FAD History


The Defence Community Family Appreciation Days is a two-day, annual event held at Uplands in Ottawa that is open to all CAF personnel, DND civilian employees, their friends and families. Admission is free and activities include military equipment and vehicle displays, face painting, a petting zoo, a children's obstacle course, daytime and evening entertainment and draws for fabulous prizes.




The first Defence Community Family Appreciation Day was held in the National Capital Region on 4 June 2011 at Uplands. An initiative of then Commandant of CFSU(O), Capt(N) Mark Watson (2011-2013), the event was meant to mirror a similar event held annually in Halifax as well as at other CAF bases and wings around the country. More than 7,000 CAF members, DND and NPF employees, their families and friends participated, making the inaugural event a great success. Highlight included a performance from George Canyon and a visit from Governor General David Johnston.


In light of this initial success, the event grew to two days and the 2012 Family Appreciation Days attracted over 10,000 attendees. Performances by Brigitte Boisjoli and Burton Cummings were definite highlights of the event; as was a special appearance by the CAF Parachute Team, the SkyHawks.


Gaining in popularity, the third annual Family Appreciation Days event featured entertainment from Canadian East coast band Pogey and Eastern Ontario's own Hadrian's Wall. The event saw more than 12,000 people taking part in the best Maritime Kitchen Party in the NCR.


This fourth installment of the Family Appreciation Days continued to grow even bigger and better with performances from Jessica Holmes, Stars of Pop and classical rock band Raw Sugar.


Celebrating its fifth year in 2015, the event featured musical acts Ambush and Hey Wow! and a prize draw for a trip to Italy courtesy of Le Moulin de Provence and Olive & Chili.


The sixth annual Defence Community Family Appreciation Days took place on June 4 and 5, 2016 and was a success. We saw our biggest single-day attendance on Saturday with more than 4, 500 attendees. 2016 was also the first year we offered a camp site for local and visiting attendees as well as an outdoor film screening. The selected movie was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Everyone was very pleased with the campground, LAV rides, entertainment acts, exhibitors, children’s play area, and the movie.