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Canadian Forces Snowbirds release performance schedule for RCAF centennial year

By Skies Magazine | December 5, 2023

Estimated reading time 6 minutes, 7 seconds.

The Snowbirds performing the Big Diamond formation. Mike Reyno Photo

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds have unveiled their 18-city performance schedule for the 2024 season, highlighted with a Canada Day fly-past in Ottawa and a return to the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in for the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

The Snowbirds begin their schedule May 18 in Comox, B.C., and will zig-zag across the country, with a July stop in Oshkosh, Wis., as well as a stop at Airshow London SkyDrive in September, before ending the season Oct. 6 in Reno, Nev.

They last performed at EAA AirVenture in 2016. This year they’ve scheduled a public practice session over the grounds of Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh on Friday, July 26, followed by afternoon performances during the daily airshow on Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28.

The Snowbirds will be a key part of a year-long celebration of the RCAF’s centennial. April 1, 2024, marks 100 years of service for the RCAF as an independent military element.

Mike Reyno Photo
The Snowbirds begin their schedule May 18 and will zig-zag across the country, with a July stop in Oshkosh, Wis., before ending the season Oct. 6 in Reno, Nev. Mike Reyno Photo

“As a team, we are extremely excited to be representing the Canadian Forces at AirVenture during the centennial year of the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Maj Brent Handy, Snowbird 1 and team lead, in a release.

“The opportunity to share our display with such a large gathering of aviation enthusiasts and the chance to meet with our fans will be one of the many highlights of this important year for our dedicated team of pilots, technicians, and support personnel.”

The team is officially designated as 431 Air Demonstration Squadron and was created in 1971. It has a nearly 50-year connection to EAA, being the first military team to perform at Oshkosh when they flew over the EAA fly-in during the 1970s. 

“The Snowbirds are one of the world’s finest military aerobatic flight teams, so their presence at Oshkosh in 2024 is a wonderful addition to AirVenture week as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force,” said Rick Larsen, EAA’s vice-president of communities and member programs, who coordinates AirVenture features and attractions.

CT-114 Tutor Snowbirds perform a four-way cross. Derek Heyes Photo

“Along with their elegant precision aerobatics that define their aerial performances, we discovered in 2016 that the team members were enthusiastic and fully engaged in the aviation culture at Oshkosh, and truly enjoyed being with the tens of thousands of fellow aviators on the grounds.”

Here is the full schedule (subject to change):

  • May 18 – Comox, B.C.
  • June 1-2 – St. Hubert, Que.
  • June 15-16 – Borden, Ont.
  • June 19 – North Bay, Ont.
  • June 22-23 – Bagotville, Que.
  • June 29-30 – Trenton, Ont.
  • July 1 – Canada Day Fly Past, Ottawa
  • July 13-14 – Yellowknife, N.W.T.
  • July 20-21 – Cold Lake, Alta.
  • July 27-28 – Oshkosh, Wis.
  • Aug. 3-4 – Portage la Prairie, Man.
  • Aug. 9-11 – Abbotsford, B.C.
  • Aug. 24-25 – Greenwood, N.S.
  • Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 – Toronto
  • Sept. 7-8 – Gatineau, Que.
  • Sept. 13-15 – London, Ont.
  • Sept. 21-22 – Mirabel, Que.
  • Oct. 5-6 – Reno, Nev.

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