Whiskey, haggis to toast the Scottish bard

Rosie Carver (with violin), Michelle Carlisle, Michael Viens and Tim Renaud of Blackthorn will honour Robbie Burns at Coquitlam
Rosie Carver (with violin), Michelle Carlisle, Michael Viens and Tim Renaud of Blackthorn will honour Robbie Burns at Coquitlam's Place des Arts on Jan. 18.

A lively Celtic band will once again pay homage to the Scottish poet Robbie Burns at an annual celebration dinner and concert at Coquitlam’s Place des Arts next week.

Blackthorn will return to the Maillardville facility for the feast and show on Saturday, Jan. 18 for the second Burns’ tribute night.

Blackthorn fiddler Rosie Carver, who has been a Place des Arts faculty member for four years, said the band this year will focus on songs and poems of Burns, who was born on Jan. 25, 1759.

“We’ll have some beautiful ballads as well as some boisterous things that we’ll be playing so it’s definitely going to be a mix of tunes and instrumental,” she said.

But before Blackthorn starts up, attendees will be served a hearty Scottish stew with skirlie potato cakes, green salad and whiskey-soaked sponge cake and sweet cream (a vegetarian version is also available).

And as with the inaugural Burns’ night in 2012, Michael Fera — Place des Arts’ special events co-ordinator — will be in the kitchen to prepare the grub. “He did such a great job last year with the traditional meal,” Carver said. “Everyone was very satisfied.”

As for the address to the haggis, Maillardville native and piper Vincent Coulombe (the nephew of Blackthorn’s Michael Viens) will deliver the speech during the concert intermission. And whiskey, wine and beer can be had at the cash bar to wash down the dish.

The party isn’t just for Scots or those with a Celtic blood, said Carver, who has a Hungarian background. “Certainly anybody is welcome,” she said, adding, “The charm is sharing it in such a beautiful location, and it’s such a wonderful room to play in because of the acoustics.”

• Tickets for the dinner and concert are $35, or for the concert only $15/$13. Call 604-664-1636 or go online to placedesarts.ca to save a seat.





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