The RCMP Musical is visiting Hope for two shows during Brigade Days this year.
Performances will take place at the Sixth Avenue Sports Bowl and nearby stables will be open throughout the weekend for people to meet the horses and riders.
“The community of Hope should be proud that they’ve selected us. It was something we really had to work hard for and it just shows that the higher-ups in the RCMP recognize that this is a community that holds the RCMP in high regard,” said Staff Sgt. Suki Manj, detachment commander of Hope and Boston Bar RCMP. “We work really hard to build a strong relationship with the community. I think this is a perfect way of expressing that and allowing the community to be involved with what we’re all about.”
The Musical Ride is performed by 32 riders and horses, plus the member in charge. The show consists of a variety of intricate figures and cavalry drills choreographed to music.
One of the most recognizable Musical Ride formations is the “Dome,” once featured on the back of the Canadian $50 bill. Another highlight is the charge when lances, with their red and white pennons, are lowered and the riders and their mounts launch into the gallop.
Members of the Musical Ride are police officers who, after at least two years of active duty, volunteer with the Musical Ride. Most have no riding experience prior to their equestrian training.
RCMP members remain with the Musical Ride for three years, which ensures an annual rotation of approximately one third of the riders. The first official Musical Ride was performed in Regina under Inspector William George Matthews in 1887.
Michael Kropp, president of the Hope Brigade Days planning committee, feels the Musical Ride is a perfect fit for the 45th annual festivities, which take place Sept. 6-8.
“This is a big event for us,” he said. “It’s a huge thing for the town and will bring a lot of people here.”
An RCMP Regimental Ball is also planned during Brigade Days on Sept. 7. The formal dinner and dance will feature keynote speakers, as well as a silent auction with proceeds going to a local charity. Tickets to the event will be available to the public.
“I felt historically the town of Hope has had a great relationship with the RCMP and I wanted an opportunity to give back to the community,” said Manj. “This is a great way to interact with the members and share in our history.”