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100 years of Canadian Forces Base Borden

Tickets are now on sale for the Canadian Armed Forces Day and Air Show at CFB Borden in June. The event is one of many planned to celebrate 100 Years of Freedom.
Snowbirds will perform at the Canadian Forces Day and Airshow June 11 and 12 at CFB Borden. Copyright DND

Canadian Forces Base Borden is planning a party with celebrations scattered throughout the year.

April marks the 100th anniversary of the day the 157th Battalion, now known as the Grey and Simcoe Foresters, from Barrie and Collingwood, arrived and began clearing the land near Angus, while living out of tents and washing in the Mad and Pine Rivers until four wash huts were built.

By July, 1916, Camp Borden was in full swing. It resembled a tent city, with enough accommodations for 30,000 people at one time.

Events are scheduled this spring and summer to celebrate "100 Years of Freedom".


100 years100 Years of Freedom


June 4: Freedom of the City Parade

The Mayor of the City of Barrie has granted permission for Canadian Forces Borden to commemorate the centennial of CFB Borden by exercising its Freedom of the City of Barrie.

The Freedom of the City is an ancient honour granted to military organizations, allowing them the privilege to march into the city "with drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed". Members of CFB Borden will halt in front of Barrie City Hall for a short ceremony.

This event will celebrate the continued trust and friendship between the community of Barrie and the members of the Canadian Armed Forces serving at CFB Borden.

June 4: Patriating Vimy Soil

As part of the Borden Legacy Project, a contingent of local community and Base Borden representatives travelled to the Canadian Vimy Memorial near the city of Arras, France, in June 2015.

In a solemn ceremony, battlefield soil symbolically representing the DNA of fallen Canadian soldiers at Vimy Ridge was removed for patriation to Barrie and Borden. Canadian soldiers presently serving in northern Europe joined their compatriots from the French Army in this ceremony, along with dignitaries from Canada and France.

This symbolic soil will be given traditional respect and reverence during its journey along the Highway of Heroes and then on to Barrie and Base Borden.

During Base Borden’s exercise of its Freedom of the City of Barrie in June 2016, the arrival of the Vimy soil will form part of this ceremony. Some of the soil will be encased in the newly-restored Barrie Cenotaph.

June 9: Memorial Wall Unveiling Ceremony

In recognition of Borden’s significance in history, and to put into place a legacy remembrance for future generations to uphold and celebrate, private citizens from the community of Simcoe-Grey County have undertaken to donate a Memorial Wall and Sculpture that will be located at the North gate entrance to Base Borden.

The concept of this legacy project has been professionally designed by a famed Canadian artist and sculptor.

June 9: Borden Centennial Ball

The Base Borden Centennial Ball will commence with a cocktail reception, where guests will be able to mingle surrounded by mementos of the Base’s impressive history. A gala dinner and dance will follow featuring incredible food and entertainment.

Dress for the event is Mess Kit or tuxedo for men and Mess kit or formal evening attire for ladies.

June 11 and 12: Canadian Armed Forces Day and Air Show

The biennial Canadian Armed Forces Day and Air Show will include an extensive number of military ground displays, army vehicles, Forward Operating Base and specialty events.

The Air Show will feature the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, CF-18 Hornet Fighter Jet, the Canadian Forces SkyHawks Parachute Team and several other Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft and Canadian warbirds.

Tickets are now on sale, with early bird pricing until Victoria Day.

July, 2016: Quarter-Guard Ceremonies at Local Cemeteries for WW1 Soldiers

A Quarter-Guard from CFB Borden will visit selected cemeteries in our local area to honour WW1 soldiers who served Canada during the Great War era.

Efforts will be made to contact any relatives who live in the area to become part of the honouring ceremonies.

August 9, 2016: Peacekeepers' Day Ceremony

Peacekeeper's Memorial Park in Angus is the site of a parade to pay tribute to National Peacekeepers' Day. The parade will feature recruits from CFB Borden.

Every year in August, Canadian military members and veterans as well as police officers come together in ceremonies across the country to mark this day.

November 11, 2016: Remembrance Day

CFB Borden will conduct its annual Remembrance Day Ceremony beginning at 10 am.

There will be a media display highlighting all of the Centennial events conducted throughout the year in honour of our war heroes.

Visit for more information and to purchase tickets to the Canadian Armed Forces Day and Air Show.



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Robin MacLennan

About the Author: Robin MacLennan

Robin MacLennan has been a reporter, photographer and editor for the daily media in Barrie, across Simcoe County and Toronto for many years. She is a proud member of the Barrie community.
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