Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 24, 2013 11:00 ET

The Ceremonial Guard Mounted the First Guard of the 2013 Season

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 24, 2013) - The Ceremonial Guard performed the first Changing of the Guard for the 2013 season on Parliament Hill today at 10 a.m. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is Ottawa's most recognized military tradition and is performed daily on Parliament Hill from late June to the end of August. In addition to the Changing of the Guard ceremony, each day they perform sentry duties at Rideau Hall and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial with a changing of the sentries scheduled every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"The Changing of the Guard is an honoured tradition which highlights the pageantry, precision and colour of the Ceremonial Guard," said Brigadier-General Omer Lavoie, Commander Land Force Central Area. "Being a member of the Ceremonial Guard involves intense training and hours of detailed drill and preparation, which was evident in today's first Changing of the Guard for the 2013 season."

When required, the Ceremonial Guard mounts Guards of Honour for visiting dignitaries. The Band of the Ceremonial Guard is the largest in the Canadian Forces; outside of public duties, they perform in public concerts, at military functions and other ceremonies throughout the National Capital Region.

The Ceremonial Guard, today, is a Canadian Army unit of over 400 Regular and Reserve soldiers that includes the Band of the Ceremonial Guard and the Pipes and Drums of the Ceremonial Guard. The Guard is augmented by members of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Royal Canadian Air Force to execute sentry duty at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The first Guard Mount took place on Parliament Hill on July 2nd, 1959. It was carried out by the Regiment of Canadian Guards, a Regular Force regiment of the Canadian Armed Forces. The Public Duties Detachment was later manned by the two Reserve Guards Regiments, the Governor General's Foot Guards, from Ottawa and the Canadian Grenadier Guards, from Montreal. Today the Ceremonial Guard is comprised of soldiers from units across Canada who adopt the customs and traditions of these two Guards Regiments.

Note to editors:

For any queries please contact Captain Indira Thackorie, Public Affairs Officer, at 647-920-9231 or by email at

For more information on the Ceremonial Guard please visit:

Contact Information