Just when you thought you couldn’t get more excited about the RCMP Musical Ride in Sooke, now an opening band is part of the lineup.
The National Band of the Naval Reserve will open both shows for the musical ride, which take place at Fred Milne Park on Aug. 18 at 2 p.m., followed by a sunset show on Aug. 19 at 6 p.m.
The band is a professional organization of the Royal Canadian Navy, made up of Canadian musicians and students from naval reserve units located in Quebec, Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg and Calgary.
Steve Wright, organizer of the event, said the band tours during the summer months and happens to be in B.C. the same time as the musical ride.
The band has played for royalty, military leaders, and for diverse audiences across Canada and the U.S.
The NBNR will also be doing a separate performance at Ed Macgregor Park on Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. The concert is free.
Tickets to the musical ride are $5 each, and a portion of the tickets will be made available to Sooke residents before offered to others in Greater Victoria. Proceeds from the musical ride will be donated to Cops for Cancer.
The first musical ride was held at the Regina RCMP barracks in 1887 and regular public performances began in 1904, when a troop travelled to regional fairs in Winnipeg, Brandon, Qu’Appelle and Regina.
Today, the ride is based outside Ottawa. Members are primarily police officers who have at least two years of active police-work experience, although they don’t need riding experience.
Officers have to try out for the position after a five-week course, then pass a six-month training period and test before joining the troop.
In addition to Sooke, the RCMP Musical Ride will also perform in Parksville on Aug. 21 and 22, Courtenay from Aug. 24 to 26 and Duncan on Aug. 28 as part of a Vancouver Island tour.
The RCMP Musical Ride performed in Victoria and Colwood last summer as part of a special Canada 150 tour.