Categorized | News

Fort Museum hosts RCMP Musical Ride

A sell-out crowd was treated to a colourful equine spectacle Wednesday as the RCMP Musical Ride performed in the Fort Macleod Midnight Stadium Agriplex.

More than 300 people filled the stands to watch the iconic red-coated riders guide their mounts through intricate patterns.

The RCMP Musical Ride gave a salute to special guests Glen Michelson, a 99-year-old RCMP and Lethbridge Police Service veteran, and Dave Rooke, a retired RCMP staff sergeant who had the idea to create the Musical Ride at the Fort Museum. Michelson was accompanied by his great nephew, LPS Sgt. Denton Michelson (left) and Const. Shawn Davis, the LPS regimental sergeant major.

The performance hosted by the Fort Museum was part of the RCMP’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

“Today, as we mark this milestone we extend our gratitude to the legacy of the RCMP and its dedicated members who serve to protect us with unwavering dedication and commitment,” Fort Macleod Mayor Brent Feyter said.

Master of ceremonies Bob Gunn, who is president of the Fort Macleod Historical Society, welcomed guests to the event.

Gunn paid tribute to museum executive director Sandi Davis and her team, as well as volunteers, for their role in hosting the event.

Christine Whiteman gave a land acknowledgment, speaking in Blackfoot and English.

Whiteman also spoke of the Blackfoot name Iitainih’rso’pa, or “Where the Treaty Took Place to Make Peace,” that was bestowed last month on the Fort Museum.

“This was a true historic moment for the Fort Museum,” Whiteman said.

The Museum’s First Nations Artifact Gallery also received the Blackfoot name Aakokamo’tsinai’pi, or “Where We Gather to Tell and Write the True Story.”

Patrick Black Plume then gave a Blackfoot blessing.

Gunn introduced visiting dignitaries, including Siksika Nation Chief Duray Crowfoot, RCMP K Division commanding officer Curtis Zablocki, RCMP Supt. Rick Jane, Staff Sergeant Laura Akitt, and Lethbridge Police Service Deputy Chief Gerald Grobmeier.

Gunn also introduced Foothills MP John Barlow, Fort Macleod councillors Jim Monteith, Mackenzie Hengerer and Marco Van Huigenbos and CAO Anthony Burdett, Pincher Creek Mayor Don Anderberg, and MD of Willow Creek councillors Earl Hemmaway, John Kroetsch and John Van Driesten.

A special guest was 99-year-old Glen Michelson, a retired Lethbridge Police Service superintendent who also served with the RCMP.

Gunn also paid tribute to Dave Rooke, a retired RCMP staff sergeant who was detachment commander in Fort Macleod from 1972-’77 and who had the idea of creating the Mounted Patrol that performs the Musical Ride at the Fort Museum.

The RCMP Musical Ride gave a salute to both Michelson and Rooke during the performance.

In his address, Fort Macleod Mayor Brent Feyter thanked the RCMP for the work they do in the community, and the Mounted Police in general.

“One hundred and 50 years is no small amount of time and we appreciate everything every single one of you do,” Feyter said.

Feyter commented on the role the Blackfoot elders had played in the Indigenous prayers, smudging ceremony and RCMP tipi-raising earlier that day.

“Their wisdom reminds us of the enduring bond between the land, people and spirit of unity that unites us all,” Feyter said.

Feyter also paid tribute to the Fort Museum for its role in preserving history and educating people.

“Through their dedication we gain a deeper appreciation for our heritage and strive to build a better future built on mutual respect and co-operation,” Feyter said.

The mayor said it was fitting to host the RCMP Musical Ride during the 150th anniversary year, next to the 1884 North West Mounted Police Barracks provincial historic site.

Tony Miller, a retired Royal Canadian Navy chief petty officer first class, introduced the RCMP Musical Ride.

The first official Musical Ride took place in Regina in 1887, with the inaugural public performance coming in 1901.

Subscribe Online Current Edition

Explore Spectacular Southwest Alberta (PDF)

2021 Explore Southwest Alberta magazine cover