Jamie McGeechan to Play Archer in Robert the Bruce Film

Image via littlefiremusic.com

Our friend Jamie McGeechan, aka talented singer-songwriter Little Fire, has some exciting news! He has been cast as an archer in the upcoming original Netflix movie, Outlaw King, which is now filming in Scotland!

Outlaw King is an exciting new historical epic that will center around Robert the Bruce! The film will tell the story of how the 14th Century Scottish “Outlaw King” was able to defeat the occupying English army in the Wars of Scottish Independence. The movie, directed by Scottish director David Mackenzie, will star Chris Pine as Robert The Bruce. Other actors appearing in the movie include Billy Howle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Callan Mulvey, and Florence Pugh. 

Jamie McGeechan, who joined The American-Scottish Foundation® in New York to perform at our Burns Night Celebration in 2015 and during NYC Tartan Week in recent years, will be busy filming through the end of the year.

We hope to see Jamie back in the US in 2018 – that is, if he has time to drop his bow and arrow and take a trip to the Big Apple! 

ASF Spotlight: American Friends of Scotland’s Canals & Waterways

Help support Scottish Waterways Trust Crowd Funding Appeal for Falkirk Community Hub Center!  The deadline to meet the 10,000 GBP goal is September 13th, 2017 – so please act now.

In May the Hub, which acted as an outdoor “classroom,” shelter and community meet up spot for Falkirk, was lost to a fire – deliberately set.

The American-Scottish Foundation is supporting the initiative to rebuild the Waterways Hub, and offers you a way to support with a tax deductible donation via ASF Paypal Link.

The Waterways HubYou can also donate directly to the UK Crowd Funding campaign (this will not carry a US Tax Deduction).

If you have questions please call the ASF Office on t. 212 605 0338.

ASF suggested levels of support for the The Scottish Waterways Trust Crowd funding Hub Campaign:
$25   $45   $75   $150   $250   $500   $750   $1000   $1500

For US Donations click here and enter your level of support.

ASF Spotlight: NTS USA

The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA

The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA have just unveiled an exciting new initiative – “Project Reveal.”

Six curatorial inventory teams have begun to catalog and photograph all of the collections displayed and stored in 47 NTS properties, including Brodie CastlePitmedden Garden, and Culzean Castle and Country Park.

The cataloging process will take 18 months, as there are over 100,000 objects to be recorded!

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Image via ntsusa.org

By the end of the project, the NTS will have an updated and accurate database record of every item in its care, which will in turn help the Trust effectively manage these collections.

This will mean that it will be easier than ever for the NTS to share the history and beauty of its collections.

Most of the Trust’s collections are on display at historic houses, castles, cottages and workshops, which means that a lot of the curatorial inventory will take place in front of visitors.

We look forward to learning more about the NTS USA ‘s hidden treasures, and the exciting stories that “Project Reveal” will have to share.

5 Scottish Gins We’ve Been Sipping All Summer

Everyone knows that Scotland is home to some pretty amazing whisky, but these days, its the Scottish gin market that’s making a giant splash! Small craft distilleries are popping up all over the country, and even Scottish whisky companies are making their way into the gin market!

The majority of all UK-made Gin is produced in Scotland, including the biggest names in the gin market, like Hendrick’s, Tanqueray and Gordon’s. Here at the American-Scottish Foundation, we’ve been keeping cool this summer by sipping on some lesser-known, but ultra refreshing Scottish gins. Here are five of our favorites:

1. Kirsty’s Gin

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Image via arbikie.com

Kirsty’s Gin, distilled by Arbikie Highland Estate Distillery in Angus, is a perfect treat for the August heat. Named after Arbikie’s Master Distiller, Kirsty Black, this gin is beautifully floral. A truly Scottish tipple, Kirsty’s uses potatoes grown in Arbikie’s own fields. Kelp, carline thistle, and blaeberry botanicals give the drink a taste that is simultaneously earthy and oceanic.

Though this gin is delicious on its own, we recommend pouring it into well-iced glass of tonic, garnished with muddled blueberries, simple syrup, and a sprig of thyme. Lean back, sip, repeat.

2. Daffy’s Gin

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Image via daffysgin.com

Daffy’s Gin, made in Edinburgh, is another one of our summer favorites. It’s particularly unique for its distilling process, which uses an ancient copper pot still, typically used for whisky-making. The gin features eight different botanicals that produce a powerful and vibrant taste: juniper, mint, coriander, angelica root, Spanish lemon and orange peels, cassia bark, and orris root.

Daffy’s Gin recently took home the trophy for the World’s Best Martini at an annual competition held in London, England. So, naturally, we’d have to recommend making yourself a Daffy’s martini – shaken or stirred.

3. Caorunn Gin

World Gin Day

Image via caorunngin.com

Caorunn is a deliciously crisp gin made at the Balmenach distillery in Speyside, which is actually famous for its whisky! It’s the only gin in the world that’s made in a Copper Berry Chamber. Its unique flavor can be attributed to its use of Scottish water, traditional botanicals, and five additional botanicals with extra Scottish flair: rowan berries, heather, dandelion, bog myrtle, and caol blush apples.

Caorunn recommends serving their gin with cold tonic and sliced apples – and so far this method is proving pretty delicious for us!

4. Edinburgh Seaside Gin

Edinburgh's Seaside Gin

Image via edinburghgin.com

This time of year, we love being beach bums, so naturally we had to give Edinburgh Seaside Gin a try. Edinburgh Gins are produced by the Nicols of Spencerfield Spirits company, a family-run business in Scotland’s capital city. Their Seaside Gin is inspired by the Scottish coast, and employs seaweed, scurvy grass and ground ivy to give it a real summertime taste.

This gin is light and sweet, so we’ve been enjoying it with just a bit of tonic and a twist of lime! So pour one out, and hit the beach!

5. The Botanist

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Image via thebotanist.com

The Botanist is produced at Bruicladdich Distillery on the island of Islay, and uses a huge number of botanicals to get its flowery flavor – 31 to be exact! These botanicals, which include mugwort, meadowsweet, gorse and wild mint, give the gin a powerful and unique taste. With a name like the Botanist, it’s no surprise this gin serves up a whole bouquet of flavors.

We’ve been enjoying this floral gin with a dash of rosewater, mint leaves and cold tonic. Throw in a few rose petals for a little extra pretty-ness!

ASF Corporate Members

With grateful thanks to our ASF Corporate Members. Learn more of our Members by clicking on their logos:


Visit Scotland

American Friends of Scotland’s Canals & Waterways


The Helix

Scottish Canals

NYC Landmarks 50

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Clan Chief Tours

Scottish Waterways Trust

The Archie Foundation

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University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh Business School

Harney & Sons

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University of Aberdeen

Scottish Tartans Authority

ASF members promo code ASFWWBC14

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Dunmore Scotland

Andy Scott Sculpture

Ken Paterson Photography


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Broad Daylight

Stevens & Graham

Clan Hannay

Global EMA

Asia Scotland Institute

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City of Glasgow College

Mountbatten Institute

Burns Society
of the City of New York

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21st Century Kilts

Siobhan Mackenzie

Jones Wood Foundry

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The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA

Walkers Shortbread

The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA

The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra

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Gray Line Scotland

Coach USA

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The Scottish Banner

British Heritage Travel

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


Highland Games & Festivals – Autumn 2017

Image via bcgg.org

Music, sports, food, and fun – the Highland Games have it all, and in distinctly Scottish style! No matter where you are, these events transport you straight to bonny Scotland!

These celebrations are a wonderful way to experience and enjoy our Scottish heritage and culture over here in North America!

Whether you’re in Ontario, Tennessee, or somewhere in between, every North American-Scot can enjoy the magic of the Games.

Here is The American-Scottish Foundation® Guide to some of the leading North American Highland Games and Festivals in the coming months:

Highland Games & Festivals, North America
August – October 2017

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Image via yankeedoodle.nl


August 10 – 13
Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games
Fergus, Canada

August 19
Maine Highland Games
Topsham, Maine

August 19 – 20
Bitterroot Celtic Games & Gathering
Hamilton, Montana

August 26
Long Island Scottish Festival and Highland Games
Old Westbury, NY


September 2 – 3
Scottish Highland Gathering and Games The Caledonian Club of San Francisco
Pleasanton, CA

September 2 – 3
Virginia Scottish Games and Festival
Alexandria, VA

September 7 – 10
Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival
Estes Park, CO

September 9
Middle Tennessee Highland Games
Nashville, TN

September 9 – 10
Columbus Scottish Festival
Columbus, IN

September 14 – 17
Charleston Scottish Games & Highland Gathering
Charleston, SC

September 15 – 17
New Hampshire Highland Games 
Loon Mountain, NH

September 22 – 24
Celtic Classic Highland Games & Festival
Bethlehem, PA

September 23
Ligonier Highland Games
Ligonier, PA

September 29 – 30
St. Louis Scottish Games & Cultural Festival
Chesterfield, MO

September 30
Dandridge Scots-Irish Festival
Dandridge, Tennessee


October 7
Scotland County Highland Games
Laurinburg, NC

October 14
Indianapolis Scottish Highland Games & Festival
Indianapolis, IN

October 20 – 22
Stone Mountain Highland Games & Scottish Festival
Atlanta, GA

October 28 – 29
Carolina Caledonian Fest
Campbellton Landing Fayetteville, NC

Meet Lisa Kowalski: Teenage Singer-Songwriter From Paisley

Here at the American-Scottish Foundation, we have a long history of supporting young and emerging musicians from Scotland, looking to promote news around them and showcase their talents here in the States! When we heard Lisa Kowalski‘s tracks, we immediately wanted to know more about this talented singer-songwriter – and this teenage artist is certainly is a force to be reckoned with!

At just seventeen, Lisa has already recorded four tracks for her debut LP. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, last month Lisa won the over 16s category of the Live and Unsigned competition in Renfrewshire, backed by Paisley 2021 and Brick Lane Studios Paisley.  Lisa was also given a special mention at the Scottish Album of the Year Awards in Paisley last month, along with other esteemed Paisley artists like Gerry Rafferty and Paolo Nutini!

Lisa, who hails from Paisley, Scotland, began working towards her music career at just thirteen. She drew inspiration from another young singer, American artist Taylor Swift. Picking up an old guitar, Lisa taught herself Swift’s songs by ear. Soon she had learned Swift’s entire back catalogue. Armed with a guitar and a melodic voice, Lisa hit the main street of Paisley to entertain shoppers and passers-by.

Since those early days busking in Paisley, the young songstress has been busy writing her own music and performing at local bars, music festivals, conferences, and charity fundraisers. She has even serenaded thousands of sports fans during half time at Paisley’s soccer stadium and Ice Hockey arena.

Though Lisa was born and raised in Scotland, she has family in the US, and American influences are a big part of her music. In addition to her enduring idol, Taylor Swift, American artists who have inspired Lisa’s work include Halsey, Hunter Hayes, and Andy Grammer.

Lisa’s professional singing career took off about a year ago, when she was awarded a cultural grant from Paisley 2021, which offers financial support to artists to help showcase the creativity and talent of Paisley’s own. This EP includes the country-tinged track “Hearts of Gold,” which recounts her early experience singing in the street and the warmth and encouragement she received from her first audience, the people of Paisley.

At the American-Scottish Foundation, we are eager to hear what else Lisa has in store, and can’t wait until she hits the recording studio again. 2017 has already been a year full of musical milestones for young Lisa Kowalski, and the future is looking bright for this free spirit. We are looking forward to seeing her in New York soon!

Plans underway for the 20th Annual NY Tartan Day Parade – April 7th 2018.

Plans are already under way for the 20th Annual New York Tartan Day Parade which will be held on Saturday April 7th, 2018.  Leading up to Parade many events are being planned by all of us involved in the week.

Mark your calendars and plan to attend. Registration will open in September for those wishing to march in the Parade.  ASF Members and friends are invited to join our unit, marching with us up Sixth Avenue.

We are often asked WHY is the Parade in April? It is held the Saturday nearest to April 6th as that is the day now recognized as Tartan Day.

In 1998, following the efforts of The Scottish Coalition USA (of which ASF is a founding member),   Senate Resolution 155 (S. Res.155), proposed by US Senate Republican majority leader, Trent Lott, was passed unanimously. This was followed by companion bill House Resolution 41 which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 9, 2005 – and by Presidential Proclamation on April 4, 2008.

The ASF is so proud to be a founding member of the National Tartan Day New York Parade Committee - which comprises the St Andrews Society of the State of New York, The NY Caledonian Club, American-Scottish Foundation, Clan Campbell and Carnegie Hall.  Together NNYTD organizes the Parade and associated events of the week, as well as our own individual events.

New York Metro Pipe Band lead the ASF up
Sixth Avenue for the 19th Annual NY Tartan Day Parade
The American-Scottish Foundation “unit” prepare to march in the 2017 Parade- a thank you to all who joined us.    

ASF Spotlights leading Highland Games in the weeks ahead

Upcoming Highland Games : ASF Guide to some of the leading Highland Games and Festivals around NA in the coming weeks




EVENTS YOU MAY ENJOY from our friends and partners

The New York Musical Festival offers ASF Members & Friends special discounts as announce exciting and extensive program from July 10th – August 6th                         Sharp Theater,  42nd Street, NYC.

Now in its 13th year,  NYMF was created to provide a platform for new shows, new perspectives, bringing new blood to the musical theater canon.

 ASF begin by spotlighting two productions opening the Festival  for which we have special ASF Member & Friends Codes:

- 15% off performances of My Dear Watson, using the code ASF2017 at checkout. Max 4 tickets per order.  Box Office Link:

- 15% off the Opening Night of Dorian Gray on Wednesday July 12, using the code ASF2017 at checkout. Max 4 tickets per order.                Box Office Link:

Based upon the legendary friendship of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson. Through the mystery, action, and cleverness woven throughout Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, MY DEAR WATSON a dramatic musical told from the perspective of Dr. Watson.

The shows playwright,  Jami-Leigh Bartschi, is also arranging a small token for ASF attendees – when booking it will ask

“How did you hear about this show,” choose “other” and put ASF in there – you will receive “a small token of our appreciation when they check in at the show“.

Jay Sharp Theater
416 W. 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at 8:00 pm 
Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 1:00 pm
Friday, July 14, 2017 at 5:30 pm

 With found objects and big imaginations, an outcast troupe of players re-invents Oscar Wilde’s 1890 gothic tale of the young and mysterious Dorian Gray.

 Gray’s dashing looks are captured in a single portrait that allows him to remain young and untouched as he spirals into a lifestyle of dark secrets and dangerous indulgences. Featuring a haunting and romantic score, DORIAN GRAY begs the question: Do our sins define our true nature or are we damned by ignorance and mediocrity?