Pa­tri­otic pageantry

Oys­ter Bed Bridge man per­forms with the Band of the Cer­e­mo­nial Guard

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE -

A Prince Ed­ward Is­land man is play­ing a part in the tra­di­tions sur­round­ing the Na­tional War Me­mo­rial, Rideau Hall and Par­lia­ment Hill in Ot­tawa this sum­mer.

Oys­ter Bed Bridge res­i­dent, Cor­po­ral Michael Gallant, is a mil­i­tary mu­si­cian who has spent eight years in the mil­i­tary and is com­plet­ing his de­gree at UPEI. Dur­ing the sum­mer, he is per­form­ing with the Band of the Cer­e­mo­nial Guard.

With their scar­let tu­nics and bearskin headdress, the Cer­e­mo­nial Guard of the Cana­dian Armed Forces, its band and pipes and drums are the most rec­og­niz­able mil­i­tary unit in Canada. For more than 50 years, the Chang­ing of the Guard has been a top Ot­tawa sum­mer at­trac­tion, hav­ing thrilled thou­sands of visi­tors on Par­lia­ment Hill.

The guard also pro­vides sen­tries at the Na­tional War Me­mo­rial and Rideau Hall, the of­fi­cial res­i­dence of the Gover­nor Gen­eral of Canada.

“The cer­e­mo­nial guard has so much pres­tige and it is very ex­cit­ing to be able to be a part of that tra­di­tion,” Gallant said. “I re­ally hope to leave with a sense of achieve­ment while be­ing able to grow as a mu­si­cian.”

Three weeks of in­ten­sive drill train­ing, mas­ter­ing pre­ci­sion move­ments while play­ing his in­stru­ment, main­tain­ing a high stan­dard of dress and de­port­ment, and un­der­go­ing ex­ten­sive phys­i­cal fit­ness train­ing are all

part of the prepa­ra­tion process.

Gallant will per­form with the Cer­e­mo­nial Guard dur­ing ap­pear­ances around eastern On­tario, and as well as the cul­mi­na­tion event known as For­tis­simo. For­tis­simo is a mil­i­tary and mu­si­cal spec­tac­u­lar event that takes place July 23-25 on the lawns of Par­lia­ment Hill, fea­tur­ing massed mil­i­tary bands, pipes and drums, mu­si­cal guests and the sol­diers of the Cer­e­mo­nial Guard.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Cor­po­ral Michael Gallant of Oys­ter Bed Bridge is spend­ing the sum­mer with the Band of the Cer­e­mo­nial Guard in Ot­tawa.

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