The Swiss Farmer Band was originally founded in 1993 by a group of Swiss immigrants most of whom, as the name implies, were farmers or involved in farm-related businesses. The goal of the founding members was to continue the European brass band music tradition in their new homeland.
Today, the band of around 20 members has diversified and now includes Swiss, German and Canadian musicians alike. They practice weekly in Listowel or Milverton, Ontario, and come from all over southwestern Ontario to do so — from Moorefield to Cambridge, from Blyth to Grand Valley.
Their lively mix of traditional Swiss, German, and concert music can be heard at various functions throughout the year including of course the Swiss National Day Celebration in Moncton and their annual fall concert and dance held in November of each year in Milverton.
They have performed at the Christkindl Market since its inception and it has now become somewhat of a band tradition to end each year with a Sunday afternoon performance at the Market. It’s an event that reminds many of the players of their European backgrounds as much as their music does.