While pipe and military bands from around Canada march into Vernon for the second annual the Okanagan Military Tattoo this weekend, an Enderby musician is marching her way around Ottawa.
Cpl. Blythe Heywood, formally a cadet with the B.C. Dragoons in Vernon, is a military musician who has been in the Canadian Armed Forces for two years.
She is currently spending the summer with the band of the Ceremonial Guard, one of the most recognizable military units in Canada.
“I am proud to carry on the family tradition of serving in the military like my brothers,” said Heywood, who plays French horn and grew up in Kingfisher, a community east of Enderby. “I’ve wanted to play with the ceremonial guard ever since I was a kid.”
With their scarlet tunics and bearskin headdress, the Ceremonial Guard is best known for the changing of the guard, a top Ottawa summer attraction that for more than 50 years has thrilled thousands of visitors on Parliament Hill.
The guard also provide sentries at the National War Memorial and at Rideau Hall, the official residence of Gov. Gen. David Johnston.
Heywood has already gone through three weeks of intensive drill training, mastering precision movements while playing her instrument, maintaining a high standard of dress and deportment, and undergoing extensive physical fitness training.
Fitted and tailored in the scarlet tunic and bearskin hat, she stands tall with other members of this prestigious band.
During the summer, Blythe will also perform in Ceremonial Guard appearances around Eastern Ontario as well as the culmination event known as Fortissimo.
Fortissimo is a military and musical spectacular event that takes place this weekend on the lawns of Parliament Hill. It features massed military bands, pipes and drums, musical guests and the soldiers of the Ceremonial Guard.
So when the band leads the scarlet tunics through the nation’s capital, remember there is an Enderby connection.