Ceremonial Guard

About the Ceremonial Guard

The Ceremonial Guard was established by the Canadian Army (CA) on behalf of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to plan, prepare and execute Public Duties in the Nation's Capital during the summer.

Every guardsman, musician and member of the support staff is a trained Regular or Reserve member of the CAF. All newly enrolled personnel must successfully complete the CAF basic military training prior to being granted permission to wear CAF uniforms and the full-dress uniform of either the Governor General’s Foot Guards or the Canadian Grenadier Guards.

The majority of the Guard is composed of members from Canadian Army Regular and Reserve Force units from CA regiments across the country and is augmented by members from the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The Ceremonial Guard is proud to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary. It is an opportunity to engage Canadians and to celebrate our shared values, our achievements and the diversity that inspires both Canada and the world.

History

The first Guard Mount took place on Parliament Hill on July 2, 1959. It was carried out by the Regiment of Canadian Guards, a Regular Force regiment of the Canadian Army. The Public Duties Detachment was later staffed by the two Reserve Guards Regiments: the Governor General's Foot Guards from Ottawa and the Canadian Grenadier Guards from Montreal.

Today, the Ceremonial Guard is a composite CAF unit of over 400 members that includes a Headquarters Company, two Public Duties companies and the Band of the Ceremonial Guard.

Band

The Band of the Ceremonial Guard is comprised of members of the CAF Primary Reserves. It forms each year for the purpose of providing musical support for the world-famous Changing of the Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. During this period, the band is also tasked with supporting official functions held at Rideau Hall, foreign embassies and other locations around the national capital region.

Distinctive in the scarlet uniforms and bearskin hats, the Band of the Ceremonial Guard attracts huge crowds wherever it performs. The band provides an excellent summer employment opportunity for music students to experience life in the CAF. Selected candidates are not only excellent musicians, but also fine ambassadors of the Canadian people.

The band has received many awards and is considered the top military marching band in the country. In 1997, the Ottawa Tourism and Convention Authority, in recognition of the Ceremonial Guards’ long association with the City of Ottawa, acknowledged the Ceremonial Guard as the most prominent tourist attraction in the Nation's capital.

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