Tattoo 2020 or 2021?

We at Tattoo Central are down to the last few days of hope and will be making a public announcement this week as to whether or not we will be able to muster a Tattoo for 2020 or be forced to put it off to 2021.

Stand by!

Tattoo…on or off?

We may be the last of the cheerleaders still standing and waving Canadian flags, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Just about every event that attracts large numbers of people has been told not to expect to be able to operate for some time. We have not thrown in the towl just yet. The health watch folks are coming out with new and changing information by the hour.

Stay tuned!

Tattoo Zoom!

The organizing committee of the Okanagan Military Tattoo (OMT) meets every Monday morning 0800-0930. As we are still a full three months away from our event and the Covid-19 virus has altered our social abilities, we are meeting via the on-line conference utility, ZOOM. It is a bit impersonal but you can see the heads of all the people on the call. They all look well dressed but what they are wearing on their lower bodies, like TV anchors, is a mystery. Some of our performing groups such as pipe bands, are joining their Pipe Major as he or she leads them through the OMT massed pipe band tunes. I know also that the OMT Dance Director is running through the floor routines with her 32 dancers via SKYPE. Neither are a substitute for the real thing but we are adapting!

Tattoo 2020 moving ahead

Concerning the Covid-19 virus, there have been a few folks and a few of our performing groups asking our opinion on where we will be come the end of July and the Tattoo 2020. We are monitoring the situation daily, as most everyone is, and what we can report at the moment is that we are very optimistic and moving ahead with our planning, all of our performers are still committed and rehearsing in innovative ways, the health models are getting closer to reality, Canadians are getting restless and want to get back to work and socializing. These are all good things and we at the Tattoo believe we will have a much clearer picture of what is going to happen, when and how, by April 30. Stay tuned as we will be making updates every Sunday evening!

Duty, Honour and Izzat

Duty, Honour and Izzat is the title of a book written by Steven Puriwal. It is the story of the British Indian Army in WW l and is explained in a recent CBC Podcast: The podcast lasts about 18 minutes but is so important that every Canadian should listen in. Want to meet Steven and learn more about what part the East Asian community (and in particular Punjabi combatants) played in WW l? The story will unfold at the Okanagan Military Tattoo 2020 (OMT 2020) with Steven’s 40′ of story board, 20 Sikh Marching Cadets and even some Bhangra Dancers! Ask Steven about these soldiers fighting side-by-side with Canadian soldiers not only in Flander’s Field WW l but also in WW ll and Korea.

The Big Bands

Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy at Okanagan Military Tattoo 2017

A few of the big bands we have on our performer lists and hope will be at one of our OMT events have shown strong interest and two of them are from the Victoria, BC area.

The NADEN Band of the Royal Canadian Navy performed in our 2017 Tattoo and are planing to come again for our 2020 show. Planning is the key word here as the band members are serving members of our Canadian Military and as such may be deployed with short notice. We sure look forward to a return visit of this great band.

Also from the west coast is the Canadian Scottish Pipe Band and following a recent planning meeting via conference call, we are all excited about some of the options for combined brass and reed music. Stay tuned!

Can you sing?

We are looking to put together a 200 voice choir for our 2020 Tattoo. This will take some doing but we have had a 100 voice choir in the past. We will need to place this choir somewhere near the Castle and we have our construction team in the “thinking” stage. We hope to be into the design stage by the end of February. If you would like to sing in this choir or even be a part of leading this choir, “The Tattoo Singers”, let us know through the web mail address: [email protected]

A L Fortune Drumline is in for 2020!

Michelle Reed is the music director for the A L Fortune High School in Enderby BC. After scouring the world for a drumline for our 2019 Tattoo, lo and behold we found one in a small town 30 minutes north of Vernon. Ms Reed had just guided the A L Fortune High School Drumline to the British Columbia High School Drumline Championships! And the surprises continued as the Drumline more than held their own with the Drumlines from the Calgary Round-Up Band and the British Brentwood Imperial Youth Band.

Four of us with the Tattoo Organizing Committee were at the A L Fortune High School last Wednesday to see Ms. Reed’s production of Schrek, The Musical. Great job by everyone and backstage after the show, Ms. Reed assured us the Drumline was practicing and would be in our 2020 show.

Calling all pipe bands and pipers and drummers!

Pipes and Drums play a big part in Military Tattoo events. In the case of most big Tattoo events, such as the Royal Edinburgh Tattoo, the pipe bands form up as the massed Pipes and Drums. There are rarely individual pipe bands performing. In the case of our Okangan Military Tattoo, pipe bands taking part do also form the Massed Pipe Bands of the Okangan Military Tattoo and Scot Kortegaard is the OMT Pipe Major. Also invited are individual pipers and drummers not affiliated with a pipe band or whose pipe band may not be able to attend. In exceptional cases, invited pipe bands may perform a stand-alone bit that would add to the overall program.

Event managers required!

As I have stated in the past, our Tattoo Organizng Committee numbers about 12. It is not that we are getting old or tired but for the health of our committee and the Okanagan Military Tattoo, we want to find our replacements. We feel that there will have to be a two to three year hand-over period of time for the new recruits to “learn the ropes”. Here are some of the exciting areas of responsibility: Producer – find all the performing parts; Director – put the program together; Financial – find the money and control spending; Accommodation – find rooms and beds for some 200 out-of-town performers; Food and Beverage – care and feeding for up to 700 performers and volunteers; Facility – everything to make sure the venue is up and running; Volunteers – find and care for up to 150 volunteers; Front end – as in any theatre operation, first contact with the audience; Tattoo expo – the show within a show on the concourse of the venue; Marketing/sales/promotion – speaks for itself; Secretary – record meetings and keep governance calendar up-to-date.

If you would like to have a chat about any of these positions, please contact me: [email protected]