Events could be staged in the north to celebrate the upcoming 200th anniversaries of two key dates in the region’s history.
The bicentenaries of the opening of the Caledonian Canal and the staging of the first Highland Games in Inverness will fall in the same month in 2022.
Ideas are now being explored by local authority officials in the Highlands who are keen to mark the occasions in some way.
They are considering ways to link the celebrations to the “Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters” in 2020 and the “Year of Scotland’s Stories” in 2022.
Tourism agency VisitScotland confirmed the plans for the two “themed years” last month.
Proposals are expected to be drawn up by Highland Council’s events team “in the months ahead”.
Built by celebrated Scottish engineer Thomas Telford, the 60-mile Caledonian Canal between Inverness and Fort William was officially opened by a flotilla over two days in October 1822.
In the same month, the Inverness Highland Games was staged for the first time, and featured three cows killed by sledgehammer in order for a competition to take place between teams of men to see who could pull a leg off one of the animals.
Asked if events were being considered to mark the bicentenaries, Inverness Events Manager Gerry Reynolds said: “Last month, it was announced by VisitScotland that Scotland’s Themed Years would continue beyond 2018, with the Year of Scotland’s Coasts and Waters being celebrated in 2020; and 2022 being the Year of Scotland’s Stories.
“We are currently exploring the opportunities offered by both themes; including putting forward proposals to mark the bicentenaries of the first Highland Games staged in Inverness and the opening of the Caledonian Canal in 1822 in the months ahead.”
Scotland’s “themed years” have been running since 2009, having been launched to try to boost the country’s tourism sector.
The “Year of Coasts and Waters” will follow the “Year of Young People” in 2018, with planning set to begin in the first quarter of next year.
Development of the following themed year, celebrating “Scotland’s Stories”, will begin in 2019.
This year, Scotland is celebrating the “Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology”.