Have Stetson, will travel: Burnaby Mountie looks sharp for Canada

Burnaby RCMP Const. Derrick Kalicum has a knack for looking sharp in his Red Serge, and he’s leveraging that talent for the good of the force – and Canada.

Last month he was at a five-day music festival in Boise, Idaho and found himself in the lotus position in his dress uniform during a one-hour meditation session being led by a consul general of Canada.

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Yoga Mountie, Derrick Kalicum, Brendan Lee
Canada’s consul general in Seattle, Brendan Lee, leads a meditation session at a music festival in Boise, Idaho. Burnaby Mountie Const. Derrick Kalicum was among the participants. - Contributed

“It’s not a very functional thing to wear when you’re sitting in the lotus position,” he told the NOW with a laugh. “I could only do it in short bouts because it was so uncomfortable, but some of the distraction that the discomfort gave me caused me to focus on a state of meditation even more carefully.”

The meditation session, led by Canada’s consul general in Seattle, Brendan Lee, took place during a five-day musical festival in Boise, to which 25 musicians from all across Canada had been invited.  

“Our job was to fly the flag, literally, and help get these Canadian artists the exposure they deserve,” Kalicum said.

It turns out Lee was a yoga and meditation teacher before becoming a diplomat.

Kalicum was at the event as part of the RCMP’s ceremonial troop that he started with about three years ago.

Const. Derrick Kalicum, WE Day
Burnaby RCMP Const. Derrick Kalicum and a fellow Mountie address 25,000 young people during WE Day at Rogers Arena in 2016. - Contributed

“You have to show an aptitude for what in the organization is called drill and deportment, which is like an affinity for a clean uniform, professionalism and a willingness to attend public events,” he said of the ceremonial troop.

The 26-year-old said he has a lot of respect for the uniform, and, like all Mounties, he had to work for his Red Serge when he was training at depot in Regina, Sask.

“You put your uniform together throughout the training and you end up with a complete kit,” he said. “For example, you start in running shoes, and then you earn your black boots, and only after showing that your troop together are proficient in drill, do you earn black boots. And then only after you hit another benchmark are you allowed to wear your red uniform and your high brown boots.”

With the ceremonial troop, Kalicum, a Nanaimo native, has represented the RCMP and Canada at events in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Closer to home, highlights have included talking to more than 25,000 young people during WE Day at Rogers Arena about the RCMP’s iconic uniform and how it represents diversity, inclusion and unity.

Citizenship ceremonies are another highlight.

“I find it really meaningful to be involved in the citizenship ceremonies,” he said. “For example, the last one that I was at, there were 48 individuals from 33 different countries around the world all becoming Canadians that day. It really impacts me to be able to welcome each of these individuals one by one.”


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