Booking the Band

Calender imageWe are available, sometimes, for both public and private events. Our band is entirely made up of volunteers, some who are active-duty firefighters, some who are retired firefighters, and some who are members of the public (about a third of each, as it happens).

This means that, much as we all love to go out and play (it’s fun!), our availability is variable, depending on who can make it out for any given date.

LINK TO CONTACT FORM, in case you want to skip the chatter below, and just send us a note!

If you are interested in seeing if we can perform for your event, here are some tips that might help:

  1. Contact us as early as you possibly can — we often book as much as a year in advance, especially for large community events.
  2. Fire department funerals and official City of Vancouver events take precedence over all other potential bookings.
  3. Please be patient while we check our calendar. After we receive your request, the band executive discusses how it fits into the calendar of public and private bookings we already have lined up, then if we think it could work we poll the band membership to check everyone’s availability for the requested date. After that, we will then get back in touch with you with an answer. We will acknowledge your request as quickly as we can, in the meantime, and will keep you informed as we sort it out. We know you’ll need an answer as soon as possible, and we’ll do our best. (Scheduling ~30 volunteers does take a little while, sometimes!)
  4. Most of our bookings are from September to June; very rarely do we try to assemble the band in July or August.We usually “stand down,” firefighter-speak for “take a break,” for the summer as it can be really hard to gather enough musicians from across the whole band to have a “good sound” during the summer months. BC is a beautiful place, and we all love to go “check it out” when the weather is great!
  5. We have various configurations of the band available, so please consider what your needs are and what electrical/shelter/bandstand space or services you can provide (e.g. full-sized big band, with guitar, piano, bass; small Dixieland-style stand-up band; herald trumpets for ceremonial purposes; possibly a small jazz combo…) We’ll help you work it out, but the more clear you are about what you would like and how that will work with your event, the better.
  6. Please plan to have us play for about an hour — anything less than 45 minutes is tough for us as our members come from all over the Metro Vancouver region and even as far away as Mission; more than 90 minutes of blowing, and we really start to wear out! We can do two separate sections, as long as the gap between isn’t too long — or you provide us with great entertainment to keep us busy!
  7. Our repertoire is largely swing band tunes, with some light pop mixed in for fun, maybe an old TV or movie theme or two… and, sadly, funeral music for those more solemn occasions. You don’t want to hear us attempt Top 40 hits of today… (No, really, you don’t…)
  8. We are partially funded by the City as the Official Band of the City of Vancouver, but this doesn’t cover everything, so we really appreciate an honorarium from your community event to help us defray the many costs involved in supporting a band of 25 – 30 members (music, uniforms, equipment, travel, etc). We don’t base our community-event booking decisions on this, but we sure do appreciate some financial appreciation. For private or ticketed events, such as weddings, corporate events, large fundraisers, etc., we will want to talk with you more about this topic.

Of course, the very best way to see if we can play for your event is simply to ask! From there, just know that we love to have great excuses to serve the community and to play our tunes for you, so we’ll do all we can to work it out!

(Image: renjith krishnan /