A former Port Coquitlam resident was back in Canada this summer to plug a web domain extension he hopes will be close to the hearts of Scottish-Canadians.
Harry McGrath, a native of Scotland and former teacher who once worked with SFU’s Centre for Scottish Studies, is now the lead of engagement and global outreach for dotScot — or .scot — a registry that gives people of Scottish heritage a chance to express their roots online.
According to the 2016 Census, about five million Canadians identify as having Scottish ancestry, including some 24,000 residents in the Tri-Cities.
Since the non-profit group launched five years ago, dotScot has caught on with the Scottish government (gov.scot), the country’s film industry (screen.scot) and 18,000 businesses, cultural organizations and individuals who are using the country code for emails, websites and other online communication to highlight their identity.
Scottish actor Sean Connery is also on board and promoting the country code.
McGrath told The Tri-City News this month he was “spreading the word” about dotScot while in Canada and spoke with members of ScotCanBC, the Scottish Canadian Business Association of BC, to drum up support.
The domain extension is unique to Scotland and similar to .ca for Canada and .au for Australia.
“It’s intended for Scots wherever they live, which is what makes it unique and different from a country code,” he said, adding, “Brexit has helped us because people want to be proud of their Scottish and European backgrounds.”
“DotScot unifies Scots and Scots diaspora worldwide by linking our heritage and culture with technology,” said Victoria resident Theresa Mackay, a Canadian dotScot ambassador, in a news release. “It is about declaring pride in who we are.”