Fortissimo is a military and musical spectacular created for the lawns of Parliament Hill featuring massed military bands, pipes and drums, guest performers and the soldiers of the Ceremonial Guard.
Fortissimo 2013 Performance Highlights.
Shows from August 8-10 starting 7:00 pm on the lawns of Parliament Hill.
Admission is free.
Fortissimo will have Pipes & Drums with Highland Dancers, Massed Bands with Marching Soldiers of the Canadian Army, and don't forget the 1812 Overture!
When elements are confirmed we will let you know, mark your calendar!
Please note acts may be changed at short notice depending on availability of service.
Fortissimo is followed by the "Sound & Light Show" presented by the National Capital Commission.
Based on traditional military customs, the Ceremonial Guard has created Fortissimo. This Canadian military musical event features bands of the Canadian Forces, musicians and soldiers of the Ceremonial Guard plus invited guest bands and pipes and drums with dancers.
The Dominion Carilloneur and the 30th Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery, the 'Bytown Gunners', will also perform.
Fortissimo is open to all spectators at no charge. It is a showcase event in Ottawa, the Nation's Capital and has drawn thousands of spectators since it began in 1997.
Fortissimo is based on two evening routines once carried out by soldiers every day.
The first occurred at sunset, when soldiers fired evening guns, withdrew into fortified camps and cities, locked the gates, and as the sun set and darkness approached, lowered the flag for the night. This was Retreat. Originally, the calls that ordered this routine were beaten on drums, and the routine is still commonly called "Beating Retreat."
The second routine followed at or near dusk when the night watch was set. Rounds were made to check the sentries (with drum or bugle calls to indicate when the "First Post" and the "Last Post" were reached). During this period, the drums beat a warning for all to return to barracks. Often the band played popular tunes, an evening hymn and finally the national anthem. This became known as Tattoo. The word “Tattoo” is said to have derived from the Dutch “die den tap toe,” which is translated as “turn off the taps.” It probably originated from campaigns in the Low Countries in Europe in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and is associated with the practice of a drummer being detailed to beat an order to the tavern and innkeepers to stop serving ale, and for the soldiers to stop drinking and parade for a final muster before returning to quarters.