Built around the annual Tartan Day celebrations in the USA and Canada on April 6, Scotland Week is an annual week-long programme of business, political and tourism engagements aimed at the promotion of Scotland.
The network was founded in 2009 and launched in 2010. Founder Brian Hughes had been visiting the United States when he noticed people claimed a connection to Scotland when they heard his accent. The result was an exploration of direct heritage and love for Scottish culture in a social form.
Kiltr has been in beta for a long time and the company says that the refresh could be used to create verticals around specific topics such as nationality, football teams or other interests.
Members of the Kiltr team will host a launch event in Manhattan, which will include a panel discussion on the next wave of social networking, chaired by Scottish singer and writer Pat Kane. The event will also be streamed on the Kiltr site so the whole Scottish diaspora and their friends can take a look.
Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, will welcome guests to the Kiltr event via a pre-recorded video message.
In a statement on the Kiltr blog, Hughes says:
“We know that Scotland holds a special place in the hearts of millions of people all across the globe. Through Kiltr we’re providing a place for those people to connect; to find and share news, views and great Scottish content; to build friendships and business relationships that will be vital to Scotland’s future, commercially and culturally.
“Scots always receive a warm welcome in the U.S. so I’m sure Kiltr will get a great reception. Anyone interested in attending our launch event is more than welcome to come along.”
As Scotland has made headlines already this week with the lifting of a ban on bag-piping buskers in Canada, it seems high-time the country was supported with its own network to celebrate everything from the time honoured classics of tartan and haggis to the thriving tech scene that brings networks like Kiltr to the fore.