The role of Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific is to provide support for the Canadian Forces, particularly the Navy. The complete range of musical services for military, governmental, and civilian functions serves to heighten morale and esprit de corps throughout Canada. Military and public parades, ceremonial, commemorative and social events, dances, school concerts, public concerts and fundraising for registered Canadian non-profit organizations are some of the many engagements that display the versatility of Naden Band. Naden Band communicates in the universal language of music, fostering goodwill and bringing enjoyment to one and all.
Music has long been part of the tradition of sailors and the sea. As far back as the 1700�s �shantymen� aboard ships sang sea songs while the crew joined in the refrain as they hauled in their lines.
The history of naval bands on the West Coast goes back to the 1920's when various bands provided music support for HMCS Naden in the pre-World War II era, playing for base parades, monthly church parades and public parades through the streets of Esquimalt, Victoria and Vancouver.
During the war, the Royal Canadian Navy had 18 bands, three of them serving aboard ships. One of these shipboard bands was Naden Band, formed in August of 1940, which soon gained recognition as the best of the navy bands. The band duties during the Second World War consisted of keeping up both civilian and military morale with concerts, dances and hundreds of radio broadcasts. They also assisted the government in raising money for the war effort through countless War Bond Drives. The end of the war brought demobilisation and disbanding of the navy bands - with the exception of the Naden Band.
In the decades following World War II, Naden Band continued to represent the Canadian Forces throughout British Columbia and Canada, receiving acclaim for its performance at events such as the Pacific National Exhibition and the Grey Cup in Vancouver, the Kelowna Regatta, Edmonton�s Klondike Days, and the Calgary Stampede. In travels abroad, the Naden Band became an ambassador for Canada with performances as varied as Expo �70 in Osaka, Japan; accompanying the Provider and the 2nd Canadian Destroyer Squadron in a 1972 tour of Fiji, New Zealand and Australia; as well as participating in an historic visit to Vladivostok, Russia in 1991.
Naden Band aided Canadian Forces recruiting offices in their efforts to reach young Canadians, through concerts and presentations at schools. The band demonstrated support for local communities with its active role in fund-raising for non-profit organisations, such as the Salvation Army Christmas Toy Drive, United Way Campaign, among others.
The federal budget of 1994 resulted in the disbanding of five of Canada�s nine regular force military bands, of which Naden Band was one casualty. Fifty-four years of tradition ended with a concert at MacPherson Playhouse in Victoria on June 6th, 1994, and the next day, the band marched out of the Dockyard for the last time.
From 1994 to 1997, HMCS Malahat Band, comprised of nine regular force musicians augmented by reservists worked hard to fill the void, providing musical support for Maritime Forces Pacific Command.
In June 1997, the Minister of Defence announced a restructuring of the music branch and the creation of two new bands in Victoria and Edmonton. The Maritime Forces Pacific Band was formed, re-establishing a full-time regular force naval band on the West Coast. With the re-instatement of the name "Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific", the long-standing naval heritage and tradition continues.