Amended  November 27, 2016
(Reprinted September 2000)

The Ottawa Highland Dancing Association was formed on November 13, 1951 to promote the knowledge and love of Highland Dancing, through supporting dancers in the greater Ottawa region, Ontario and Canada in organized competitive events (including the awarding of scholarships) and in other events for the greater furtherance of the Scottish culture as well as individual learning and development, such as in demonstrations, displays and workshops.


  1. The Association shall be called Ottawa Highland Dancing Association (OHDA).
  2. The OHDA shall have a common seal, which shall have engraved thereon the Motto Ottawa Highland Dancing Association.
  3. The OHDA shall be carried on without purpose of gain for its members and any profits or other gains to the Organization shall be used in promoting its objectives.


  1. The OHDA aims to stimulate knowledge and love of Canada’s Scottish heritage, and, in particular, the highland dance heritage, and ensure that it is passed from generation to generation. As well, the OHDA aims to create a wider interest in our cultural diversity via the promotion of highland dancing and linkages with multicultural events and organizations.
  2. The OHDA aims to provide dancers of all ages the venues and means to learn and experience highland dancing in a structured environment. This is particularly focused on but not limited to the greater Ottawa area. Dancers from across Ontario, as well as other parts of Canada, and other countries, are encouraged to participate in the events and activities organized and sponsored by the OHDA.



  1. Any person interested in the aims and objectives of the OHDA is eligible to be a member of the OHDA. There shall be SIX (6) types of membership:
    1. An ORDINARY MEMBERSHIP shall be open to any person (18 years of age or older) who wishes to compete in the OHDA’s competitions;
    2. A FAMILY MEMBERSHIP shall be open to any parents and dancers in one family in the same residence (a student in full-time study who lives away from the family residence for the purposes of his/her studies shall be deemed to be “in the same residence” and eligible to be part of a Family Membership);
    3. A TEACHER MEMBERSHIP shall be open to any adult member, in good standing, of a highland dance teachers’ association or society affiliated with the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (SOBHD) who is also a member of ScotDance Canada;
    4. An INDEPENDENT MEMBERSHIP shall be open to any adult who does not wish to compete in the OHDA competitions;
    5. A LIFE MEMBER: Any member, for valuable services, may be elected a “LIFE MEMBER” with all the rights and privileges of an Ordinary Member.
    6. An HONOURARY MEMBER: Any prominent person supporting the aims and objectives of the OHDA may be elected an “HONOURARY MEMBER” with all the rights and privileges of an Ordinary Member save those of voting, of holding Office or of having any interest in the property of the OHDA.

Note: Where there is a resident in one family in the same residence, any person(s) who come within the designation of parent, dancer and/or teacher, the appropriate membership is that of a Family Membership and one membership fee, the fee for a Family Membership, is to be paid.

  1. Anyone wishing to hold a Membership must complete a membership application form and pay the appropriate fee. A teacher member must identify his/her certification with the affiliated body to the SOBHD and his/her current membership in ScotDance Canada.
  2. The fiscal year of the OHDA runs October 1st through September 30th. The membership fees of the OHDA shall be payable at the beginning of each fiscal year and shall be at the amount that is determined annually by the Executive Committee.
  3. Although a Life Membership is personal to the person elected, family members who live in the same residence as the Life Member shall be eligible to be part of a Life Membership; “in the same residence” shall have the same meaning as in a Family Membership.
  4. Individuals proposed for Life or Honourary Membership must be elected at the Annual General Meeting of the OHDA and notice of such a proposed nomination must appear in the Notice of the Annual General Meeting as provided for in Article II, Paragraph 3.
    1. Members elected to Life or Honourary Membership must receive a favourable vote at the Annual General Meeting.
    2. A member who proposes a nomination for Life or Honourary Membership will:
      1. submit the nomination in writing to the Recording Secretary on or before the 1st of October preceding the Annual General Meeting;
      2. submit a written resumé of the nominee’s contribution to highland dancing;
      3. should the nominee be elected, the Recording Secretary shall inform the nominee that he/she has been elected, making reference to the nominator.
  5. Any Member may resign his/her membership by giving written notice thereof to the President.


  1. The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: shall be held within 60 days following the fiscal year end on a date specified by the Executive Committee.
  2. The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be:
  1. to receive and consider the accounts and balance sheet of the OHDA for the preceding fiscal year ending the 30th day of September;
  2. to receive and present a written report from each Executive Member pertaining to the prior year’s events.
  3. to elect the Officers and Convenors for the ensuing year;
  4. to transact any other business which ought to be transacted at an Annual General Meeting.
    1. The Meeting shall be held in a place decided upon by the Executive Committee and written notice thereof shall be given by the Recording Secretary at least two weeks in advance.
    2. FIFTEEN (15) members shall constitute a quorum. The requirements for a quorum shall be such as to require attendance by FIFTEEN (15) eligible voters.
    3. An “eligible voter” shall be 18 years of age or older and hold a valid membership. Only one member of a Family Membership or Life Membership is entitled to vote.
    4. An Honourary Member shall not be entitled to vote.
    5. The person holding the position of Chair of the Executive Committee shall not vote except in the case of a tie. The Chair may break a tie. If the person holding the position of Chair is part of a Family Membership, another person in that Family Membership (18 years of age or older) is entitled to vote.
    6. The President, or in the event of his/her absence through illness or any other cause, the Vice-President, shall at the written request of FIVE (5) eligible voters, which states a reason therefore, call a SPECIAL MEETING of the OHDA. The notice of such a meeting shall state the special business for which the meeting is called, and no other business shall be transacted. Two weeks’ notice of such a meeting shall be given.


  1. At the Annual General Meeting and at Special Meetings, any member making a motion shall, at the request of the Chair, put the motion in writing, and it shall be read by the Recording Secretary and seconded before discussion.
  2. The Chair shall decide all questions of order, and if any member be dissatisfied therewith, he/she shall have the right to appeal to the meeting. Furthermore, the Chair reserves the right to bring any debates/discussions to a close and, if necessary, call for a vote on the subject at hand.
  3. No member shall be allowed to use discourteous language or reflect on another while in debate.
  4. For matters of procedure, the latest edition of “Robert’s Rules of Order” will be used.


  1. For the purposes of providing the Executive Committee with professional advice on highland dancing there shall be a Teachers’ Committee.
  2. Any person (18 years of age or older) who holds both:
    1. a current professional membership in ScotDance Canada, and
    2. a current membership in the OHDA is eligible to be a member of the Teachers’ Committee.
  3. The Teachers’ Committee shall be responsible for electing the Teachers’ Representative of the Executive Committee from amongst the members of the Teachers’ Committee.
  4. The Teachers’ Representative shall be elected for a term of TWO (2) years.
  5. The position of Teachers’ Representative may be shared.
  6. Each member of the Teachers’ Committee shall have one vote.
  7. A majority vote shall elect. In the event of a tie, the outgoing Teachers’ Representative shall cast the deciding vote or he/she may call for a further ballot.
  8. The Teachers’ Representative shall call meetings of the Teachers’ Committee as and when advice/input from the OHDA teachers is required. Advice may be sought via email as well as in person. Minutes from these meetings shall be recorded and forwarded to the Recording Secretary of the Executive Committee.


  1. The affairs of the OHDA shall be operated and directed by an Executive Committee, consisting of the Officers of the OHDA.
  2. No business of the OHDA shall be transacted by the Executive Committee except at a meeting of the Executive Committee at which a quorum of the Committee is present. SEVEN (7) Executive Members will constitute a quorum.
    1. For time-sensitive matters/issues, the Executive Committee will do online voting. A quorum of SEVEN (7) voters is required in the allotted time frame.
  3. Once the Executive Committee has taken a specific decision on a specific issue at a regularly convened meeting consisting of a quorum, the same issue may not be raised in the same fiscal year without the written consent of FOUR (4) members of the Executive Committee.


  1. The Executive Officers of the Association shall be:
    1. President;
    2. Vice-President;
    3. Recording Secretary;
    4. Corresponding Secretary;
    5. Treasurer;
    6. Registrar;
    7. Games Committee Chair;
    8. Quartermaster;
    9. Ways and Means Committee Chair;
    10. Social Convenor;
    11. Trophy Convenor;
    12. Publicity Convenor;
    13. Chief Scrutineer;
    14. Teachers’ Representative; and
    15. Immediate Past President.
    1. The above Officers (except the Immediate Past President and the Teachers’ Representative) and Convenors shall be elected at the Annual General Meeting on an annual basis.
    2. Anyone 18 years of age or older, holding a valid OHDA Membership, is entitled to hold Office in the OHDA.
    3. A majority vote shall elect. In the event of a tie, the Chair shall cast the deciding vote, or he/she may call for a further ballot.
    4. Where there are Committees in existence, should the incumbent not be able to attend an Executive Meeting, then a person on the Committee will be delegated and eligible to attend on his/her behalf and have the right to vote. IN OTHER WORDS, the position, not the person shall have the right to vote. This is done to ensure quorums.
    5. Where one person holds more than one position on the Executive Committee that person shall only have one vote and be counted as one person for the purpose of a quorum.
    6. A member of the Executive Committee may compete in a maximum of two (2) OHDA competitions per fiscal year providing at least 30-days written notice is given and approved by the Executive Committee. The request must include the date of the event and, in the case of the President, Vice-President, Corresponding Secretary, Registrar, Games Committee Chair, Chief Scrutineer and Teachers’ Representative, must include who is to perform their responsibilities leading up to and including the day of the competition, as deemed necessary to prevent a conflict of interest. Only 30% of the Executive Committee members may compete in any one competition.
  2. An Officer may resign from his Office by giving to the Recording Secretary THIRTY (30) days written notice of his/her intention to do so, and such resignation shall take effect upon the expiration of such time or at the time of the acceptance of such resignation by a General Meeting of the OHDA, whichever shall be earlier. Any and all OHDA records/documents held in his/her possession are to be returned to the current President of the OHDA immediately upon the date of his/her resignation.
  3. Retiring Officers shall be eligible for re-election.
  4. Subject to the provisions hereof, the Officers and Convenors elected at each Annual General Meeting shall hold office until the next Annual General Meeting, and no remuneration shall be paid to them for acting as Officers and Convenors.
  5. In the event that one or more of the Offices of the OHDA shall become vacant, the Executive Committee shall appoint an Officer or Officers to fill the vacant Offices for the unexpired term thereof.
  6. In order to ensure a reasonable changeover of the members of the Executive Committee, it is expected that the normal continuous period that may be served by an individual on the Executive Committee shall be THREE (3) years from election to office.
  7. The Vice-President shall normally succeed the President and occupy the position of Vice-President for one year and President the next year. Such arrangement will ensure that continuity exists within the Executive Committee and will give more purpose to the position of Vice-President. Should the Vice-President be unable to complete a term of office as the President, the normal procedure for appointing an Officer to occupy the vacant position shall prevail.


  1. PRESIDENT: The President shall preside at meetings of the OHDA and of the Executive Committee to preserve order and to enforce the rules, present all questions and declare the decisions, and generally perform such duties as are enjoined by the By-Laws of the OHDA. The President shall be a member of all Committees
  2. VICE-PRESIDENT: The duties of the Vice-President shall be to act in the place of the President when he/she is absent. In the absence of the President and the Vice-President, a Chair may be elected by the meeting from the members present.
  3. RECORDING SECRETARY: The Recording Secretary shall record the proceedings of the OHDA and the Executive Committee. He/she shall give written notice to all members of the Annual General Meeting at least two weeks in advance. The Recording Secretary will also be the custodian of the historical records of the OHDA. He/she shall, on the expiration of his/her term of office, deliver all property of the OHDA in his/her possession to his/her successor.
  4. CORRESPONDING SECRETARY: The Corresponding Secretary shall conduct correspondence on behalf of the OHDA as required. He/she will be responsible for engaging judges, booking their accommodation and assisting with travel arrangements, booking pipers, and reserving facilities for competitions and other events. He/she will also be responsible for liaising with other similar Associations to coordinate activities and timing of events. He/she is responsible for the collection of all scholarship applications and arranging for the selection panel to select the recipient.
  5. TREASURER: The Treasurer shall have the custody of the Seal and of all money and other properties or securities belonging to the OHDA. He/she shall keep regular accounts of his/her receipts and disbursements in suitable books provided for that purpose. He/she shall receive all fees, including entry fees and membership fees from the Registrar. He/she shall deposit all money handed to him/her without delay, in one of the chartered banks in the City of Ottawa , on account of and for the use of the OHDA. He/she shall not pay out any money on account of the OHDA without a receipt or supporting documentation. He/she shall, at each meeting of the Executive Committee, present an abstract of his/her accounts stating the sums received and disbursed since the previous meeting, and, in addition, at the Annual General Meeting, present a financial statement of the affairs for the OHDA since the last Annual General Meeting. He/she shall, at the expiration of his/her term of office, hand over to his/her successor the cash balance, and all books, papers and property of the OHDA. All cheques must be signed by the Treasurer and countersigned by the President or other Officer duly authorized by the Executive Committee.
  6. REGISTRAR: The Registrar shall be responsible for the development of a competition information document and individual online registration system for each competition; the receipt and recording of entries to ensure adherence to the principle of “first to enter, last to dance”; liaison with parents and teachers regarding entries, payment issues, registration changes; creation of class sizes based on category and age, with advice from the Teachers’ Representative; advising the Trophy Convenor as to number of groups in each category for each competition so awards can be prepared; preparation and photocopying of programs (when not a program booklet); organization of cloth numbers, collection at the end of competitions and follow-up with those who do not return numbers; organizing the reception desk for competitors including verification of dancer cards, issuing temporary cards, coordination with those who forget their card, collection of missing fees; preparation of competition schedule/stage rotation and marshalling clipboards; collection of digital music submissions for choreography competition; receipt and recording of OHDA annual membership applications; and the verification of scrutineering. Any disagreement between the Teachers’ Representative and the Registrar will be resolved by vote by the Registrar, the Teachers’ Representative (one vote only) and the Chief Scrutineer.
  7. GAMES COMMITTEE CHAIR: The Games Committee Chair shall be responsible for the coordination of volunteers for set-up, clean-up and marshalling. The facility set-up (with the assistance of volunteers) shall include: indoor and outdoor signage; opening of gyms, change rooms, kitchen – with doorstops; judges’ tables; and organization of marshalling area and sweeping of stage. The Games Committee Chair shall also coordinate with pipers and provide them with schedules, indication of number of sets, water and snacks, liaise with judges and janitor, as required; resolve general concerns regarding music tempos, marshalling errors, scrutineering; laying and pick-up of swords; coordination of awards presentations, including coordination with trophy (sponsor) presenters, special presentations to provincial representatives and scholarship winners.
  8. WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE CHAIR: The Ways and Means Committee Chair shall preside over meetings of the Ways and Means Committee and be responsible for fundraising and sponsorship for all OHDA events.  He/She will liaise with any vendors who may wish to be present at any OHDA competition.
  9. SOCIAL CONVENOR: The Social Convenor shall be responsible for the organization of the sale of refreshments at all the OHDA competitions, and liaise the duty roster with the dance schools/OHDA Teachers. The Social Convenor shall be responsible for ensuring that refreshments and lunches are provided for the Judges and Pipers for each event.
  10. TROPHY CONVENOR: The Trophy Convenor shall be custodian of all trophies, miniatures, medals, ribbons and certificates. He/she is responsible for ordering medals, trophies and other awards, after consultation with the Registrar, and for their management and distribution at events as well as their storage between events. He/she will retain and maintain an accurate record of the holders of the trophies which are the property of the OHDA and will be responsible for the return of such trophies prior to the competitions at which they will be competed. He/she will provide the Treasurer with an accurate record of usage at each competition, immediately following the competition, and with a year-end inventory of medals and trophies.
  11. PUBLICITY CONVENOR: The Publicity Convenor shall be responsible for raising awareness of OHDA activities among members, including Life and Honourary members, and in the community, including contacting the news media to obtain publicity for the OHDA competitions and activities. He/she will also be responsible for managing the OHDA web site. He/she will be provided with a digital camera for the purpose of taking photographs of the award winners for the historical records of the OHDA.
  12. CHIEF SCRUTINEER: He/she shall be responsible for arranging and supervising volunteers for scrutineering at the competitions, for verifying that the scrutineering has been done properly and for providing the Registrar with the results. He/she will also be responsible for maintaining a record of competition results. It is recommended that a professional teaching member hold this position.
  13. QUARTERMASTER: The Quartermaster shall be responsible for the OHDA equipment:  its acquisition, maintenance, disposal, storage and set-up at events. He/she shall support the Chief Scrutineer and Games Committee Chair in ensuring that physical arrangements are in order.
  14. TEACHERS’ REPRESENTATIVE: The Teachers’ Representative shall be responsible for providing the Executive Committee with professional teaching/judging advice on the organization and management of the OHDA events, including liaison with professional organizations such as ScotDance Canada and the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing. (Note that the OHDA will also have other linkages with these organizations, via other Executive members in the execution of their responsibilities.)
  15. IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: The Past President shall be available for consultation should the new President find it necessary to require his/her services.


  1. At least two months prior to the Annual General Meeting, the Executive Committee shall appoint a Nominating Committee, which shall be responsible for the presentation of nominations for the election of officers and convenors at the Annual General Meeting.
  2. Additional nominations may be made from the floor of the Annual General Meeting. Such nominations must be seconded and have the prior approval of the nominee to act if elected, such approval to be in writing, signed by the nominee, if the nominee is not present at the Annual General Meeting which nominated him/her.


  1. Two members of the OHDA, not being elected Officers, shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting as auditors for the ensuing fiscal year, to examine the records of the Treasurer, and to report thereon to the Annual General Meeting. The report of the auditors for the preceding year shall be available to the membership at each Annual General Meeting.


  1. The members of the OHDA shall faithfully observe and conform to the rules and regulations set forth in these By-Laws and the Rules to Govern Dancing Competitions on penalty of being suspended from the privileges of the OHDA or having their names erased from the list of members.
  2. Should there be brought against any member a charge of misconduct of such a nature as may be deemed inimical to the good order, peace or interests of the OHDA, it shall be referred to the Executive Committee, who, after giving the member an opportunity to be heard, may suspend or expel the member or refer the matter to a Special Meeting of the OHDA, at which the member may be expelled by a majority vote by ballot.
  3. Dancing technique and steps will be judged under SOBHD regulations with Judges’ decision being final.
  4. SOBHD Regulations pertaining to operation of competitions and scrutineering will be strictly adhered to.
  5. The following practices are considered unethical:
    1. A request by a contestant, teacher or parent to the piper to change his/her pace.
    2. Verbal complaints to judges, pipers, Registrar or Games Committee Chair by parents, teachers, or contestants.
    3. In the conduct of a competition or any other activity any unwarranted interference by a member or spectator will not be tolerated.


    1. The fiscal year of the OHDA shall end on the THIRTIETH (30th) day of September each year.
    2. The period October 1st to September 30th inclusive shall be one fiscal year.
  1. All books and records of the OHDA shall be open for inspection by any member upon request to the Officer who is in charge of the same, or as arranged by the Executive Committee.


  1. The Seal of the OHDA shall be affixed to all official documents, receipts, etc. by the Treasurer.


  1. The By-Laws of the OHDA may be altered or amended or added to at the Annual General Meeting, or at a Special Meeting convened for the purpose, provided that notice of the proposal for such amendment or amendments has been given with the notice calling the meeting.
  2. A quorum of FIFTEEN (15) members present must vote in favour of any motion to alter or amend the By-Laws for such motion to carry.


  1. The terms of reference of committees may be amended by the Executive Committee as required, from time to time.
  2. The terms of reference of committees are published for information as appendices to these By-Laws, but do not constitute a part of them.



  1. The Ottawa Highland Dancing Association will be operated without a purpose of gain for its members, and any profit or other assets of the organization will be used solely to promote its objectives (non-profit clause).



  1. The Ottawa Highland Dancing Association may be dissolved only with authorization by its Board of Directors given at a special meeting called for that purpose and with subsequent approval by two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Voting Members.
  2. Upon dissolution or other termination of the Ottawa Highland Dancing Association, all remaining assets of the Ottawa Highland Dancing Association, after payment in full of all its debts, obligations, and necessary final expenses, or after the making of adequate provision therefore, shall be distributed to charities registered under the Income Tax Act (Canada), in Canada (with purposes similar to those of the Ottawa Highland Dancing Association) as shall be chosen by the then existing Executive Committee of the Ottawa Highland Dancing Association.

ENACTED by the Executive Committee the 24th day of April 1967.
CONFIRMED by the Members of the Ottawa Highland Dancing Association at the Annual General Meeting, the 24th day of May, 1967.
AMENDED by the Members of Ottawa Highland Dancing Association at the Annual General Meetings of:
May 31, 1971; May 29, 1972; May 21, 1974; May 26, 1975; February 12, 1979, February 12, 1980; November 15, 1982; October 28, 1990 (special meeting), October 6, 1991; October 21, 1992; October 1, 1995; September 24, 2000; April 7, 2001 (special meeting); October 12, 2005 (special meeting); October 16, 2011; June 14, 2014; November 27, 2016 (special meeting).