OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 6, 2016) - Today is National Tartan Day-a day for celebrating the contributions to our country of the more than four million Canadians who have Scottish ancestry. Canada joins with many other countries around the world today in recognizing the achievements of their citizens who hail from Scotland. National Tartan Day is marked annually on April 6, the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, the Scottish declaration of independence, in 1320.

The tartan, a traditional woolen fabric woven in patterns that look checkered or striped (plaid), has long been a symbol of Scotland and is worn proudly by members of its diaspora, including those in Canada.

Canada's national tartan, the Maple Leaf Tartan, was created in 1964 by David Weiser in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Confederation in 1967. It was proudly worn by Canadians for many years and elevated to official status in 2010.

This year, as we mark the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, we acknowledge the many women of Scottish heritage who have contributed a great deal to Canada. They include suffragist Nellie McClung; the first woman doctor licensed in Ontario, Jenny Kidd Gowanlock Trout; the first woman elected to the House of Commons, Agnes McPhail; and renowned Canadian author Alice Munro.

As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I encourage all Canadians to celebrate the accomplishments, honour the people, and commemorate the events that helped shape the Canada we know today.

Learn more about our official tartan, The Maple Leaf Tartan, and wear it with pride!

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Contact Information:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Canadian Heritage

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage