The Ceremonial Guard Presents Fortissimo 2017

News Release

July 17, 2017 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Ceremonial Guard will host the 21st annual Fortissimo celebration on the lawns of Parliament Hill at 7:00 pm from July 20 to 22, 2017. Fortissimo is a military concert featuring various bands and a sunset ceremony, which is open to the public and celebrated yearly. The Ceremonial Guard is extending an invitation to the public to attend the full dress rehearsal on July 19th. Those wishing to attend this event are asked to be seated by 6:45 p.m.

In addition to the Ceremonial Guard and musical performers, Fortissimo 2017 will include presentations by the Dominion Carillon, the Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Massed Pipes and Drums of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), the Band of America’s Few, the Royal Canadian Air Force Band, Ceremonial Troop of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry, 30th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, and the Elite Drill Team and Fife and Drums of the German Wachbataillon.

Residents and visitors of the National Capital Region should also be aware that Fortissimo will include varied cannon and rifle fire (using blank ammunition) during each performance between the hours of 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. Additionally, a fly-by operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force is scheduled for each evening to occur at any time between 7:00 and 9:00 p.m., dependent on weather and safety conditions. As a traditional and ceremonial form of aerial salute, a fly-by serves as a show of respect on national days and on special occasions and anniversaries.

Following Fortissimo 2017, audience members are invited to stay for Northern Lights, a free sound and light show presented by Canadian Heritage and exclusive sponsor Manulife. The show starts at 10:00 p.m.


“Each year Fortissimo offers the opportunity for Canadian Armed Forces members to showcase their professionalism and talents as they highlight Canada’s proud military and musical heritage. Fortissimo 2017 will demonstrate the historical retreat and tattoo for visitors to the nation’s capital during Canada 150 celebrations.”

Major Patrice Villeneuve, Commanding Officer, Ceremonial Guard

Quick Facts

  • The Sunset ceremony is a combination of the historical ceremonies of Beating Retreat, Tattoo, and the lowering of the flag.

  • Fortissimo is a military and musical spectacular created for the lawns of Parliament Hill featuring massed military bands, pipes and drums, guest performers and the soldiers of the Ceremonial Guard.

  • All the members of the Ceremonial Guard are fully-trained members of the Canadian Armed Forces, many with overseas experience on international operations.

  • Approximately 400 Canadian Armed Forces members from over 86 Canadian Army regiments, six Royal Canadian Navy Ships, and six Air Force squadrons make up the 2017 Ceremonial Guard.

  • The first Guard Mount took place 58 years ago, on Parliament Hill on July 2, 1959.

  • Northern Lights is a free bilingual sound and light show, presented nightly from July 11 to September 16, 2017. Key figures, events and achievements from Canadian history are brought to life in this thrilling thematic journey. Show times: in July at 10:00 p.m., in August at 9:30 p.m., and in September at 9:00 p.m.  

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Devon Atherton
Ceremonial Guard Unit Public Affairs Officer
Phone: 343-998-4060

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353
Toll-Free: 1-866-377-0811

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