Canadian Royal Heritage Concerts
The Canadian Royal Heritage Trust has held four major concerts to celebrate royal occasions and as fundraising events, with plans for more in the future. Preserving Canada’s royal heritage and making it current to all is the mission of the Canadian Royal Heritage Trust and the concerts fulfil this role in addition to raising funds.
To celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 80th birthday, the Trust staged a major concert on Sunday afternoon, 18th June 2006. Performed by the celebrated Regimental Band of the Governor General’s Horse Guards, under the masterful baton of Captain Frank Merlo, CD, the concert was entitled Their Majesties’ Music. With about 300 tickets sold, it was the Trust’s largest public event and its single most successful fundraising effort to date. The theme of the concert was “tunes of adventure and romance from operettas, musicals and films with royal subjects or settings”. Imaginary royalty hailed real royalty. The concert was held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Toronto and a donation from the proceeds was made to the church’s renovation fund.
In 2007 a second successful fundraising concert, Garlands for the Queen, was held at St Michael’s College School in Toronto on Victoria Day, Monday, 21st May to mark the Official Birthday of Her Majesty The Queen. The concert featured selections illustrating the musical heritage of the Canadian cultural mosaic, with music from around the world. Once again the band of the Governor General’s Horse Guards provided the music. The concert was staged in association with the Angel Foundation for Learning.
The Trust’s close association with the GGHG Band continued at a third major concert in 2010. The Governor General’s Horse Guards Foundation and the Canadian Royal Heritage Trust jointly presented the concert with the Markham Theatre. It was held on Saturday, 17th April at the Markham Theatre north of Toronto and marked the 200th anniversary of the regiment. The Horse Guards began their existence as Button’s Troop in the Town of Markham. Cavalry Cavalcade featured the martial music of horsemen, and the Trust assisted the band in developing the programme and presenting the historical story behind the selections.
In 2012 the CRHT returned to Blessed Sacrament Church to hold a Diamond Jubilee Concert on Saturday, 21st April (the Queen’s actual birthday), in the distinguished presence of the Hon. David Onley, OOnt, Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. Once again the Trust’s partner was the Governor General’s Horse Guards Band, now under the direction of Lieutenant P.J. VanAuken. An audience of over two hundred listened to music of the Queen’s reign and Canada’s royal history and the debut performance by Her Honour Ruth Anne Onley of “We Are the People Of The Maple Leaf”, written by Their Honours David and Ruth Anne Onley.
The Trust has also arranged for the Governor General’s Horse Guards Regimental Band to perform two concerts in Neustadt, Ontario (home of the Canadian Royal Heritage Museum), the second concert to raise funds for the village’s new community hall.