The Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces performs in Latvia

News release

July 9, 2018 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF Central Band) performed with the Central Military Band of the Latvian National Armed Forces and the Latvian National Guard Orchestra in the Latvian Song and Dance Celebration which took place in Riga, Latvia, between June 30 and July 8, 2018. This celebration is an important Latvian cultural event, occurring every five years, featuring a variety of orchestras, choirs, and dancers. In addition to playing during the Celebration, the CAF Central Band performed at a number of other venues around Latvia.

The CAF Central Band is the senior-most band in the Canadian Armed Forces and is one of six full-time Regular Force military bands in the CAF. The band typically provides professional music support for a large number of Canadian Armed Forces, Department of National Defence, and Government of Canada events throughout Canada’s National Capital Region.


“Canada and Latvia have a close relationship and share many commonalties, including a love of music. The Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces is proud to have performed with the Central Military Band of the Latvian National Armed Forces as well as the Latvian National Guard Orchestra at the prestigious Song and Dance Celebration. It was a truly unique experience to perform among so many talented musicians, singers, and dancers.”

– Captain John Fullerton, Commanding Officer Central Band of the Canadian Armed Forces

Quick facts

  • Some of the ensembles routinely generated from within the CAF Central Band include:

    • The Concert Band;
    • The Parade Band;
    • The Jazz Combo; and
    • The Cormorant Chamber Trio.
  • Canada and Latvia enjoy excellent relations. Canada was the first G7 country to recognize the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, and one of the first countries to ratify Latvia's accession to NATO in 2004. In February 2017, Latvia became the first EU member to ratify the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). 

  • Canada is leading a robust multinational NATO battle group in Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s contribution to NATO deterrence and defence measures in the eastern part of the Alliance. 

  • In the face of today’s rapidly changing and unpredictable security environment, Canada remains committed to maintaining and strengthening the transatlantic bond and providing credible, value-added contributions to NATO operations.  

Associated links


Capt Matt Zalot
Public Affairs Officer
Task Force Latvia Headquarters
Phone: +371 670 73 242 (office) +371 234 74017 (mobile)

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 1-613-996-2353

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