Monday, April 15, 2024

CFB Esquimalt gives the public a chance to tour navy ships at Ogden Point open house


The Royal Canadian Navy is a big part of Victoria’s past, present and future, but it’s not everyday that civilians have a chance to be welcomed aboard one of their vessels. 

On Sunday, September 17th, CFB Esquimalt is holding the fourth iteration of their Defence on the Dock event at Ogden Point.

“Defence on the Dock allows us to showcase some of the exciting things we do at CFB Esquimalt and provide a glimpse into life in the Canadian Armed Forces and on the Base,” said Rodney Venis, CFB Esquimalt Base Public Affairs.

“A lot of the day-to-day work done by the Greater Defence Team here on Vancouver Island and beyond – training, research, supporting the fleet – happens behind walls and fences, at sea and in remote locations – and so we’re thrilled to be able to bring the ships, aircraft, and most of all, our people to Ogden Point this Sunday,” he added

The event will start off at 10:30 a.m. for opening ceremonies which will include performances from the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Lekwungen Traditional Dancers.

The Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy is one of six military bands in Canada. They are a 35-piece band made up of full-time musicians.

They will play everything from big band, brass and woodwind quintets, rock and contemporary music throughout the event. 

In addition to them, there will also be performances by the 5th (British Columbia) Field Artillery Regiment Military Band and the Canadian Scottish Pipes & Drums.

A BBQ will be on site to serve up both breakfast and lunch fare by donation. The Esquimalt Military Family Resource Centre has offered to take on the food service at this event and they will be the beneficiaries of all donations to continue providing military families with support in Victoria. 

There will be several activities and activations for kids who want to come and are curious about what the Navy does, whether they have family in the Navy or not. 

Some of these activities include: 

  • Experiencing virtual reality goggles with games and a 3D printer
  • Battlefleet board games
  • Interactive knot tying experiences 
  • Button making and colouring sheets
  • Fighter jet cockpit demos
  • Vintage Army Vehicles that kids (or adults) can sit in

Plus, the Victoria Royals will be there along with Marty the Marmot and there will be ship tours as well as boat rides.

The HCMS Yellowknife and HCMS Winnipeg will also both be available to explore on tours and an ORCA class ship will also be around to hop on and check out. They are well-known as one of the Navy’s go-to ships for training on the west coast. 

Lastly, anyone who is under 16-years-old and in attendance will be able to enter a contest to be Base Commander for a Day. They’ll get a full tour of the base, ships and get to meet a ton of servicemen and servicewomen. 

Defence on the Dock

  • Where: Ogden Point 
  • When: Sunday, September 17th, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Attendance: Free
Curtis Blandy

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