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Canada 2013

The band went on tour to Nova Scotia in Canada from 27th July to 3rd August 2013. Our wonderful hosts were the Bridgewater Fire Department Band.
Below is a blog/summary of what we got up to on the tour with day by day updates. There are many other pictures on our Facebook page as well as the Facebook page of the BFD band.
You can view a full album of pictures from the trip here. Pictures courtesy of Elizabeth Klaas.

Sunday 28th July, 0800

The band arrived into Bridgewater last night around 10pm after 24hrs of weary travel. The Icelandair flights over were pleasant enough, even if they did manage to lose one of our bags! 

The band were greeted by a very warm reception from the Chief Fire Officer as well as the rest of our friends from the Bridgewater Fire Department band. It's great to see everyone again!

It's 8am here in NS as I write this and the band are waking up to a beautiful morning Nova Scotia today. Sat out on he deck, The sun is shining, there are some light clouds in the sky, the ocean is gently lapping the beach and a small family of deer are jumping around the coastline. 

It's a day of relaxation for most of today. We have a lazy morning scheduled before a picnic at Finney farm this afternoon. Then we're  off to Chester bandstand for an evening concert.

Sunday 28th July, 2200

The band had a lovely afternoon with a picnic at Finney farm today. It's a beautiful setting on a small hill, overlooking the ocean.

Following from a lazy afternoon we took off for a quick rehearsal. The band then performed a great concert at Chester Bandstand on the east coast. It's one of the most beautiful settings with the sun set providing a wonderful back drop across the harbour. 

The Chester crowds were out in force, though it was somewhat unusual for us as many sit in their cars to watching the concert, honking their horns as applause. The audience feedback with superb and it was so nice that so many people came up to us after with wonderful comments and to share their thoughts. The band also collected a record amount from "the hat" which was passed around.

The band were helped out by one or two of our Bridgewater colleagues which was very much appreciated!

In other news, our lost bag has now turned up - though in Costa Rica, which isn't especially helpful. Our gracious thanks to the wonderful people of Heathrow airport.

Tomorrow is a relaxing day for us. A number of people are visiting Peggy's cove, and there is a pool party in the evening - weather permitting!

Monday 29th July, 2200

Today was a really relaxing day for the band. We had free time all day so the band want off with their hosts to various points of Nova Scotia. 

The majority of us paid a visit to Peggy's Cove, a beautiful little village set on a large rocky outcrop. The village is quite typical of the area with fishing activity and brightly coloured clapperboard houses.

In the evening it was time for one of Gerry and Anne's famous pool parties. Despite a little rain earlier in the day, the weather was kind to us in the evening, with the party being kicked off at a fab 27deg. A great evening followed and we enjoyed a fabulous spread laid on by Anne.

Tuesday 30th July
Another easy day today, with a barbeque at Laura's house.
We the had our first rehearsal tonight. A bit of an endurance session at three hours long, but we got everything boxed off that we needed to, and the two bands slotted together really well and the music sounded great! 

We had a little party afterwards to celebrate our Musical Directors 8th wedding anniversary, with the romantic gent giving Alison a lovely bunch of flowers.
Tomorrow the band go to Halifax. We have a tour of Pier 21 and the after lunch we are guests at Governors House. In the evening we have a concert at the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Halifax, in aid of their church organ restoration fund.
Wednesday 31st August
The band visited Pier 21 this morning which is the immigration museum of Canada. We learnt about those who were sent to Canada during war time as well as some other really interesting points on the whole process back when Canada was becoming more populated. 
After lunch we the had a fabulous tour of Government House, with its ornate rooms, great decorations, and a number of other interesting features.

The evening brought our first major concert at the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Halifax. The concert went very well and the band sounded great in the large acoustic of the church.
Lee Whitworth, the band's MD presented the Dean of Church with a donation from WYFRS Band, which was following on from the collection at Chester Band stand. The band management decided this collection should be split between the Church organ restoration fund and the BFD Band.
In addition the church received $800 in ticket money on the door, making it a very successful evening all round.

Thursday 1st August
Today, the band sailed the Eastern Star, a beautiful sail boat, which shows glorious views of Lunenburg.
After the sailing we had lunch in "The Knot" which serves a great pub lunch. We then spent a little time wandering around the beautiful UNESCO town of Lunenburg taking in some of the lovely buildings.
In the evening we had an official photo call outside the Bridgewater Fire Hall followed by a sound check in readiness for our gala concert at Bridgewater High School.
Prior to the concert, the management of the band were proud to receive a Certificate of Achievement from the Bridgewater Town Chamber President presented by Dave Hadley.
Both bands sounded fabulous as did singer Dominique Blais. The concert was a great success with much praise from all the assembled dignitaries. The concert featured a demanding programme of music including Les Miserables, A Selection from Cirque De Soliel and an exceptional duet of cornets playing an arrangement of Auld Lang Syne and the Last Post which finished with standing ovation. A report from the concert from South Shore News can be seen here with some footage on the BFD Band Facebook page here.
During the concert, the band presented gifts to the Mayor, The BFD Band and the Fire Department on behalf of the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.
(Left to Right: Andrew Field and Lee Whitworth - WYFRS Band, Gary Ramey - Member of Legislative Assembly for Lunenburg West, Dominique Blais - Singer, David Walker - Mayor of Bridgewater, Wendell Eisener - BFD Band, Wayne Thorburne - Retired Chief Fire Officer or BFD, Michael Nauss - Serving Chief Fire Officer of BFD)
With the last concert over, the band have packed up their instruments now, and are looking forward to relaxing for the rest of the week.

Friday 2nd August
This morning the band headed off to Wolfville for a tour of the Grand Pre Winery. After the tour we had lunch in Wolfville and a steady meander around the town.
The evening was time for our final dinner together held at the Lunenburg Golf Club with is fabulous setting right across from the harbour. The dinner was fabulous, with a few more "Thank you's" exchanged. We then all headed off for a bonfire on the beach, and a few beers as we watched a firework display put on for us by Chief Nauss and Chief Thorburne.
Saturday 3rd August, 1030
Its the final morning of the trip now, and folks are starting to pack up. We gathered at the fire hall to say final goodbyes, before all heading on our way.
We have extended an invitation to the band to visit West Yorkshire once again in 2015 and we are extremely grateful for the hospitality shown to us whilst we've been in Nova Scotia, for what has been another fabulous tour for WYFRS band!

As is often the case with band tours, a number of the bands' members have decided to travel onwards following from the trip. On this occasion the largest group have decided to drive through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada, then cross the border into the USA.

The ultimate destination was New York, but along the way we took in beautiful Vermont, Hampton Beach, Harvard, Boston Tanglewood on Parade, by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a Yankees game and of course the fabulous Manhattan skyline.

If you think a trip like this might be something you could enjoy - look at our join the band page