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THE SCOTTISH PAVILION
Pat and I enjoyed a sunny experience at the Sunnyside Scottish Pavilion on September 4th down at the lakeshore in Toronto. The experience was marred slightly by the CNE traffic congestion along the Lakeshore Road PLUS inadequate instructions about locating the free parking space at the pavilion. We discovered a bicycle/pedestrian/skateboard/rollerblade track with no signs to indicated where the cars should go . . . and wasted about an hour trying to solve the puzzle.
When we finally arrived at the pavilion, we discovered that there was indeed a terrific afternoon's entertainment at only $4.00 (a dollar less than the amount advertised in an email from the Scottish Studies Foundation). There were Sandy MacIntyre with his "Steeped in Tradition" band, the RSCDS Scottish Dancers, and two pipers plus a drummer from the Toronto Police Pipe Band (wearing the Dress Ross tartan, of course). I managed to down a Bridie with some Caledon Brewery ale.
As a side bit of entertainment, Pat and I saw a good bit of the Canadian National Exhibition air show, which included a 35-minute performance of the Snowbirds and their nine-plane formations. The 33rd year of the appearance of the Snowbirds at the EX had been in jeopardy when they were grounded after one of their Tutor jets crashed in a rural area west of Thunder Bay, Ontario, on August 24. What a day! The uncrowded, comfortable seating in a genial atmosphere was a definite plus!
The acclaimed King of Celtic, Sandy MacIntyre, formerly of Inverness NS, now lives in Toronto. His Celtic band's most recent recording "Steeped in Tradition", also serves as the name of the band.
The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society is the central authority on Scottish Dancing worldwide. We would need movies to do justice to their performance and the variety of their presentations.
During the intermissions, we were able to sit in the outdoor area and enjoy "people watching". A fellow wearing a kilt brought along his pet iguana, and attracted curious crowds on the boardwalk. In the background, there were spontaneous volleyball games established up and down the Sunnyside Beach.
Two pipers and a drummer represented the Toronto Police Pipe Band on the programme. It would have been very difficult to accommodate the entire Class 1 band on the stage. As they stood on the boardwalk, I took their picture in the Dress Ross tartan so that they could prove that they were at the Sunnyside Pavilion. A few of their pieces on stage would have been truly spectacular if joined by the full band.
The Mig 17 (pictured above) has been a regular at the CNE airshow for the past few years. Recalling the MR-2 Nimrod disaster a few years ago, I could only stand silently as the huge aircraft lumbered past in front of the pavilion. Without an official programme, I also recognised the F-16, a B52 and the CF-18 Hornet. Two pilots in stunt aircraft performed further East to the CNE crowds, as did the Air Cadets' glider demonstration and a C-130 Search and Rescue demo.
The CAF Snowbirds have provided the finale to the CNE airshow for the past 33 years, but their entrance in their CT-114 Tutor aircraft still caught me by surprise . . . which may account for the blurriness of the first photo. The other pictures were quite fortuitous! After all, they do have some 50 different formations and manoeuvres . . . including loops, solo passes, and 7 or 9 plane formations. Since there was only a slight breeze, the "starburst" and the "heart" stood out well against the blue sky.