B i o g r a p h y
The original Cappy Smart band was formed by the first fulltime paid Fire Chief for the City of Calgary, Alberta, Canada; James “Cappy” Smart in the late 1800’s. A firefighter for 48 years and Chief for 35 years, Cappy guided the Calgary Fire Department from horses into the age of motorized apparatus. Add to this a long list of volunteer accomplishments and professional honours and James Cappy Smart is a true icon in Calgary’s early history. In 1897 Cappy was the Assistant Chief and took over as Fire Chief a year later.
The Cappy Smart band originally began as a welcome cultural diversion for fire department members and the citizenry at large. The band performed at a wide variety of social functions from ice cream socials to operas for the citizens of Calgary. It was a staple in the entertainment for a vibrant young city and performed extensively. The band ceased to function in early 1914 when all of the musicians in the band volunteered for the War effort.
The Cappy Smart band was reformed in the fall of 1993 with the invaluable assistance and encouragement of Mr. David Mitchell then CEO of Alberta Energy Company whose father was a close personal friend of Cappy Smart.
Our members are primarily amateur players with numerous professional musicians from the community and we have several retired firefighters in our midst. We successfully maintain membership of approximately 50 performers with ages ranging into the mid 80’s. The band provides musical support for select Calgary Fire Department ceremonial functions. We play throughout the year at a wide variety of venues in support of not only the fire department but also numerous charities and non-profit organizations.
The Cappy Smart Band has also had the opportunity to travel and represent the Calgary Fire Department at the World Police and Fireman Games (WPFG) internationally in such venues as Carnegie Hall, NY (2009) and Mirabell Gardens, Austria (2011). We look forward to continue representing Calgary now and in the future.