The Fraser Valley Community Winds has a rich history of making music in the Fraser Valley and beyond. Here is a summarized history of this group, which has been sharing music since 1960.
The Abbotsford Concert Band formed in its first capacity in 1960. Mr. Peter Rooker of the RCE Band of Camp Chilliwack gathered a group of eight youth to be part of a band. By 1964 they were 60 members strong and had played tattoos in Victoria, Kelowna and Vernon. In 1965, a group of adults who had been playing as a group, amalgamated with the junior group to officially become the Abbotsford Concert Band. Originally, many adults were parents of the junior members.
Through the years the band has had deep community ties, playing locally throughout the Fraser Valley, Vancouver and Vancouver Island. ACB has played as part of the PNE Parade, Mt. Lehman’s local celebrations on Canada Day and their Fall Fair, the Aldergrove Legion, the Mission Candlelight Parade, Ladner Bandfest, Brigade Days in Chilliwack and many more. The group has worked with other bands and performed combined concerts with bands, orchestras, jazz bands and youth bands.
The Abbotsford Concert Band performed at the 1967 Expo in Montreal, Quebec on August 27th, 1967. The band also performed at the Expo in Spokane, Washington in 1974 and at Expo 1986 in Vancouver. In 1969, the band cut a record called ‘Memories of Expo 67′. This record was the first record to be made by a recording company in Vancouver as well as the first record of a band to be cut in Canada.
In this history of the band, there have been many awards won both as a marching band and a concert band ensemble. As early as 1967 the Abbotsford Concert Band was an award winning ensemble, winning the Community Band Class at the Centenary Festival of Music at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. The band has won awards at the PNE, Calgary Stampede, Leavenworth, and numerous festivals throughout the years.
Now the Fraser Valley Community Winds, the ensemble continues to thrive in the community, focusing on musical excellence in the symphonic style. While the ensemble today no longer incorporates marching, it is proud of its heritage and the building blocks upon which it has developed. The group continues to grow, and strives to share its love and passion for the community and live, acoustic music.
Some notable points in our history:
- 1965 – The first engagement for the ACB was a parade in Nanaimo.
- 1966 – PNE Parade, Vancouver
- 1967 – Performance at the Canadian National Exhibition Band contest in Toronto on the way to Expo 1967 in Montreal.
- 1967 – Performance at Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park for the Canadian Band Masters Association.
- 1968 – Participation in the Calgary Stampede and received 2nd place out of 25 marching bands. They were invited to parade onto the Stampede grounds.
- 1969 – Performance at PNE Parade, Vancouver and were awarded 1st prize for best senior concert band.
- 1969 – Paraded in Leavenworth, Washington at the Autumn Leaves Festival. Received Second Prize.
- 1970 – Traveled to Edmonton for Klondike Days. Performed at least 2 concerts a day for five days and participated in parades.
- 1971 – Traveled to Puyallup, Tacoma and Sumner, Washingon to the Daffodil Festival.
- 1975 – Performance in Victoria with the Victoria Fireman’s Band in Beacon Hill Park.
- 1976 – Performance for Brigade Days and Santa Claus Parade in Chilliwack.
- 1977 – Participated in the Santa Claus Parade in Anacortes, Washington.
- 2006 – 2011 – Ladner Band Festival, Ladner, BC.
- 2012 – Fraser River Heritage Park performance at the Envision Twilight Concert Series, Mission.