Thousands fill HMC Dockyard for DND Family Days in Halifax

Large crowds turned out on both days for prize draws under the big tent, with trips, concert and show tickets, gift cards, bicycles and more given away. AVIATOR GREGORY COLE

Thousands fill HMC Dockyard for DND Family Days in Halifax

By Ryan Melanson,
Trident Staff

This year’s face-painting booth, always a popular stop for the little ones, was on site thanks to Irving Shipbuilding. RYAN MELANSON

It had been more than three years since the last time DND Family Days was held in Halifax, and judging by the large crowds out on June 23 and 24, defence team families were happy to see the annual event return to the Dockyard.

Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Halifax welcomed thousands of CAF, DND and CFMWS employees and their families to the site over the two days, with food, games, rides, tours, prizes and more keeping everyone busy.  

“Events like these are very important for our military families, and I’m so happy to see so many people here to enjoy themselves and to celebrate our people and their families who do so much to support the work we do,” said Capt(N) Andy MacKenzie, Base Commander CFB Halifax, who was on hand to welcome the crowd and hand out a few draw prizes on June 23.

And with the hiatus due to COVID-19, many were attending Family Days for the first time, like Sherry Murphy, who brought her two sons for a day of fun in the sun. They were stuck to the giant inflatables, but Murphy said they also enjoyed ship and police vehicle tours earlier in the day.

“They know dad goes on Navy ships, so they were excited to see one… It’s nice to have something for the kids that doesn’t cost any money,” she said.

Organizers with PSP thanked the many sponsors who helped make DND Family Days a reality, including presenting sponsor Sobeys and Platinum Plus sponsor Irving Shipbuilding, along with Tim Hortons, Westjet, Avis Budget Group, Forces for Energy Efficiency, BMO, CANEX, The Personal, SISIP, Manulife, Glow, Via Rail, MacFarlands Events, CBC, Move 100, and many more.

RAdm Josée Kurtz, Commander MARLANT and JTFA, and Formation Chief CPO1 Alena Mondelli spoke to attendees and helped hand out prizes on June 24. RYAN MELANSON