June 24 to the first Monday of September
Two activities for one! Visit the Citadelle and assist at the ceremony at 10 a.m.
The Changing of the Guard takes place daily at 10:00 a.m. from June 24 to the first Monday of September at the citadel parade ground. Schedule and fees.
Ceremonies may be cancelled due to bad weather or for operational reasons. There is no ceremony July 1st and July 3rd. These days are dedicate to the official ceremonies of Canada Day and Freedom of the City at Quebec City.
The Changing of the Guard lasts for 35 minutes and takes place on the parade ground. The new guard assumes its post and relieves the old guard from its duties. This colourful, precisely choreographed ceremony involves the inspection of the troops by the officers, music by the Royal 22e Régiment Band, and the regimental mascot, Batisse the goat.
A brief history
The Changing of the Guard has been a tradition at La Citadelle since 1928. It was suspended from 1939 to 1945, but resumed in 1946. Performed in traditional uniforms by members of the Royal 22e Régiment—the only Francophone infantry regiment in the CF Regular Force—the Changing of the Guard is a unique event in Quebec, inspired by the Changing of the Royal Guard in England.
The full-dress uniform, consisting of, among other things, a scarlet regimental tunic and a bearskin hat, attests to the authenticity of this ceremony, which is conducted only in England and in Canada. In fact, the Changing of the Guard can be seen only in London, Windsor, Ottawa, and Quebec City. It is easy to understand why this is a must-see event for anyone visiting Quebec City.
Access to the event
All visitors must pay an entrance fee at the Royal 22e Régiment Museum before entering the parade ground where the Changing of the Guard takes place. This fee includes a guided tour of the Citadel and of the Royal 22e Régiment Museum. Visitors will not only learn about the history and the construction of the Citadel, the two museums, and the temporary exhibit, but will also enjoy a spectacular view of Quebec City and its surroundings!
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Photos by Luc Antoine Couturier