The Oakland Crusaders was a junior marching and maneuvering corps based in Toronto, Ontario.
The corps traces its origins to the De La Salle Oaklands of Toronto, first formed in 1910. The Oaklands were known in Canadian Nationals as "always the bridesmaid, never the bride," due mainly to the success of the Toronto Optimists and their string of 11 straight Canadian National Championships. De La Salle finally broke this chain in 1969 and became the elite Canadian corps after that.
They crossed the border into the United States with a bang in 1971. The corps made Finals at the World Open and beat the Cavaliers at "Drums on Parade" in Madison.
In 1974 De La Salle became the first Canadian corps to make DCI Finals, finishing seventh. In the off season De La Salle ceased operations and the members and instructional staff "merged" with the Etobicoke Crusaders to become the Oakland Crusaders. This new corps made DCI Finals in 1975, placing sixth, still the highest placement of a Canadian corps, and again in 1976. By the corps' last top-25 finish, in 1979, about 55 percent of the corps' membership were from the United States.
In 1976, the city of Toronto became the only city ever to produce two DCI finalists in the same year, the other being the Seneca Optimists.
The corps had the distinction of appearing in the movie "Amerika" in 1983.
After the 1985 season, the Oakland Crusaders merged with the Ambassadors of Aurora, Ontario, to form Out of the Blue (though still announced and recorded as the Oakland Crusaders). That corps was active through at least 1995, a year in which they finished sixth in DCI Division II Prelims.
[A History of Drum & Bugle Corps 2002; DCW, 3/03, p.3; DCW, 7/6/90, p. 14, inter alia]