What People Are Saying...
Founded in August 2012, the Margaree Highland Games are one of Cape Breton's most exciting new events. Hosted in the beautiful Margaree River Valley - a meeting place of Scottish, Irish and Acadian cultures - the games blend traditional heavy events with bag piping & highland dancing, running races, children's games and much more.
Who Are We?
The Margaree Highland Games are overseen by a Board of Directors. For more information on the Board members, visit our Contact page. The current Directors are Chairperson Audrey LeBlanc, Adèle LeBlanc, Chris McDaniel, Harold McLean, Paula Cormier, and Arthur LeBlanc. Former Director Simon LeBlanc is pictured below, though Arthur has since taken his place.
It is worth noting that founding Director Fr. Douglas MacDonald is pictured. As a former heavy event athlete in his own right, Fr. MacDonald provided great insight and support into the founding of the Margaree Highland Games in its first three years. 2015-2017 staffperson Chloe Burns is also pictured in the photo below.
"One of the best games to attend in Canada."
- Bryan MacLean, Competitor
“In four short years, you have transformed the Margaree Highland Games into the most family-friendly and welcoming games I have ever experienced. My wife and I are already making plans for next year's vacation to revolve around your games.”
- Dirk Bishop, Competitor
“Beautiful location, fantastic atmosphere. A small town festival with a huge, enthusiastic crowd!”
- Susie Lajoie, Competitor
“I've been competing in Margaree since its beginning and the Games and people keep getting better and better. No one welcomes us more. It is fast becoming my favourite venue and one of the best on the Maritime circuit. Looking forward to 2016!”
- Adam Ogilvie, Competitor
Did You Know?
- Canada's first highland games event took place in Antigonish and that, to this day the Antigonish Highland Games remain a great success, not to mention supporters of our endeavors in Margaree!
- Simon P. Gillis, a Margaree native in whose honor a trophy is named and awarded to each year's top Pro Scottish Heavy Event Athlete, competed for the United States of America in the 1904, 1908 and 1912 Summer Olympic Games.
- John Hugh Gillis, born in Margaree in 1884, was to compete in the 1912 Summer Olympic Games, though ended up sick and therefore unable to attend. Nonetheless, in his short life that spanned twenty-nine years, he walked across Canada and he became a celebrated decathlete.
- Margaree is pronounced Magré (ma-grA) in French, and East Margaree, where the Games are celebrated, is an Acadian community. That is why you'll find a few things around the property painted in red, white, blue and yellow - the colours of the Acadian flag. Also, France has a deep history rooted in celebrating Scottish athletics, as well. For more information, visit the AJEF's website.
- In June 2015, the Margaree Highland Games forged a formal partnership with Highland Games Bressuire in France in an effort to support and strengthen one another's events.
- Events celebrated at the Margaree Highland Games include the caber toss, the hammer throw, the stone throw, the farmer's walk and the sheaf toss. Highland dancing, piping and drumming are also celebrated on site each year.
- The MacArthur School of Dance gives of its time almost every year to bring dancers to the Margaree area for our event.