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Fleet Week Begins in Halifax

Fleet Week is designed to showcase Halifax as Canada’s defence and ocean hub, with participation from the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) service members. Fleet Week takes place from Thursday, Sept. 7 until Sunday, Sept. 10.

This is Halifax’s first fleet week, as the city hosts ships from the U.K., U.S., France and Germany, as well as RCN ships before they sail away on Operation Cutlass Fury, a massive, two-week NATO exercise.

Minister of National Defence Bill Blair rang the North Atlantic Convoy Bell, which commemorates the Battle of the Atlantic, to officially open Fleet Week.

“Halifax International Fleet Week leverages the power of community partnerships with Maritime Forces Atlantic, in a city which has been home to a naval presence for generations. This is an opportunity for us to open our doors to the communities that support each and every one of us. It allows Halifax to see the work we do, and the people who do it to accomplish the mission of the Royal Canadian Navy, both at home and around the world,” said Rear-Admiral Josée Kurtz, Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic.

Fleet Week will harness the energy of Halifax’s pivotal role as a key international port and staging ground during war times and will again showcase its strategic significance as the new NATO base for DIANA, the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic. “It is meaningful to be announcing the Fleet Week program here today as it also marks the anniversary of the end of World War II,” said Member of Parliament Andy Fillmore. “Halifax understands inherently what the Navy and the Armed Forces mean to our city, our country, and the world. We have a proud legacy of leveraging our natural geographic advantages to answer the call of duty and protect Canadian interests.”

In addition to bringing people from around the world to experience the beauty and hospitality of Halifax, Fleet Week will inspire young Canadians to explore the boundless opportunities in the Forces. CAF recruitment will be present in various locations throughout the event footprint along the waterfront and at venues throughout downtown.

The program includes public ship tours, CAF booths, an esprit de corps rugby match, a series of musical performances on the waterfront at Queen’s Marque, and at participating venues in Halifax. “Our downtown business community has really embraced Fleet Week, with complimentary admissions, tours and discounts for service members, it is really inspiring to see how animated and enthusiastic everyone is to recognize and thank all those who serve their country,” said Paul MacKinnon DHBC Executive Director.

“It will be a busy weekend, one that harkens back to another era in our city’s history while looking forward to a growing complement of visiting international Navy ships to Halifax every September.” There will be seven participating ships from Canada in Halifax International Fleet Week as well as ships from several other countries arriving for Exercise CUTLASS FURY.

Halifax International Fleet Week is made possible by Lockheed Martin, Amazon Web Services Canada, Thales Group, BAE Systems and is a collaboration between the Royal Canadian Navy, Build Nova Scotia, Discover Halifax, and the Downtown Halifax Business Commission.

More information on the event and its schedule can be found HERE.

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