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Regular Events


January 1 - New Year's Levée   The Levee is an old tradition by which Officers and Non Commissioned Members are welcomed to visit the various messes throughout the Calgary Garrison, including the Mewata Garrison, North East Armoury, and HMCS Tecumseh.  The venue for this event changes from year to year, sometimes being held in a single Mess.

The history of the New Year's Day Levée goes back many years; currently separate Levées are held each year by the Governor General, the Lieutenant-Governor, military establishments, municipalities and other institutions. The word Levée itself is derived from the French verb lever - to rise (specifically from one's bed) - and has its origins in the Levée du Soleil (Rising of the Sun) instituted by King Louis XIV (1643-1715) who received male subjects in the Royal bedchamber just after arising, a practice which subsequently spread throughout Europe, reaching Great Britain during the 18th Century where it became a formal Court assembly (reception) given by the Sovereign or his/her representative in the forenoon or early afternoon, at which only men were received.

In the colonies of the New world, the Levée was held by the Monarch's official representatives and attendance by village leaders and public dignitaries was compulsory; in Canada the Levée became associated with New Year's Day, perpetuating an ancient custom of
this country, dating from the days of the fur trade. The people of the trade traditionally paid their respects to their representative of government - the Master of the Fort - on New Year's Day.

During the Second World War, when women were recruited directly into the armed forces in large numbers, Levées were attended by female officers and thus ceased to be a male only tradition.

More information available in an article by J. Michael Roberts, Secretary to the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Government House Victoria, British Columbia,

Robbie Burns Night - sponsored by the Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess, tickets for this event must be purchased in advance.


Grand Highland Ball (links to latest information on upcoming event)- Held in the spring annually in conjunction with other community partners, the Grand Highland Ball is a unit tradition of many years. (Historical photos via The Calgary Highlanders Regimental Museum and Archives, click to enlarge.)

103rd Regiment (Calgary Rifles) Regimental Ball 1912 Calgary Highlanders Regimental Ball - 1950s
Calgary Highlanders Regimental Ball - 1920s

Regimental Birthday   The Calgary Highlanders commemorate the birth of the Regiment on the Wednesday night closest to April 1st, the Regimental Birthday.  This parade, held at Mewata Armoury, is generally open to the public.  Annual awards are presented at this service. 

St. Julien's Day   The Calgary Highlanders commemorate the Battle of St. Julien, and in particular the attack on Kitcheners' Wood (22 April 1915) on the third or fourth weekend in April.   A dinner is hosted by the Officers' Mess on the Friday evening (attendance by invitation only), and a public parade is held on the Saturday, followed by a church service at the Cathedral of the Redeemer and finally a dinner for the Tenth Battalion Calgary Highlanders Association, which is open to any former or currently serving Calgary Highlander.  All association members will receive an invite in the mail prior to the event and are asked to RSVP in advance. Dinner tickets are available at the door for those whose current address is not on file with the Association.

julien1990.jpg (15931 bytes) julien1990a.jpg (15084 bytes)

The Regiment's traditional place of worship in years past has been the Cathedral of the Redeemer in downtown Calgary.  Photos above are from the 1990s; families and friends are welcome to attend the church service.  At right, above, the old King's and Regimental Colours of The Calgary Highlanders can be seen where they were deposited after their retirement in 1967.


Calgary Exhibition and Stampede - the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth begins on the first Friday of July (unless that Friday is also Canada Day) with a parade in downtown Calgary.  The Regimental Pipes and Drums have appeared in almost every Stampede Parade since the first parade in 1912.   During the Stampede, the Regiment maintains a weapons display as part of the Canadian Armed Forces stands at the Stampede Grounds.  The public is invited to come talk to the soldiers of the Regiment and safely handle the weapons the Regiment trains with.


Walcheren Causeway - the Battle of Walcheren Causeway (31 Oct - 2 Nov 1944) is commemorated annually by the Regiment on the weekend closest to 31 October.  A parade and drumhead church service are held, and the local Dutch community participates in the event.  In past years this has included a choir in traditional Dutch national costume, buffet lunch with Dutch cuisine, and inspection of the Guard by the Dutch Consul General.  The public is welcome to attend this event.


Remembrance Day - the Regiment traditionally participates in the main service at the Jubilee Auditorium on 11 November, providing soldiers for the cenotaph and taking part in the March Past outside the auditorium after the service.  Other services are supported by the Regiment also, at the Memorial Park cenotaph (across from the Colonel Belcher Hospital), the Museum of the Regiments, and in other locations across southern Alberta, honouring those communities who also contributed men to the Tenth Battalion and Calgary Highlanders in time of war.


Men's Christmas Dinner - for serving soldiers only, in traditional style the Officers and Senior NCOs of the Regiment thank the junior soldiers for another year of hard work and training by serving Christmas Dinner to the troops.  The youngest soldier in the Regiment enjoys the privilege of becoming Commanding Officer for a day.  Presentations and awards are also part of the festivities.


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