What We Do

The Petawawa Legion Community Band is a marching and concert band. We are currently about forty in number, covering most components of a traditional brass, wind, and percussion ensemble.

We are also a Band School, taking in new students each September for training on a band instrument (supplied by the Legion). No previous knowledge is necessary, although a familiarity with musical notation is always an asset.

The Petawawa Legion Community Band performs about twenty-five functions each year. Roughly a quarter of these are parades, ranging from solemn Remembrance Day commemorations, to the light-hearted Lumber Baron Festival in Renfrew (about an hour downriver). We've helped dedicate more pieces of granite than we can remember, and never is the importance of these ceremonies - or our contribution to them - underestimated by Band members. The group receives a modest amount of marching drill, often benefiting from our close association with CFB Petawawa nearby.

Besides Remembrance Day activities in Petawawa and at least one other locality each year (lately, Barry's Bay, about an hour south of Petawawa), our list of annual parade commitments includes: the Petawawa Christmas parade, the annual Peacekeepers' parade run by the local Korean veterans, and the annual inspection of the military cadets at CFB Petawawa. Added to this list are any number of unique ceremonies, including Legion Zone convention marches and cenotaph dedications.

The remainder of our activity sheet is taken up with concerts, clustered around the late fall and mid-summer months. A number of these events are performed for our sponsor, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517. At Christmas we perform a series of concerts in various locations around the area, and also in June and July. This summer series is usually performed in pleasant outdoor settings, and has become a relaxed, enjoyable experience for musicians and audiences alike.

We end all our public concerts with our signature march, "Petawawa Legion Five-Seventeen", written for the Petawawa Legion by the late Dr. James McDonald Gayfer, the band's founding music director.

For many years we have been regular participants in the Pembroke & Area Kiwanis Music Festival. We also perform annual concerts for the local CNIB members, for the Petawawa Civic Centre Days in June, and assorted "opening ceremonies" and other special events around the area, as they come up.

The upper Ottawa Valley is not our only stomping ground. Although a strictly volunteer organisation, the band has been known to take its show on the road to Prince Edward County, Milford, Mitchell, Huntsville, as well as the nation's capital (Ottawa).

Sponsorship of the band is primarily by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 517 in Petawawa, and the Town of Petawawa. Band (and band-school) members pay a nominal fee to cover social activities. The annual cost is $30.00 per person.

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