Scottish Diaspora Tapestry

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry is a project to involve communities around the world in the celebration of Scottish heritage and culture.

Scots have migrated to every corner of the globe and have often had a profound impact on the areas where they settled.  Now a new embroidery project will record the stories of 25 such communities worldwide and the Embroiderers' Guild of Victoria is a participant. Several members of the Guild are busily stitching on 4 panels to meet a May 1 deadline.

The Scottish Diaspora Tapestry will consist of 250 individual panels, embroidered by volunteers in each community.  Their Scottish links will be documented and incorporated into the panels, which will all be assembled and displayed in Scotland as part of 2014 Homecoming.

The four panels we are working on are for Robert Dunsmuir, Agnes Deans Cameron, Simon Fraser, and Sir James Douglas.


 DunsmuirROBERT DUNSMUIR, was a coal-miner, entrepreneur, and politician, born 31 Aug. 1825 near Kilmarnock (Strathclyde), Scotland, the son of James Dunsmuir. He married Joanna (Joan) Olive White in 1847, and they had ten children. Robert died 12 April 1889 at Victoria, B.C. without ever seeing the completion of Craigdarroch Castle.

Read more…


click on images to see larger version

6000 Craigdarroch

Craigdarroch Castle



6065 Craigdarroch closeup


Drawing for the Dunsmuir panel ►


closeups of  the stitching completed on Craigdarroch Castle



6066 Craigdarroch closeup6067 Craigdarroch closeup



Cameron AGNES DEANS CAMERON, educator, writer, lecturer, and adventurer, was born 20 Dec. 1863 in Victoria, daughter of Duncan Cameron, a miner and contractor, and Jessie Anderson. She died there unmarried 13 May 1912.

The youngest child of successful Scots immigrant parents, Agnes Deans Cameron might well have been expected to follow the conventional route for women of her generation and background: marriage and motherhood. But Cameron’s personality, intellect, and outlook guided her towards paths less familiar to women. Along the way her many talents won her wide recognition.

Cameron’s initial choice of a teaching career was not an unusual one for a young Canadian woman in 1880. Her distinction lies in her level of achievement in the patriarchal public school system of British Columbia and her contributions to the western Canadian debates about education. Read more



5875 Agnes


                                               Work in progress on the Cameron panel


Fraser SIMON FRASER, fur-trader and explorer; was born at Mapletown (near Bennington, Vt) in 1776. He died on his farm near St Andrews, Stormont County, Canada West, 18 Aug. 1862. He was the eighth and youngest child of Simon Fraser, who was descended from the Frasers of Culbokie and Guisachan, a cadet branch of the Frasers of Lovat, and Isabella Grant, daughter of the laird of Daldregan.

Simon Fraser’s parents joined the noted migration of Highlanders, mostly Roman Catholics like themselves, who came to New York in the Pearl in 1773. After spending about a year in Albany the Frasers moved to Mapletown, where they settled on the farm on which the explorer was born.

Read more …





Work in progress on the Fraser panel











Douglas Sir JAMES DOUGLAS,  HBC officer and governor of   Vancouver Island and of the crown colony of British Columbia was born 5 June or 15 Aug. 1803. He died at Victoria, B.C., 2 Aug. 1877.

A “Scotch West Indian,” as he was known in the fur trade, James Douglas was the son of John Douglas and nephew of Lieutenant-General Sir Neill Douglas. John Douglas and his three brothers, merchants in Glasgow, held interests in sugar plantations in British Guiana. Read more…



Drawing for Douglas panel  ►

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