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Gunn's Annapolis Royal Celebration Tartan comes ashore for 2017

Kimberly Gunn, a piper and graphic designer, created the Annapolis Royal Celebration 2017 Tartan. She’s seen here at Fort Anne.
Kimberly Gunn, a piper and graphic designer, created the Annapolis Royal Celebration 2017 Tartan. She’s seen here at Fort Anne.

ANNAPOLIS ROYAL - When you have a bagpiper named Gunn who is also a graphic designer, something Scottish is bound to happen. And it did.

Kimberly Gunn created the Annapolis Royal Celebration 2017 Tartan that was recently endorsed by the town and so beloved by the mayor he wants a kilt made from the fabric. His name is William MacDonald, so that will work.

Created in anticipation of Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, the celebration tartan is intended to be a lasting cultural fabric for this area, said Gunn, noting that it is inspired by the seasonal colours of the North Mountain, the Annapolis River, and Bay of Fundy, as well as the lush green landscapes, lupines, and red soil.

And it’s celebratory, and modern, with a nod to history and place -- but with a vision to a bright, shared future.

“I couldn’t imagine a better way to combine the scenery, landscape, and cultures around us, with the significant contribution of the first Scots settlers to Canada -- in one of Canada’s most historically important communities -- than by designing a tartan. It’s the ultimate ‘cultural fabric,’” said Gunn.

Kimberly Gunn created the Annapolis Royal Celebration 2017 Tartan that was recently endorsed by the town and so beloved by the mayor he wants a kilt made from the fabric. His name is William MacDonald, so that will work.

Created in anticipation of Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, the celebration tartan is intended to be a lasting cultural fabric for this area, said Gunn, noting that it is inspired by the seasonal colours of the North Mountain, the Annapolis River, and Bay of Fundy, as well as the lush green landscapes, lupines, and red soil.

And it’s celebratory, and modern, with a nod to history and place -- but with a vision to a bright, shared future.

“I couldn’t imagine a better way to combine the scenery, landscape, and cultures around us, with the significant contribution of the first Scots settlers to Canada -- in one of Canada’s most historically important communities -- than by designing a tartan. It’s the ultimate ‘cultural fabric,’” said Gunn.

The History

“Most people think of Pictou, NS and the fabulous story they tell of the Scots arrival in 1773 (and further migration to Cape Breton),” said Gunn. “What many don’t realize is that the story actually began right here in 1629 with 70 souls, under the leadership of Sir William Alexander. The Annapolis Royal area is the true home of New Scotland in Canada.”

While only lasting three short years, this settlement had a profound impact on Canadian

history -- ultimately contributing to Nova Scotia’s name, flag, and coat of arms, she said.

“Fort Anne National Historic Site is home to one of only two known, hand-written copies of the charter declaring this area as New Scotland,” she said. “That’s incredible to me -- and I’m sure to many others. Let’s tell that story. Let’s start with this tartan.”

Mayor MacDonald has been characterizing Annapolis Royal as ‘the cradle of our nation.' The tartan symbolizes it beautifully, he said.

 

All-Embracing

“This tartan signifies not only the origins of New Scotland in Annapolis Royal, but is also all-embracing of all the communities who share their history in this area,” said MacDonald in a Nov. 17 letter to Gunn in support of the tartan. “The Town of Annapolis Royal is more than pleased to allow the Annapolis Royal name for use in the official registration with the Scottish Registry of Tartans, and plans to adopt use of the tartan with pride.”

“The weaves of this tartan beautifully represent the multi-faceted history that is so significant to Annapolis Royal; as the many threads of our history have been woven together to create the Town and community we know today,” he wrote on behalf of council. “We could not be more pleased to offer our heartfelt support and appreciation for this.”

And while the tartan has been endorsed by the Town of Annapolis Royal, the dream was made possible through AIRO (Annapolis Investments in Rural Opportunity).

 

Tartan Wave

“Kimberly Gunn shared with us an idea she had been holding close to her heart for over two years – a tartan designed in honour of the Town of Annapolis Royal and its rich heritage to celebrate Canada’s 150th,” said AIRO’s Jane Nicholson. “To say we were blown away by the design and by the idea of her new company, Tartan Wave, is an understatement. We were happy to help make this business possible with a financial contribution.”

Tartan Wave will employ local artisans to produce ‘Made in Annapolis Royal’ fashion, home, and bespoke items using Gunn’s tartan as its primary design material, said Nicholson. Gunn’s new company will expand to include local tartan variations, regional tartans, and the provincial Nova Scotia tartan in the future.

The Annapolis Royal 2017 Celebration Tartan has been registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans and Gunn is expecting to take delivery of the tartan in time for Tartan Day on April 6, 2017.

 

About Kimberly Gunn

Kimberly Gunn moved here in 2012 with her husband, David Kirk. They brought their bagpipes and an interest in Scottish/Canadian culture with them. Gunn saw an opportunity to make a personal contribution to Canada’s upcoming 150th milestone. The tartan is a gesture to the community in Canada’s 150th year.

This is the Annapolis Royal Celebration 2017 Tartan designed by Kimberly Gunn. It will ‘come ashore’ at Annapolis Royal in the New Year.

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