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