The Regimental Band of the Governor General’s Foot Guards
On June 7th, 1872, Her Majesty Queen Victoria approved Militia General Order 16, authorizing the formation of a Battalion of Foot Guards in Ottawa. This battalion was to have the same precedence and status in the Active Militia as held by Her Majesty’s Foot Guards in the Imperial Army. The regiment was to be known as the Governor General’s Foot Guards.
To this day, the Governor General’s Foot Guards remains the senior reserve infantry regiment in Canada. An iconic national institution, the Regiment has conducted the Changing the Guard ceremony on Parliament Hill and at Rideau Hall for over 40 years. While the scarlet tunics and bearskin caps are the public face of the Regiment, it is first and foremost an active primary reserve unit, trained to support Canada’s defence interests domestically and abroad.
Members of the Regiment took part in the Nile Expedition of 1884 and the following year provided a Company of Sharpshooters to quell the North West Rebellion. The Regiment also served in the South African War and World Wars I and II. Members of the Regiment have participated in numerous United Nations and NATO peace support operations, including the Middle East, Cyprus, Somalia, the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, Haiti, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. Most recently, the Regiment deployed numerous officers and soldiers to support the NATO International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and has been subsequently awarded the Theater Battle Honour for “Afghanistan”.
For service on active duty, members of the Regiment have been awarded over 500 decorations, including 3 Victoria Crosses. Twenty two of the Regiment’s 34 Battle Honours are emblazoned on both the Regimental and Queen’s Colours. The Regimental Motto Civitas et Princeps Cura Nostra translates to “Our Care is Queen and Country”. The Regiment is based in Ottawa, Canada and has been headquartered in the Cartier Square Drill Hall since 1879.
The Regimental Band of the Governor General's Foot Guards has been continuously in existence since the formation of the Regiment in 1872. They have become one of the most recognized military bands in Canada through their many appearances at state and military functions in the National Capital Region, including performances for every Canadian Governor General since 1872, Her Majesty The Queen, and many foreign heads of state. All members of the band are active members of the Primary Reserve. They are under the direction of Lt Col Frances Chilton-Mackay, OMM, MSM, CD. The band appears by kind permission of the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding, Lt Col Christopher Lynam, CD, AdeC.