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Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

Special Events 2017

Sunday, April 9
First World War Commemorations, 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge Open House
2017 will see several significant First World War centennial anniversaries, including the Battle of Vimy Ridge, fought April 9-12, 1917. The capture of Vimy Ridge was the first time all four divisions of the Canadian Corps participated in battle together, and its stunning success, despite a terrible cost, is often cited as a significant event in the development of a unique Canadian identity. Visit the Halifax Citadel for this special open house and lean how these events helped shape our nation. Talk to our historical interpreters, see our special Vimy display at the Army Museum, and learn about conditions at the front in our three-hundred foot reconstructed Frist World War trench exhibit.

June 3-4
Doors Open
Parks Canada is pleased the historic Old Town Clock will be once again be open for Halifax’s Annual Doors Open weekend in 2017! It is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the historic core of Halifax however few have had the opportunity to visit. The bottom floor will be open for visitors to see where the clock caretakers lived inside. For more information, visit

Saturday, July 1
Canada Day
Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday at the official Halifax celebration inside the walls of the historic Halifax Citadel – a Confederation-era site! It all starts with the firing of the iconic noon gun followed by the traditional 21-gun salute. Enjoy bands, choirs, 78th Highlander military performances, presentations and don’t miss the official Canada Day cake cut by a 78th Highlander’s sword. Bring your friends and family and enjoy the atmosphere while you celebrate this significant milestone in our history as a nation!

July 18-19
2017 RCMP Musical Ride Halifax
As part of 2017 celebrations, Parks Canada and the Halifax Citadel National Historic Site are pleased to welcome the RCMP Musical Ride to the Garrison Grounds for two special performances. A spectacle known around the world, the RCMP Musical Ride is performed by a full troop of 32 riders and their horses. Their performance, consisting of intricate figures and drills choreographed to music, demands the utmost control, timing and coordination. More details to follow. Click here to know more about the RCMP Musical Ride.

July 28-August 1
Tall Ships Halifax – A Canada 150 Signature event!
Parks Canada is thrilled once again to help welcome over 40 Tall Ships to Halifax and over 29 Nova
Scotia ports of call in 2017! A strategic rallying point in the Rendez-Vous 2017 transatlantic race, the Halifax Waterfront will be bustling with entertainment and activities for the whole family including historical displays telling aspects of the Story of Canada, music and dramatic presentations, and access to Georges Island National Historic Site for the much loved historic tunnel tours. You won’t want to miss this spectacle - mark your calendars now, more details to follow.

Friday, August 18
Freedom of the City with the 78th Highlanders
Freedom of the City is an honour granted to military or paramilitary groups in recognition of their service to a municipality. Since 1998, the 78th Highlanders has exercised this privilege by marching through the streets of Halifax with bayonets fixed, drums beating, and Colours flying. Take in the special squad inspection inside the Halifax Citadel starting at 11:00 a.m. and then after the noon gun, follow the Highlanders to Grand Parade and onto Government House. Don’t miss the unique opportunity to celebrate ‘Confederation-era pageantry’ in 2017!

September 16-17
Revolutionary War Encampment, The Second Citadel in the age of Revolution Encampment
Members of various Maritime living history groups will again set up a military camp in the Halifax Citadel’s south ditch depicting the time of the American Revolution, when thousands of Loyalists immigrated to Nova Scotia and made a significant contribution to a new country that would eventually become Canada. Details of camp life, camp cooking, washing, everyday tasks, blacksmithing and children’s games will be featured and on Saturday afternoon a mock battle will take place on the slope of Citadel Hill. The Encampment opens Saturday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Saturday, October 21
First World War Commemorations, 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele
Join Parks Canada, the Army Museum Halifax Citadel, and the Halifax Citadel Regimental Association as they mark the 100th anniversary of one of the most significant battles of the First World War. The Battle of Passchendaele has come to symbolize the mud and folly of trench warfare. Visitors can see firsthand a First World War Belgian Army uniform inside the Army Museum, while the Halifax Citadel’s trench exhibit serves as the backdrop to understand the hardships and challenges Canadian troops faced as they gained another tactical victory. Join the commemoration and learn more how these events helped shape our nation of today.

Saturday, November 11
Remembrance Day Commemorations
Parks Canada and the Halifax Citadel are honoured to join in Remembrance Day commemorations in Halifax on November 11th. Starting at 11:00 a.m., the 1st Field Artillery Regiment will fire a 21-gun salute followed by the noon gun. The Halifax Citadel and Army Museum will be open to visitors from 10 am until 3 pm. Take the opportunity to visit the First World War trench exhibit inside the Citadel’s defensive ditch and tour the Army Museum's First World War exhibit, Road to Vimy and Beyond, which honours the sacrifice of the soldiers, many of them from Nova Scotia.

November 25-26
28th Annual Victorian Christmas
Make your way to the Halifax Citadel as the historic fort takes on a festive air with Victorian carols, crafts, games and, of course, Father Christmas. Enjoy some hot cider and don’t miss the Parks Canada Victorian photo booth - it’s the perfect way to capture some holiday magic to share with family and friends. Event runs 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. both days and admission is free with a donation to FEED NOVA SCOTIA (non-perishable food item or cash donation).

Wednesday, December 6
Halifax Explosion 100th Anniversary Commemorations
100 years ago, the Halifax Explosion devastated the north end of Halifax, killing 2000 people and wounding 9000 more, while destroying the city’s industrial centre. Parks Canada and the Halifax Citadel will mark the exact moment of the explosion by firing a cannon from the ramparts at exactly 9:05:35 am. The Army Museum Halifax Citadel will also be open from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. For more details, please check the website closer to the event.

Other Parks Canada Special Events in Nova Scotia