Help us help others!

The Okanagan military Tattoo is now heading for our 6th annual production. Over the past five shows, the small profit we made was passed on to the local celtic (and other) dance and music groups. We can do better but we need your help. Social media is all the buzz of late, how powerful it is, how far reaching, etc. Please do your part and log on to our web site, have your friends and neighbors log on as well, click on the Facebook icon top right and “Like” and “Share” every BLOG and every post.

Don’t know what the Tattoo looks like? The local SHAW folks have made a video of each of our last three shows and the links are posted on our web site. We just received word today that they will be shooting our 2019 show in HD! Welcome back TEAM SHAW!

Our military, honour and respect!

The title of our event, the Okanagan Military Tattoo, will lead you to believe that there may be a military flavour to our show. And indeed there is. We are most fortunate to be able to honour those who serve, those who have served and those who may serve.

The British Columbia Dragoons are a Canadian Armed Forces Primary Reserve unit headquatered in our valley, Penticton to Salmon Arm and are an armoured reconnaissance unit. The BCD started out as the Canadian Mounted Rifles in 1908, became BC Horse a short time later and over time morphed into the BC Dragoons. They will have a presence at our 2019 Tattoo with personnel and vehicles.

Headquartered in Vernon is the Vernon Army Cadet Camp. Historical reports have the first cadets training in Vernon as early as 1908. The Vernon Army Cadet Camp is a major feature in Vernon and hosts some 1500 cadets each summer. We will have up to 200 of these cadets in our 2019 show, some with the music program, some with the ceremonial drill team and the rest as an honour guard for the flag party and the Tribute to the Veterans.

The Tattoo has made a commitment to the Legion, the Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans Association as well as all veterans, that we will devote a big part of our Tattoo to a Tribute to the Veterans. The Royal Winnipeg Rifles Band will be the anchor to our 2019 Tribute

With these three special groups, we do take pride in honouring and respecting them. We invite you to join us.

Creative Excitement!

This is the stage of Tattoo development where things start to really get exciting. 90% of the performers and performing groups are committed and the program is starting to shape up. For folks new to our Tattoo, the show runs for about two hours with no break in the action. The line-up of performances vary from 3 to 12 minutes and as one bit ends, the next is beginning. This is when we really start to fit the acts together to keep the program moving, dramatic, funny, and emotional. We really do have an exciting program this year and have been making introductions to some of our performers via Facebook. We are even working on a Tattoo mascot! Stay tuned.

Double the rehearsal space

Kal Tire Place North is finished and being used. The ice surface is the same size as Kal Tire Place , 85′ by 200′ and will have ice in year round for training and local use. It does have a cover floor that will be in place so we can hold rehearsals in both Kal Tire Place (KTP) and Kal Tire Place North at the same time. As well, the Tattoo Expo that has been on the concourse over the past five years and getting bigger and bigger, will now be moved into Kal Tire Place north. Folks arriving for the show will be able to park their vehicles and walk through the Tattoo Expo on their way to the Tattoo seating. On their way back to their vehicles they can again pass through the Tattoo Expo. The first ever use of the KTP North ice cover was this past week-end when the Chamber of Commerce hosted a trades show and the Okanagan Military Tattoo was a participant. We had a great chance to meet and greet supporters, make new friends and general make plans for traffic flow come July 27 and 28!

Passing the Torch

One of the delights of holding the Tattoo is coming up with a theme. Over the past few years we have tended to have something relating to military history. 2019 will mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 1944. We will make mention of the Juno Beach landings and the tie-in of two of our performing groups, the Brentwood Imperial Youth Band and the Royal Winnipeg Rifles Band. We will also have the opportunity to, “Pass the Torch-Veterans to Youth” as we will have a large number of youth performers as well as many veterans.

Tattoo Volunteers are the Best!

The Okanagan Military Tattoo is alive and well because we have dedicated volunteers and they are the best! From set designers and builders, lighting and sound specialists to performers to food and beverage people, the Tattoo would not happen without thousands of vollie hours. Come and join us as we get ready for our 2019 Tattoo 27 and 28 July.

Summer in Winter!

The Vernon Winter Carnival is in full swing, a “break from winter”, is how it is promoted.  The Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band, our local band and one of the anchor pipe bands for our Tattoo, had a very busy day.  At 0800 they piped at the Carnival Bloody Caesar breakfast launch, at noon marched in the Winter Carnival Parade at 0 C with a few snow flakes coming down, 1400 participated in a Carnival Talent show then performed at a 1600 Carnival Social.  The really big news….The Okanagan Military Tattoo float placed first in the Visual and Performing Arts category!  Pictured is the “float” with driver Jim Bailey, Tattoo Facility Manager, holding the trophy and Norm Crerar, Producer, and a piper with the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band.  The fact the pipe band was just in front of the Tattoo float probably had a lot to do with the judges decision.  Congrats to all!!

Photo credit…Ron Reitsma, Tattoo Expo Manager

Off and planning for 2019 Tattoo!

First, apologies for the late start on the Tattoo BLOG!  We, the organizing committee, have been very busy over the past five months with the planning for the 2019 Tattoo.  As of this date, we have tentatively booked most of the main performers for this year’s event.  We have been dealing with the Brentwood Imperial Youth Band from the UK for almost two years.  The band of 12-18 year olds performed in Red Square at the Moscow Tattoo last August.  They did a great job and we and they are really looking forward to being a part of this year’s show.  As well, sticking with the youth news, we are delighted to welcome back the Calgary Round-Up Band.  Their last appearance in our Tattoo was 2017 when they filled the floor not once but twice with band performances and helped us celebrate Canada’s 125th birthday.  The Vernon Army Cadet Camp will once again play their part by supplying a Drill Team, a Brass and Reed contingent and an Honour Guard for the Tribute to the Veterans.  We are in touch with three Canadian Military Bands, one of which will be performing in our 2019 Tattoo and others in 2020.

The Okanagan Military Tattoo (OMT) Pipes and Drums under the guidance of Pipe Major Scot Kortegaard will number nearly 100 and the OMT Dancers, directed by OMT Dance Director Shalni Prowse, will once again have 32 international dancers.  For short fill-ins, we are looking for a spot for the OMT Voyageur Canoe.  Any takers to be the paddlers this year?  We may auction off those seats to the highest bidders!  Could be your chance to be in the show.  How about a Fly-By with the OMT Arial Demo Team?

All for now.  Stay tuned for weekly BLOG updates

OMT Church Service?

The Salvation Army Band from Vancouver with be the anchor for the Tribute to the Veterans, a big part of our Okanagan Military Tattoo 2018.  Sunday, July 29, last day of the TAttoo, is a day of worship for many people and this year we will have a large number of Salvation Army personnel on hand as well as playing their part in the show.  We do have the ways and means of staging a great church service right on the floor of the OMT main stage.  The Slavation Army folks will move their regular Sunday service to Kal Tire Place for 10:00 AM and the general public as well as the performers and volunteers of the OMT will also be invited.  The 30 member Salvation Army Band, already performing in the Tattoo, will be on the floor behind the pulpit and backing up Lt Stefan Reid, our local Salvation Army organizer.

WW l ends 100 years ago Salvation Army there to help out

The Tattoo 2018, as in all of our Tattoo events, will have a Tribute to the Veterans as major part of the program.  This year we will remember WW l, The Great War, that ended 100 years ago.

The Salvation Army had its start in Britian in 1865 and played an important role in the First World War, 1914-18.  Brass bands have been a hallmark of the Salvation Army and The Salvaion Army Band from Vancouver will play the musical anchor role in our Tribute to the Veterans at the Okanagan Military Tattoo 2018.