th at Centennial Park in Quinte West, 8 Couch Crescent in Trenton, Ontario

2017 Festival Committee

• Beth Cleaton, Chairperson

• Councillor Allan DeWitt, Council Liaison

• Karen Parker, City Liaison

• Dana Valentyne, City Liaison

• Vanessa Hayes, Kiwanis Children’s Glen

• Mike Whiteside, Parking/Gates

• Tommy Thomas, Protocol / Parade Marshall

• Art Darnbrough, Heritage Tent

• Iain Cleaton, Tattoo Co-Chair

• Josh McFarlane, Tattoo Co-Chair

• Heather Boundy, Heavy Events