Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin The Nanaimo Concert Band rehearses at St. Andrew’s United Church last month. The band will play on Nov. 11.

Nanaimo Concert Band never misses Remembrance Day

Concert band has played a part in observing every Nov. 11 since 1918

On the day the armistice was signed to bring an end to the First World War, the streets of Nanaimo “wore a fest air.”

Nov. 11, 1918 was observed as a general holiday in the city and next day’s edition of the Nanaimo Free Press described “scenes of great enthusiasm.” The celebrations culminated in a torchlit procession through the downtown. At the head of the parade, flanked by returning soldiers baring the Union Jack and Red Ensign, was the Silver Cornet Band, now called the Nanaimo Concert Band.

Since then the band has had a presence at every Nov. 11 ceremony, and on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. – the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice – the 146-year-old ensemble will once more provide musical accompaniment at the Remembrance Day observation at the Dallas Square Park cenotaph.

“Why we do it is because it’s important,” said Shari Barker, who’s played clarinet in the concert band for 37 years and acts as the group’s historian. “It’s important to us, it’s important to the community and its important to Canada that we do it.”

She said she’s seen the ceremony change during her tenure, from “extremely low” attendance in the early ’80s to much larger crowds today. She’s also seen the focus shift from commemorating the First and Second World Wars to more contemporary conflicts.

“It’s one of those events that we wouldn’t even hesitate to do. We’re not even asked to do it anymore. We’re just so part of it,” Barker said. “We don’t get invitations anymore. We’re there. We’re the band.”



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

NDSS Islanders win Island volleyball championship

Nanaimo District defeats Carihi three sets to one in AAA Vancouver Island final in Victoria

Kw’umut Lelum expanding its services off-reserve

Child and family support services will be available through new Prideaux Street office

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

VIU Mariners women finish fall undefeated

Women’s basketball team in first place in the PacWest at the break, men’s team tied for first

With tax changes coming, Nanaimo school trustees debate pay raise

New Canada Revenue Agency taxation for school trustees takes effect in January

Barsby Bulldogs bite GW Graham in high school football playoffs

Nanaimo high school senior team wins 49-20, advances to face top-ranked Vernon

Great Nanaimo Toy Drive begins its campaign leading up to Christmas

The 36th Great Nanaimo Toy Drive will make sure children have presents on Christmas morning

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

Outreach group ordered to stop feeding homeless on City of Parksville property

City issued Manna Homeless Society cease and desist order after complaints from public

Victim’s girlfriend testifies on first day of 2016 Chemainus murder trial

“I was soaked in blood from the neck down”: witness

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Most Read