Celebrating 100 Years!
The Weston Silver Band is celebrating its 100th anniversary (buy tickets to the concert!)
Part of the Gala Concert will be a display of its archives dating back a century. One photo in particular has great sentimental
value for the band. It is the earliest band photo, picturing band founder George Sainsbury and the original members of the boys
band (Weston Boys Band became the Weston Silver Band as the members grew up) at their first competition at the CNE in 1921.
The current band set out to recreate the iconic photo and with the help of the Weston Historical Society, the photo location was
tracked down to the Press Building on the grounds of the Canadian National Exhibition (Toronto).
Location, Location, Location!
Current band members recreated the look and arrived early (extremely early!) on a Saturday morning to recreate the photo.
A new sign was created in the style of the original, the original snare drum from the 1921 photo was located and the Red Ensign Flag of Canada (official flag pre 1965) was sourced.
If you look very closely, you can see some people lurking behind the pillars (upper left) in the original photo. The band had to include them in their version too!
The more things change…
While the band looks a little bit different! (Want to help us celebrate? Get tickets to our 100th Anniversary Concert HERE) some
things have remained unchanged. Everyone still plays traditional brass band instruments: cornets instead of trumpets, tenor horns instead of french horns, and Eb and Bb tubas. The band also plays music written or arranged exclusively for this type of ensemble.
The band has also returned to active competition. While the CNE Band Contests are no more, the WSB now competes at the international level, recently placing 2nd in the Championship Section at the US Open Brass Band Championships (November 2022) and is the first and only Canadian Brass Band to win section titles at the North American Brass Band Championships. with first place wins in 2014, 2015 and 2017 and second place in 2016 and 2018.
In June 2019, the WSB embarked on their first-ever tour to Yorkshire, England, becoming the first Canadian Band to compete in the 134 year old Whit Friday Brass Band Contest, placing 18th out of 122 bands.
Some things have definitely changed. The band members are all adults, and there are women in the band and in positions of leadership (the first women members joined in the early 1980’s). In fact, 48% of current WSB musicians are women.
Although the band still rehearses in the Weston area (now part of the City of Toronto), the band’s membership is drawn from the Greater Toronto Area and beyond.
In addition to competitions, Weston Silver Band performs 10 – 15 concerts a year throughout southern Ontario.
Come help the WSB celebrate on April 23rd at 3:00 PM at Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto, in a concert honouring 100 years of music and community and highlighting their remarkable past and looking to a bright and vibrant future.
If you’ve never heard a brass band before, there is no better introduction than this concert!