This weekend, the 35.9 million people who call Canada home will come together in their small rural towns, their oceanside cities, and their large metropolises to mark the 150th anniversary of Canada’s confederation.
As an integral part of Canadian society, history and patriotism, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) bases and wings will be doing their part to celebrate Canada’s birthday in the towns they call home.
CAF bases and wings providing troops or equipment to support local town parades and celebrations include CFB Kingston, Garrison Petawawa, and CFB Gagetown. The 2nd Canadian Division will be taking part in festivities in Montreal that mark both the 375th anniversary of Montreal and Canada 150.
Units from the 5th Canadian Division will be firing ceremonial gun salutes in communities throughout the Atlantic region including in Halifax, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Saint John, Woodstock and St. John’s and the commander of the division will be visiting with the Lieutenant-Governor of Newfoundland. He will also take part in the Memorial Day ceremony that commemorates the 101st anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont-Hamel.
In the National Capital Region, a variety of activities are planned to celebrate Canada 150. The Canadian Armed Forces Parachute Team (CAFPT), the SkyHawks, will be jumping out of a CH-147 Chinook helicopter to perform aerobatic parachute formations over the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. This event will take place at 2 p.m. on Canada Day.
Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) ships are also taking part in this weekend’s celebrations by visiting local communities across the country and allowing Canadians to visit the ships, meet with the sailors and learn about the RCN.
Additionally, through Personnel Support Programs (PSP), a variety of activities are planned in cities across the country for military members and their families to enjoy this special day. Some of these bases include the Edmonton Garrison, where families can enjoy an afternoon of Family Celebrations and an outdoor concert and fireworks; CFB Halifax, where military members can visit one of the messes to participate in a barbecue and have a prime spot to view the harbour fireworks; and North Bay, where families can cool off with special swim times all weekend long.
“As a 39-year soldier, I’ve been around the world a time or two, and have seen things most would sooner forget. The best and most salient of what I have seen though is that we as Canadians stand on the world summit of privilege, opportunity, human equality, and freedom. And it is not lost on me that much of that is owed to our nation’s courageous and patriotic military members past and present, and especially our fallen soldiers. I will think on them this day…Happy Canada Day,” said CAF member Capt. Rodger Fraser, who will be participating in the Edmonton Garrison’s event.
To include those soldiers who are currently deployed abroad in the festivities, PSP sent Canada Day care packages, which include flags and maple syrup, to the 46 CAF missions and operations around the world.
In addition, three special Show Tours have been planned for those stationed in Alert, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship Winnipeg (HMCS), and HMCS Ottawa.
For a full list of activities planned for military personnel and their families visit the CAF Connection website.