Commemorations, Parades and Events

Canadian Armed Forces Parade Regulations and Directives

  • This Government is committed to maintaining a strong connection between Canadians and the women and men in uniform who serve them.
  • This is why members of the Canadian Armed Forces regularly participate in community outreach and recruiting events all across the country.
  • Members can carry weapons in public during ceremonial parades and military displays under specific regulations.
  • These events provide an opportunity for members of the armed forces to share their military history and culture with the public.
  • This includes proudly displaying the equipment and weapons used by our soldiers as they fulfil their duties.

Key Facts

  • Canadian Armed Forces members can carry weapons in public, as authorized by municipalities, and with due notifications provided to local law enforcement ahead of time.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces participate in public events across Canada including:
    • Changing of the Guard on Parliament Hill
    • Posting sentries at the National War Memorial
    • Conducting Freedom of the City Parades

Strong, Secure, Engaged

“Implement a recruitment campaign to promote the unique full- and part-time career opportunities offered by the Canadian Armed Forces.”


  • As part of ceremonial parades, military members carry weapons with authority from their change of command and under strict guidelines, as outlined in the Canadian Armed Forces Manual of Drill and Ceremonial.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces also carries weapons and equipment as part of military displays and training events.
  • Traditionally, authority to carry weapons during military events in public space is granted to units by municipalities. When this authorization is granted, local law enforcement is always notified of all details ahead of time.

Maintaining Public Access to the Afghanistan Memorial Hall at National Defence Headquaters in Ottawa

  • As Canadians, we honour the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom and values.
  • This is why the government repatriated the Kandahar Cenotaph to National Defence Headquarters located at Carling Campus in Ottawa.
  • After an initial dedication ceremony in May 2019, National Defence hosted a rededication ceremony in August 2019, which included Families of the Fallen.
  • Canadian Armed Forces members will continue to provide guided visits of the Cenotaph to the public and veterans.
  • By maintaining public access to memorial, the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to honour and remember the dedication of our service members.

Key Facts

  • The Cenotaph honors the memory of:
    • 158 Canadian Armed Forces personnel
    • 42 United States armed forces personnel who died while serving under Canadian command
    • 4 civilians including 1 journalist embedded with the Canadian Armed Forces

Strong, Secure, Engaged

“The Defence team must ensure that the needs of its people – whether military members and their families, or defence civilians – are appropriately met. They are the heart and soul of everything we do.”


  • Military members serving in Afghanistan built the Kandahar Cenotaph to honour the memory of the military members and civilians who died during Canada’s mission in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.
  • The Cenotaph is now located in a purpose-built pavilion, known as the Afghanistan Memorial Hall, at National Defence Headquarters (Carling) in Ottawa.
  • Canadian Armed Forces personnel provide guided tours of the Afghanistan Memorial Hall for veterans and members of the public. Individuals who wish to visit must register in advance.

Repatriation to Carling

  • In March 2014, the Kandahar Cenotaph was repatriated to Canada at the end of Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.
  • On May 13, 2019, National Defence officially opened the Afghanistan Memorial Hall during a commemorative ceremony, attended by Canadian Armed Forces senior military leadership and National Defence senior management.
  • On May 24, 2019, General Vance released a statement apologizing and accepting full responsibility for the decision to hold an internal dedication ceremony.
  • On May 26, 2019, guided visits for families of Canada’s Fallen in Afghanistan officially began, and will continue under separate arrangements. These visits are prioritized and coordinated outside of visits by members of the public.
  • On August 17, 2019, a re-dedication ceremony was held at the Afghanistan Memorial Hall with invited families and friends of the Fallen.

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