Category Archives: News

Taste of the Tattoo!

Starting early next week, the week leading up to the Tattoo, Taste of the Tattoo events will be taking place in and around our valley. A Taste is just what you would expect, a nibble of a piece of music by one of the many bands coming to Vernon and the Okanagan Military Tattoo. Monday will find the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band practicing in Lakeview Park, Vernon, 6:30 to 8:00 PM. Wednesday the newly crowned World Champion Calgary Round-Up Band will visit the Kelowna Farmers Market at around 10:00. That same day, the Brentwood Imperial Youth Band will be meeting and working out with the Vernon Army Camp Cadet Band in front of the Cadet museum 2:30-5:30. Thursday morning the Brentwood Imperial Youth Band will make a brief appearance at the Vernon Farmer’s Market between 9:30 and 10:00. Thursday evening from 5:30-6:00, the British Columbia Regimental Band from Vancouver will start the ball rolling at the Civic Sounds in Downtown Vernon. There may even be appearances by a few pipers and drummers and perhaps some parts of a special drumline! Want a free peek at the Tattoo? Find one or more of these events and have a good look. Buy your event tickets on-line at or call the Ticket Seller at 250-549-7469. Only a week to go!!!!

Drumlines Galore!

When we started putting the OMT 2019 programme together, we were looking for a drumline to fit into our program. We found not only one, but three! World Champions, Royalty and local champs to boot. Coming to the 2019 Tattoo: … Brentwood Imperial Youth Band, performed in Red Square at the Moscow Tattoo 2018; Calgary Round-Up Band, newly crowned World Junior Marching Band Champions; A L Fortune High School, Enderby BC, newly crowned BC High School Champions!

This is gearing up to be a great show. Get your tickets today, on line at or Ticket Seller 250-549-7469

Any Irish out there?

If you are Irish, look Irish, think Irish, have a sip of Murphy’s Irish Stout or Guinness from time to time, you qualify! Start practicing as when you attend the Okanagan Military Tattoo 2019 you will be expected to stand when the march of the Royal Irish Regiment, Killaloe (prounounced Kill-a-loo if you are from the north or Kill-a-low if you are from the south), is played, clap in time to the music and be prepared to yell, “yea”, on the signal of the conductor. It will be a roof raiser as there will be 50 pipes and drums plus 125 brass and reeds playing. Here it is in action. Practice because you will be a performer in our OMT 2019!

(You will have to copy and paste the link on your browsewr)

Fastest Jeep in the West

Folks, how fast can you take a Jeep apart and put it back together? Cut and paste this link into your browser and take a look at these folks:

They are coming to the Tattoo 2019 to show their stuff. Get you tickets now, come out and cheer them on!

Massed Pipe Bands

The massed pipe bands at the 2019 Tattoo is made up of pipers and drummers from at least seven pipe bands. We have members from: Kelowna Pipe Band; Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band, Vernon; Shuswap Pipes and Drums (Armstrong, Salmon Arm, Revelstoke); Kamloops Pipe Band, Prince George Pipe Band; Delta Police Pipe Band. The members from these bands will march and play together as one big pipe band with OMT Pipe Major Scot Kortegaard calling the beat and setting the pace. The OMT massed pipe band will march in and out with traditional pipe band marching music but will also form up and play for the 32 OMT Dancers. While the massed pipe band is smaller than we usually have for our Tattoo, there are a large number of brass and reed musicians with the UK Brentwood Imperial Youth Band, The Calgary Round-up Band and the Vernon Army Cadet Band. We will even have a couple of tunes where the brass and reeds and the pipes and drums play together which is not always easy but is always dramatic!

One month to go!

Things are starting to speed up. With one month to go the final touches are being added to our program and the production crew is busy laying out the stage, the movement of performers, writing the script and readying the set to be put together. The light and sound folks are laying out their plans and cues as July 24 is load-in day and 12 hours have been alloted for this hectic activity. Immediately all this activity is done, rehearsals start. More than 600 performers and volunteers have to find their spots, learn there timing and routes, hit thier marks and be ready for the Full Dress Rehearsal Sat afternoon.

The line-up of performers this year is extraordinary and will be detailed in a BLOG coming shortly. They all arrive being able to play with their band-mates but the fun begins when they start to play with other musicians, march, keep the files straight and enter and exit in the right places. This year we are fortunate to have a large number of extremely talented youth, The Brentwood Imperial Youth Band from the UK, The Calgary Round-Up Band from Calgary and the music and drill teams from the Vernon Army Cadet Training Center.

Get yiur tickets now, on-line at or by calling the Ticket Seller at 250-549-7469.

Opportunity to tell our story!


The Okanagan Military Tattoo has a chance to land sponsorship to produce a video of the Story of the making of the Tattoo, how it got started and who all made it happen.  Matt McDowell, our new Tattoo Director, and his wife Louisa Link-McDowell, are videographers and made a pitch (view the pitch via the link below) to Storyhive, a TELUS creativity initiative.  You will have seen documentaries on channel 707 if you are on Telus Optic TV.  However, we have to get moving to help make this happen.  30 projects are to be chosen, 15 by a jury and 15 by popular votes.  We have to get the vote out!

Log on right away.  Check out the quality of the “Pitch” and vote….today, tomorrow and right through to and including May 31.  Pass this on to your friends, family and neighbors!!

Many thanks,


Two months to go!

With just two months to go, the Okanagan Military Tattoo (OMT) organizing committee is in absolute high gear. There are six billboards around our area: one between Abbottsford and Chilliwack, one south of Prince George, one near Revelstoke, one in West Kelowna, one south of Enderby and one at the north end of Swan Lake. All are aimed at traffic heading toward Vernon. As well, 10,000 showcards are in circulation or soon will be and heaps of posters up around Vernon and District and Kelowna. Let us know if you see any of these promotional items. Check our web site and watch for Facebook postings, all to keep you up-to-date with what is hapening. By next week, we will have all of our performers listed and their pictures and stories will start to be shared.

Did anyone see our new mascots on their first outing at the Falkland Stampede last week-end? They are tentatively names OMT-Rex and Mini-Rex but we will be announcing a contest to name them. Stay tuned!

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.