North

Canadian Forces band to play northern Quebec for 1st time

It's a first for Kuujjuaq and a first for northern Quebec. A brass quintet from the Royal 22e Régiment Band will be in the community on Wednesday to play a free concert.

Members of the Royal 22e Régiment Band playing in Kuujjuaq on Wednesday

From left to right: Sgt. Sylvain Mathieu, Sgt. Guillaume Damour, Sgt. Geneviève Bouffard, Sgt. Marc-André Labelle, and Sgt. Guillaume Poulin. (Submitted by Sergeant Kevin Fleming)

It's a first for Kuujjuaq and a first for northern Quebec.

A brass quintet from the Royal 22e Régiment Band will be in Kuujjuaq on Wednesday to play a free concert. They'll also be playing two school concerts on Thursday.

"It's an area of the country that our band has never sent anyone," said Sgt. Kevin Fleming, the band's public affairs representative.

The quintet has two trumpets, a French horn, a trombone and a tuba. There will also be a percussionist with a drum set.

Fleming said the quintet will be playing a wide variety of music so there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

"They're going to hear some classical transcriptions of maybe like an overture originally written for an orchestra that's been reduced down to this quintet. They're also going to be playing some jazz. They're going to be playing some movie music. That's really exciting."

One of the movie pieces they'll be playing is an arrangement of music from The Incredibles.

A learning experience

Fleming said he hopes the event can be a cultural exchange for both the residents and the musicians.

"One of the things that I'm looking forward to and everybody else that I work with, that we're all looking forward to, is learning more about northern culture and Inuit culture. It's not something that we really get exposed to."

He wants to be ambassadors of the French Canadian roots of this part of the Canadian military and to let people know about the existence of the band, which was founded in 1922.

We kind of feel like we're the hidden secret of the Canadian Armed Forces.- Sgt. Kevin Fleming, Royal 22e Régiment Band public affairs representative

Based at Valcartier Garrison in Quebec, the complete band is made up of 35 professional, full-time military musicians. They don't just play military parades — they have a rock band and jazz ensembles, too.

"We kind of feel like we're the hidden secret of the Canadian Armed Forces," said Fleming.

The free public concert is on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the town hall.

About the Author

Ashleigh Mattern is a web writer and reporter with CBC Saskatoon, CBC Saskatchewan, and CBC North; and an associate producer with Saskatoon Morning. She has been working as a journalist since 2007 and joined CBC in 2017. Email: ashleigh.mattern@cbc.ca