July 17, 2015

Up close and personal with one of our Ceremonial Guards


The world is such a small place.  I discovered recently that the son of one of our long time clients attended McGill University in the music program and he is now a member of our very esteemed Ceremonial Guard – the same that marches by our hotel each morning.   His name is Dustin Finer and he has his own web-site:  http://dustinfiner.com

Even more coincidental is that he is a good friend of the son of one of my best friends who lives in Kelowna who also attended McGill.  I asked Dustin if he could talk about his experience here on our blog… and he was kind enough to say yes.  Here is what he said.

AM:  How did you find out about the Ceremonial Guard?

DF:  When I was at McGill, a fellow saxophone player was part of the band and told me about it.

AM: How many years have you been participating

DF: This is my third year.

AM: What instrument(s) do you play

DF: With the Ceremonial Guard I play alto saxophone. In other settings I play other saxophones as well as flute and clarinet.

AM: What is your favourite part about being a part of the CG

DF: It’s great to be able to perform for a large audience every day.

AM: What is your least favourite part?

DF: We have a fairly demanding training phase at the beginning of the summer, but it’s worth it to put on a great show!

AM: What other obligations do you have apart from the ceremony each day.

DF: Occasionally we have rehearsals for other gigs.

AM: What is your favourite memory as a Guard

DF: Canada Day is always a highlight!

AM : How long can one participate ?

DF: As long as they are invited back! The Band Sergeant Major has been here for almost two decades.

AM: What will you take away long term about this experience…does it make you feel differently about Canadians /Canada/ Ottawa?

DF: I’ve gotten a lot of great playing experience. It was also how I became a part of the Canadian Armed Forces. I am now part of a military unit in Montreal whose band I play with during the rest of the year. It’s been great to get to know the city of Ottawa and I’m certainly more proud to be Canadian.

Thank you Dustin for sharing and for being a part of such a great tradition!!  We love hearing the band each morning… means summer is here and I celebrate each and every summer day!