About The Okanagan Military Tattoo

July 25 & 26, 2020
Kal Tire Place, Vernon,BC

Kalmalka Highlanders Pipe Band entering floor at the Okanagan Military Tattoo in Vernon, BC

The Okanagan Military Tattoo is a heart stirring musical extravaganza featuring pipers, drummers, musicians, military bands, marching troops, multicultural dancers, First Nations, and singers of all ages.  

We bring it all together in an action packed, non-stop choreographed two-hour event that features over 500 performers from across North America paying tribute to our military past and present.

Did you know, The Okanagan is home to two kinds of tattoos!

One is the Okanagan Tattoo and Brewfest which takes place in Kelowna, just a week before our show. (We know, it’s confusing!)

The other show, our Okanagan Military Tattoo, is a musical performance extravaganza featuring hundreds of dancers, drums, bands, bagpipes and kilts – all on a single stage.

Musical tattoos actually started as a demonstration of military drumming, piping and other skills. It’s called a ‘tattoo’ because when the British Army was fighting in Belgium 300 years ago, drummers were sent into the town each night to call the soldiers in from the pubs. The drummers continued to play until the curfew at 22:00. The word Doe den tap toe, is Dutch for ‘Turn off the tap’.

The expression evolved—to tap-too and then tattoo: an exhilarating showcase of military bands, choirs and skills as well as the sounds and dances of today’s finest performers from around the world.

Here are some of the reasons that inspired us to produce a Military Tattoo in Vernon, BC.

Pay tribute to the valley’s military past and music.

Vernon is home to an expansive Department of National Defence facility, which has trained tens of thousands of members of the armed forces and army cadets over the past 100 years. Today, many Canadian veterans have retired in the sunny Okanagan and keep alive the traditions of military drumming and piping.

Unite cultures and generations to celebrate our music and dance together.

We all benefit from the chance to be exposed to the arts and traditions of our neighbours and forefathers. In addition to fostering relationships, we hope to inspire future generations of musicians and dancers to keep our arts alive into the future.

Showcase the Okanagan’s talent and traditions.

We’re becoming the place where people go to experience traditional arts and we’re helping define Vernon’s musical and multi-cultural identity.

Boost tourism and the economy.

When hundreds of performers and thousands of audience members visit Vernon to take in the Okanagan Military Tattoo each year, they enjoy our musical extravaganza and discover all of the area’s attractions and amenities.