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CONTACT: Leah Rankin | Communications Director
NYC Tartan Week Announces 2023 NYC Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshal: Gail Porter
Gail Porter Leads 25th Anniversary
Tartan Day Parade Held on April 15
Grand Marshal Brings 30 Young Musicians from
Scotland’s Pulse of the Place as
Ambassadors for World Fair Trade Tartan
February 28, 2023 (New York, NY) — NYC Tartan Week, the largest annual Scottish cultural gathering in NYC, announces the 2023 NYC Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshal, Scottish television personality, model, and actor Gail Porter. In celebration of NYC Tartan Week’s 25th anniversary, Ms. Porter leads over 1,500 registered marchers on Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. up Sixth Avenue between 44th St. & 55th St.
“I’m so honored to be named Grand Marshal of the NYC Tartan Day Parade this year,” Gail Porter said. “Being a proud Scottish woman leading such a significant event in NYC, while supporting World Fair Trade Tartan alongside the incredibly gifted young musicians of Pulse of the Place, shows the global impact of Scottish culture – that we can be an example of diversity, inclusivity, creativity, and resilience throughout the world.”
One of the UK’s most sought-after female TV presenters, Gail Porter is recognized for featuring in shows including Fully Booked (1995), The Movie Chart Show (2000), and Live & Kicking (1993), and was the subject of the BAFTA award-winning BBC documentary Being Gail Porter (2020) during which she opened up about her struggles with mental health. Known for her outspokenness in raising awareness for alopecia, Ms. Porter published her hair loss story in an autobiography, “Laid Bare: My Story of Love, Fame and Survival,” in 2007.
As part of her continued support and involvement with World Fair Trade Tartan – a tartan and clan organization created to promote Scotland’s renewed Fair Trade Nation status and to benefit World Fair Trade Organization’s (WFTO) members across the globe – Ms. Porter represents World Fair Trade Tartan and celebrates Scotland’s tenth year as a Fair Trade Nation by wearing a kilt designed by Howie Nicholsby of 21st Century Kilts. Ms. Porter also brings with her 30 young drummers from Scotland’s Pulse of the Place, a youth music initiative that provides young people ages 8-19 with diverse backgrounds the opportunity to make music with their peers free of charge. The musicians march together with Ms. Porter as ambassadors of World Fair Trade Tartan.
“We are thrilled to welcome Gail Porter as this year’s NYC Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshal,” said Kyle Dawson, president of the National Tartan Day New York Committee. “She joins a growing lineup of Scottish women representing NYC Tartan Week, and we couldn’t imagine a better representative for Scottish culture to kick off our 25th anniversary parade.”
Ms. Porter joins the roster of acclaimed NYC Tartan Day Parade Grand Marshals including actor Karen Gillan (2022); actor Brian Cox (2020, 2012); actor, musician, and comedian Sir Billy Connolly (2019); musician KT Tunstall (2018); actor Tommy Flanagan (2018); actor Sam Heughan (2016); and more. For a full list of Grand Marshals, visit https://www.nyctartanweek.org/about-us/
The 2023 NYC Tartan Week and the NYC Tartan Day Parade are organized by the National Tartan Day New York Committee with support from Scotland Shop, Belhaven, NHSCOT, The Scottish Government, Scottish Business Network, New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, and Compliant Global.
NYC Tartan Day Parade – 25th Anniversary
Gail Porter, Grand Marshal
Saturday, April 15 at 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sixth Avenue between 44th St. & 55th St.
About Gail Porter
Edinburgh-born and London-based Gail Porter speaks from the heart about the ups and downs of her life and in particular her experiences of mental illness to help others.
While enjoying a successful career as a television presenter, personality and model, Gail suffered from self-doubt, anxiety, depression and anorexia. She went on to experience post-natal depression, alopecia, self-harm, divorce and homelessness.
Gail, the subject of the BAFTA award-winning BBC documentary Being Gail Porter, now bravely shares her story to help individuals and organizations better understand these issues which are increasingly prevalent in today’s world and workplace, and to how to support those experiencing problems.
As a motivational speaker and an ambassador for several charities, she shows others how to overcome adversity, be more resilient and make a difference in the world.
About World Fair Trade Tartan
World Fair Trade Tartan has been created to benefit World Fair Trade Organizations (WFTO) members across the globe and promote Scotland as a Fair Trade Nation.
The vision for this new and very beautiful tartan will be woven in Scotland for kilts and a range of accessories to be woven by World Fair Trade Organizations around the world. The tartan will serve as a brand and clan tartan for World Fair Trade Organization members as well serves to promote Scotland’s Fair Trade Nation status.
Development of the tartan design and colors has been a long but meaningful process and made possible with a great team of people. The tartan was created by Tania Pramschufer, director Hand Up Events, a social action business that exists to platform and promote Fair Trade, who worked with Nick Statt and Trudie Ainsworth from House of Edgar, a great Scottish company with a heritage of more than 200 years weaving and with a robust ethical and environmental commitment.
Working together on the design to create World Fair Trade Tartan, the colors and design of this new tartan have been inspired by and gifted to World Fair Trade Organization GS members to weave using wool and or cotton and then to make into tartan accessories.
The first Scottish weave was sponsored with a small but meaningful grant from The Scottish Government and the tartan was finally launched at two events organized by Hand Up Events on May 13th World Fair Trade Day 2017 and with the honor of WFTO President, Rudi Dalvai attending from Italy and Scottish Government Minister for International Development and Europe, Dr. Alasdair Allan. This marked the beginning of this truly wonderful and uniting tartan journey that we are looking to share with the world.
About Pulse of the Place
Pulse of the Place is a vibrant youth samba drumming band, who have brought samba to a new audience with their infectious rhythms and their exciting samba fusion with rock and pipe bands. Pulse of the Place is made up of young people in the North Edinburgh Area from 14 different schools. In 2012, they performed as part of the spectator experience at the Paralympic Games in London. Since 2017, the group has participated in several events organized by Hand Up Events, performing at the Scottish Parliament and at a number of concerts and events including the World Fair Trade Tartan launch at Fair Trade Fiesta 2017; fashionABLE fashion shows; World Fair Trade Day 2019 at the Usher Hall alongside great friend of World Fair Trade Tartan Gail Porter, and they aim to represent Scotland as a Fair Trade Nation with World Fair Trade Tartan at the Tartan Day Parade 2023 in New York City.
About NYC Tartan Week & Tartan Day Parade
In 1999, two pipe bands and a small but enthusiastic group of Scottish Americans, led by Grand Marshal and Academy Award-winning actor Cliff Robertson, marched from the British Consulate to the UN in the first New York City Tartan Day Parade. Since then, the annual NYC Tartan Day Parade has brought together thousands of people from across NYC, the United States, and Scotland by providing meaningful connections through the celebration of Scottish heritage and culture. Organized by the National Tartan Day New York Committee, the Parade plays an integral role in marking National Tartan Day (April 6), a day declared by the U.S. Senate in 1998 to officially recognize the “outstanding achievements and contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States.” The NYC Tartan Day Parade, which is free to all those who participate and represents the highlight of a weeklong series of Scottish-themed festivities designated as “NYC Tartan Week,” includes over 3,000 bagpipers, Highland dancers, clan organizations, Scottish dog breeds, and more, proudly marching up Sixth Avenue amongst tens of thousands of spectators in person and online. The NYC Tartan Day Parade and NYC Tartan Week continue to attract the best Scottish and Scottish-American artists, entrepreneurs, organizations, and more in an effort to promote, support, and develop deeper personal connections with Scottish heritage in America. To find out more, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @nyctartanweek, and visit www.nyctartanweek.org.
About the National Tartan Day New York Committee
The National Tartan Day New York Committee was formed in 2002 and obtained official nonprofit 501(c)(3) status in 2003 to organize the NYC Tartan Day Parade and all the associated activities that make up NYC Tartan Week. In following its mission to celebrate and spread awareness of the contributions made by Scottish Americans to the United States, the committee continually partners with organizations throughout New York City, the United States, and Scotland to present opportunities for those who have or identify with Scottish heritage to connect through more than a dozen Scottish-themed events each year during NYC Tartan Week. The committee is committed to providing meaningful exchanges and inspiring experiences in order to showcase the rich Scottish heritage that continues to thrive in America. The committee is comprised of representatives from The Saint Andrew’s Society of the State of New York, The New York Caledonian Club, The American-Scottish Foundation, and Clan Campbell.
Photo at top of release by Tern TV.