1868 - 1898

The Rideau Range

On April 1st 1868, the Adjutant General of the Militia, General MacDougall, through the Honourable Minister of Militia, Sir G.E. Cartier, called a meeting in Ottawa of representatives of the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. At this meeting it was decided to proceed with the formation of the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association and the Governor General, his Excellency Viscount Monck accepted the role of Patron of the Association, a position held to this day by the current Governor General.

The Association at that time brought together thirty three independent rifle associations. Rules, a Constitution and By-Laws were drawn up, a Council and Executive selected and a date was set for the first Annual Prize Meeting which was held at Laprairie, just outside Montreal. In excess of 900 competitors turned up to compete for $5,500 in prize money. The DCRA has continued to hold prize meetings every year since, except during the two World Wars.

The National Range of the DCRA became the Rideau Range, just behind the current location of the Russian Embassy in Ottawa. In 1897 the last Annual Prize Meeting was held on the Rideau Range since the Association had selected a more suitable location, with greater distances for long range shooting, at Rockcliffe. The site consisted of 380 acres and permitted shooting from 200 yards to 1000 yards with room for extension back to 2000.

It was also in 1897 that the DCRA constructed is own permanent accommodation at Bisley, England. Canadian Teams had been attending the Annual Matches in England since 1870, the first Team being sent by the Ontario Rifle Association. The first DCRA Team went to Wimbledon in 1873 and continued to do so each year until the matches moved to Bisley in 1889. 1997 marked the Centennial of the construction of the Macdonald Stewart Canadian Pavilion at Bisley.