Esquimalt’s Township Community Arts Council is launching its Memorial Park Music Fest on Tuesday (June 23) with a birthday party for Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific.
The band turns 75 this year.
“It will be a huge celebration,” said Morlene Tomlinson chairman of the arts council and sponsor of the music festival.
“This year is very, very special because we are going to throw them a birthday party. We think it is very fitting because we are neighbours, and there is a particular relationship between the Township of Esquimalt and the Naden Band.”
The festivities begin at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday with CFB Esquimalt base commander Capt. (N) Steve Waddell delivering a birthday cake for 475 people. Rear-Admiral Bill Truelove will be among the band’s well-wishers.
Student musicians from Vic High, Rock Heights and Shoreline schools will also perform during the evening.
Naden Band commanding officer Lt. (N) Matthew Clark said playing within the township is always memorable for the band.
“It’s in our backyard. I think its most fitting that we play here, and we should play here more often.”
The 75th anniversary will be marked with several events including the International Military Band Concert tonight (June 19) at the Royal Theatre, a recording of Canadian composer Robert Buckley’s music in July and the 75th anniversary concert at the Royal Theatre in September, among other events through to December.
But home is where the heart is.
Last year Naden Band opened up the inaugural Memorial Park Music Fest and is happy to return.
“The musicians really enjoyed it. The reception I got from them was a really, really positive one. They felt acknowledged in a very lovely way,” Clark said.
Along with Naden Band, Music Fest will provide six weeks of music at Memorial Park through to July 28. Other acts performing include Capital City Syncopators (June 30), the Soul Shakers (July 7), Alive ’n’ Kickin’ (July 14), Virtual Elvis (July 21) and Bijou Du Bayou (July 28).
This year the arts council will also host the Esquimalt Arts Council at the English Inn on Aug. 16, Sculpture Splash Sept. 19 and 20 at Macaulay Point Park and Township Classics this fall.
For more details on the arts council, please go online to townshiparts.org.