This summer, don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate your history at the colourful RCMP Sunset-Retreat Ceremony at RCMP Academy, ‘Depot’ Division. Join us for this free, bilingual Canadian Signature Experience starting on Canada Day (July 1st) and the six following Tuesday nights.. The Sunset-Retreat Ceremony is one of the American Bus Association’s 2015 Top 100 events in North America.
The Ceremony includes the cadet marching band, a canon drill, the lowering of the Canadian flag, the March Past, and RCMP cadets performing dismounted cavalry drills while dressed in the famous scarlet tunic.
Prior to the ceremony, there will be a pre-show at 5:45 pm that will include demonstrations by different RCMP divisions including the K-9 Unit, as well as the opportunity to get up close with cadets and their cruisers. There will also be a food truck on site in front of the RCMP Heritage Centre.
After the ceremony, guests will have the chance to meet Safety Bear, as well as Turbo and Salute, two retired Musical Ride horses that make “Depot” Division their home. Don’t forget your camera!
This is an outdoor event so please dress accordingly and please bring a lawn chair or blanket for seating. In case of inclement weather, both the pre-show and the Sunset-Ceremony will be cancelled.
Admission to this event is free. Free parking is available at the RCMP Heritage Centre, including bus and motor coach parking. From there, it is a short walk to the Sleigh Square.
People with disabilities or who may require additional assistance should plan to arrive early so that our staff can ensure a spot on one of the Centre’s wheelchair accessible people movers to escort you to the Ceremony.
History of the Sunset-Retreat Ceremony
This ceremony is an old British military tradition dating back to the 18th century and is referred to as a “military tattoo”. The term “tattoo”, derived from an old Dutch word meaning “turn off the taps”, comes to us from the 17th century when a soldier’s life was strictly controlled by his regiment. The daily routine of a military post was signaled by the beat of a drum.
At sunset, a lone drummer was sent into the streets of town to beat out a tattoo. It was the signal for the tavern owners to close down for the night and for military personnel to return to the post. When the latter were back at the post, the flag was lowered in a ceremony marking the end of another day.
Sunset-Retreat Ceremonies are performed on the following dates:
July 1 (Saturday)
July 4, 11, 18, 25 (Tuesdays)
August 1 & 8 (Tuesdays)
*In the case of inclement weather, the Sunset-Retreat Ceremony will be cancelled.
6:45pm-7:30pm Sunset-Retreat Ceremony on Sleigh Square, RCMP Academy, “Depot” Division
*Guests are encouraged to arrive early and be seated by 6:30pm for the start of the Sunset-Retreat Ceremony