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Freedom of the City Parade and Ceremony

September 23, 2023 @ 9:30 am11:00 am


Reservists from Victoria’s Naval Reserve Division, His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Malahat, will participate in a military parade in Centennial Square in Victoria B.C. on 23 September, 2023 between 9:45 and 11 a.m.

This parade will be in celebration of 100 years of the Naval Reserves in Canada and the sailors of HMCS Malahat will conduct a Freedom of the City parade in Victoria.,

The public is invited to observe this historic event and view the ceremony in Centennial Square commencing at 10 a.m.

The military parade will start on Wharf Street at Broughton Street and will head east on Fort Street, moving north along Government Street, past Pandora Avenue and into Centennial Square where a ceremony will be held in partnership with the City of Victoria. Upon completion of the ceremony the parade will return along this route from Centennial Square.

Along the parade route there will be brief rolling road closures between 9:45 and 10 a.m. and 10:45 and 11 a.m. to coincide with the beginning and end of the event.

Parade Route:

  1. Stepping off on Wharf St at Broughton, northbound
  2. East onto Fort
  3. North along Government, through Pandora
  4. Right wheel into CRD Square and into Centennial Square
  5. Return leg is the reciprocal route


The tradition of granting Freedom of the City to a military unit goes back more than three centuries. The Freedom of the City means, in the physical sense, the granting of the privilege for all time for a specific military unit to march through the city with “drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed.” It is a most prized honour, for it recognizes the honourable record of the military unit and demonstrates the affection and esteem with which it is held by the community and the trust the citizenry has in the military to protect its democratic institution.


Being granted the “Freedom Of the City” is a great honour to military units that have a close connection with a community.  As “citizen sailors”, Naval Reservists have a strong community connection as in addition to being members of the Royal Canadian Navy they are also students, residents, employers and employees in the civilian side of the community.


In addition, Naval Reservists are not limited to the coasts of Canada – the Navy is proudly represented across 24 divisions across the country.