The Otago Scottish Heritage Council is an umbrella organisation for creative and social groups throughout Otago
celebrating the heritage and culture of Scotland. To learn more about any of them, click a name below.

  • Special Event Notices

  • Otago Scottish Heritage Council Newsletters and Notices

  • Royal Scottish Country Dance Society Newsletters and Notices

  • Balclutha Pipe Band

    The Balclutha Pipe Band is a small band, currently in a period of rebuilding and training some enthusiastic young drummers. We lead the ANZAC Day parade in Balclutha, take part in the Grand Parade at the South Otago A&P Show. We are also involved in other community events such Telford Graduation and the Christmas Parade.

    We have not competed for the past couple of seasons, but are working towards having a band ready to attend Octagonal Day in February, competing in Grade 4.

    Band practice is on Monday nights, 7.30pm at the Pipe Band Hall, Glasgow Street, Balclutha. New pipers and drummers are always welcome.

  • Balmoral Scottish Country Dancing Club

    This year’s Balmoral S.C.D.C Annual Open Night Dance is to be held on Saturday 16th June 2018, starting at 4pm at Eveline Church Hall, 424 Thames Highway, Oamaru.

    Charges: Adult $8   |   Children/Spectators $4   |   Raffles $1

    Click here for the Programme
    Click here for dance instructions

  • Burns Scottish Country Dancing

    The Burns Scottish Country Dance Club
    meets at the Chalmers Hall
    of the South Dunedin Presbyterian Church
    at 7:30 on Monday Evenings

    404 King Edward Street - see map

    Contact Pam or Neville at 489 0453

  • Caledonian Society

    SPECIAL: Society Seeking New Treasurer

    Other Society Notices  -------

    Mid Year Event & Dinner 15-July 2018
    OARsom Morning Show Interview of John Stinson

    The Caledonian Society of Otago was established in 1862 making it the oldest Scottish Society in New Zealand. The original objects of the Society were the promotion of Benevolence, National Literature, Customs and Accomplishments with the main purpose 'Getting up Scottish Games'.

    In its formative years the Caledonian Society also played a prominent role in the field of Education being the initial instigator of Night Education Classes in Dunedin. Sports Meetings with a traditional Scottish element have also played a big part in the life of the Caledonian Society two prime examples being those held in 1948 celebrating the Centenary of the Otago Province and in 1963 the Caledonian Society's Centennial Year.

    Today the Caledonian Society in spite of considerably reduced membership still plays an active role in the Otago Community. Current activities operated by the Caledonian Society include:

    - Provide demonstrations of traditional Highland Events around the
       Otago A & P Show Circuit

    - Host an annual Mid Year Function for Members, all fellow Scottish
       Organisations and the General Public

    - Sponsor Events at the Queens Birthday Otago Piping and
       Dancing Competitions

    - Co-organise the Annual Paape Cup Children's Athletics Meeting

    - Sponsor both Senior Girls and Senior Boys High Jump Competition
       at the Otago Secondary Schools Athletics Meeting

    - Provide an Annual $500 Grant to assist a young person carrying
       Scottish Connections in fulfilling their chosen career.

    The Caledonian Society would welcome new members for a Subscription Fee of $18.

    Please contact:
    President, Kieran Columb Ph 489-4027, or
    Secretary John Stinson Ph 455-8839

  • Ceilidh Club

    SPECIAL EVENT: Open Night 29 September

    The Ceilidh Club was founded in 1982 by Dave Favel, Jan Idour and Freda Jemmett. The Club's aim is to promote the traditions and enjoyment of Scottish Country Dancing. The Club meets on Monday nights in St John's Church Hall, Roslyn, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, from early February until early December.

    Two classes are provided - Beginner/Intermediate, and General. The Club’s 2017 annual dance is to be held on 26 August.

    Janet 03 473 8178 (or) 021 0501 800
    Ruth 03 466 7647 (or) 021 1251 287.

  • City of Dunedin Pipe Band

    Information to be provided.
  • Clan Donald

  • Clan Elliott

    Information to be provided.
  • Clan Gunn  

    The Dunedin branch of Clan Gunn started almost fourteen years ago with three members. We now number 25. It is like a big family when we all meet and everybody gets on very well with each other. We meet as a Dunedin group four times a year but we do have the occasional dinner outside of those official meetings...

    More Information

      - About Clan Gunn
      - A Short History
      - Clan Gunn Septs
      - Membership Application

  • Clan Johnston/e


    WEEKEND OF 18 – 20 MAY 2018

    A warm invitation to anyone with Johnston/e Family links to join us!! Find out about your Scottish ancestry and share your family histories and Clan memorabilia.

    Registrations close 20 April 2018
    For more information about the weekend activities contact Marie Johnston 027 433 1825 Email Or Joan Little 03 235 8281

  • Clan MacKenzie

    Information to be provided.
  • Clan McLean Otago

    Information to be provided.
  • Clan MacLeod

    Information to be provided.
  • Clan MacNicol

    Clan MacNicol was formed in 1986 by the late Mr Jack Nicholson and his wife Eileen. Although a small membership in New Zealand we are part of a very active Worldwide Clan. An International Gathering is held every two years with the Gathering being held on the Isle of Skye every fourth year. The International Gathering was held in Dunedin in 2006 with Clan members from the UK, Canada, the USA and all parts of Australia attending. Our members have regularly attended these Gatherings, latterly held in Skye, Vancouver, Tasmania, and Florida.

    Locally our branch meets for Social events four times a year and is active in other Scottish events. Members attend and promote our Clan at South Island Highland Games and local events.

    Contact for more information about joining Clan MacNicol- Lyn and Bruce Nicholson.

    Phone 03 454 5510 or email

    Download the History of Clan MacNicol

  • Clan Murray

    Information to be provided.
  • Dunedin Burns Club

    The Dunedin Burns Club is established to keep alive the songs and poetry of Scotland’s national bard. We accommodate as many tastes as possible by providing, at the concerts, a wide variety of Scottish entertainment including songs, recitations and instrumental numbers. The Club also encourages young artists to foster in young New Zealanders a love of the works of Burns and an awareness of the nation and heritage.

    More Information

    New members are most welcome.
    The annual membership fees are: single $10, membership for all the family $12. Application forms are available at the Club’s website

    The membership fee can be posted to the Club Treasurer:
    Dunedin Burns Club (Inc),
    1 Spencer Street, Anderson Bay,
    Dunedin 9013 or paid by direct credit internet banking to:
    The Dunedin Burns Club Inc,
    020900 00523 7500
    and the details of the application E-mailed to the
    Treasurer: Frances Brodie, E-mail:

    A special appeal from our friend Arno Löffler:
    "My Bonie Bell" will be the second compilation LP of songs by the Scottish bard Robbie Burns (1759-1796) on Zelle Records. My wee one-man, vinyl-only label is based in Vienna, Austria. I specialise in alternative rock and pop music from Dunedin.

    Please donate today to the production of "My Bonie Bell"
  • Dunedin-Edinburgh Sister City Society

    Information to be provided.
  • Gaelic Society of Dunedin, NZ

    The Gaelic Society of Dunedin was founded in March 2016 under the impetus of Catriona Parsons of the Isle of Lewis and Nova Scotia. Its predecessor, the Gaelic Society of New Zealand was founded in 1881 and consisted wholly of native Gaelic speakers. When it was closed in 2006 Gaelic learners outnumbered the few native speakers.

    The Society aims to foster the Gaelic Language and its Culture and world view, recognising that Scottish Gaels, together with Lowland Scots, contributed in large part to the founding of Dunedin, the Otago province, and to the building of the nation of New Zealand.

    The Society intends to bring together native Gaelic speakers, proficient Gaelic speakers, Gaelic learners, and those who need to hear the language, music, poetry and stories of Gaeldom past and present.

    Gaelic class
    A Gaelic class is held on Wednesdays 7 - 8 pm (starting 18.3.20)
    at the University of Otago Foundation and Language Centre,
    130 Anzac Avenue.
    Entrance from Union Street side of building along Logan Park.
    Knock on 5th/last window to be let in.

    Contact: Alison Thornton, email

    Easy Conversational Gaelic and Gaelic songs.
    No prior knowledge required.

    The Gaelic Society’s Ceilidh will take place on the fourth or fifth week of the month at the same time and venue.

    Contact: Alison Thornton, email

  • Pipes and Drums of Dunedin

    Information to be provided.
  • Piping and Dancing of Dunedin

    Information to be provided.
  • Royal Scottish Country Dance Society

    The RSCDS New Zealand Branch Inc is an autonomous local association of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. It aims to:
    - Preserve and further the practice of traditional Scottish Country Dances
      and modern dances in traditional style
    - Provide or assist in providing instruction in the dancing of
      Scottish Country Dances
    - Promote the enjoyment and appreciation of Scottish Country
      Dancing and music

    The following are available for Summer School 2017/18
    Click on each to download more information

      - DANCER - ADULT - Less than 3 years experience
      - DANCER - ADULT - More than 3 years experience
      - JAMS
      - Download the Universal Application Form

    Details available at:

    Applications to be filed by 30 June 2017 to:

    Secretary, RSCDS NZ Branch
    P O Box 36341
    Northcote, Auckland 0748
    Phone, 09 9486864

  • Scottish Scarves

    Information to be provided.
  • Scottish Society of Dunedin

    The Society was formed in 1932. We present a social event on the third Saturday of every month with dances being a mixture of old time and modern sequence.

    By prior arrangement, we operate charity dances for organisations raising funds (St John's, cancer society, etc).

    Annually in August, we host a Scottish Ball with a grand march and a haggis ceremony where guests are encouraged to come in their kilts.

    Events are held in Fairfield Hall from 8pm until 11:30pm.

    For more information, Contact:
    Diane White
    03 418 1243
  • Scottish Week in Roxburgh

    Information to be provided.
  • Sister Cities ~ Tartan Ties Project

    Sister Cities ~ Tartan Ties is a reciprocal collaborative celebration between Dunedin and Edinburgh highlighting our history and ongoing connection. This bi-annual event is due in Dunedin from Mid November 2017 with a reciprocal visit to Edinburgh late January 2018

    The concept is a reciprocal collaborative gathering of performers from both our cities. It combines our history, food and beverage into an event biannually - November downunder culminating in St Andrews Day in Dunedin and around Burns Day in Edinburgh and Celtic Connections Festival Glasgow where we have an annual collaborative show late January early February. We are now looking at each visit to tour, taking our cities to the whole of Scotland and New Zealand over a two week period. As the project moves forward, we will look to develop and build the show as a stand alone entity – bringing in other elements to the event will broaden its base of appeal to both audiences, contributors and for sponsors to support and become involved with hence the idea of bringing in local food, beverage even art / crafts. It’s a showcase for both cities / areas within each others city and country.

  • Southern Heritage Trust    (Note: Festival 13-23 Oct)

    Fri 13 - Mon 23 October (Labour weekend)

    • To establish and promote Dunedin as NZ's Heritage city and the biennial
      Dunedin Heritage Festival a major festival on the city's calendar.
    • Events and activities featuring the harbour's rich and colourful
      history for people of all ages to appreciate and enjoy.

    Suggestions for activities are most welcome from any community group, organization or individual.

    CONTACT Ann Barsby:
    479 0169, or

    Click here to see what is planned.
  • Strathallan Scottish Country Dance Club

    60th Anniversary Dance
    26 May 2018
    Waimataitai School Hall 4 pm.
    Music by duo, Natalie and Clare; 'Wee Doch and Doris'

    More Information
  • Taieri Scottish Society

    Information to be provided.
© 2023 Otago Scottish Heritage Council