The Band Today

Roles

The Band serves as the regimental band of The British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own), a Canadian Forces Reserve Armoured Reconnaissance regiment in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Its main roles are:

  • to meet the musical needs of the Canadian Forces and The British Columbia Regiment in ceremonies and military functions, and
  • to assist the Canadian Forces and The British Columbia Regiment in establishing and maintaining a presence in the community.

In fulfilling these roles, band members find that the Band meets their own needs as a community music group, much like other community bands or orchestras. From the member’s perspective, the main difference is that, as a military band, marching and drill are sometimes called for.

Rehearsals

Band rehearsals take place every Monday evening, 1930-2130 (7:30PM-9:30PM) at the historic Beatty Street Drill Hall, 620 Beatty Street, Vancouver. The “Stadium/Chinatown” SkyTrain stop is across the street from the Drill Hall.

Except for a stand-down in the summer, and another at Christmas, the Band rehearses the year round.

Performances

Band performances comprise two general categories:

  • Semi-public: audience is limited to some group, such as the Regiment, the Regiment Association, invited guests, or perhaps a paying audience, such as for a concert by admission, and
  • Public: open to the general public for free, such as a street parade, or open air concert.

A 12-month period would see approximately 15 band performances, of which about 30% are Public. In recent years, notable Public performances included:

  • Kerrisdale Parade – street parade in soutwest Vancouver,
  • North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo – street parade and rodeo in Barriere, BC
  • Remembrance Day – ceremony and street parade in Vancouver
  • Sun Run – open air concert in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighborhood
  • Apeldoorn Veterans Parade – in Apeldoorn, Holland, among 20 bands and over 200,000 wildly enthusiastic spectators, for the 60th anniversary of the Liberation of Holland.

Uniforms

The Band supplies uniforms at no cost to its members.

BCR Band in 2010The uniform is similar to the Canadian Forces Army Distinctive Environmental Uniform (DEU), otherwise known as Service Dress Number 3, with band dress cords. The jacket and trousers are Rifle Green, with black-on-red badges, insignia, and trouser striping. Headdress comprises a Rifle Green forage cap with a red hatband. Cap badge (black) is that of The British Columbia Regiment. For warm weather, a uniform similar to Service Dress Number 3B (short sleeved shirt with black-on-red epaulette slipons, no tie, no jacket) is ordered.

Ranks

In the past, the Band and the Regiment have conferred honourary rank to members of the Band, based on demonstrated service and commitment. The Commanding Officer of the Regiment approves promotions, which permits members to wear the rank insignia. Current strength includes ranks of Bandsman, Band Lance Corporal, Band Corporal, Band Sergeant, and Band Colour Sergeant. Some band members are active or former members of the Canadian Forces, but most are civilian volunteer bandsmen.

Appointments

As of January, 2014:

Band Liaison Officer Major Paul Lindsay, The British Columbia Regiment (DCO)
Band Director Bombardier Brian Smith, CD
Bugle-Major Band Corporal Chris Ahern
Sergeant Bugler Band Colour Sergeant John More
Drum-Major Band Corporal Frederica Panon

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