Interest is high in a new North Okanagan musical event planned for the summer.
More than 40 people attended a town hall-style information meeting on the first Okanagan Tattoo, set for Saturday, Aug. 3, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Wesbild Centre.
A musical tattoo is a demonstration of military drumming, piping and skills. It’s called a tattoo because when the British Army was fighting in Belgium 300 years ago, soldiers were called in from the pubs each night for curfew, or ‘Doe den tap toe,’ Dutch for ‘turn off the tap.’
“The evening went very well with the biggest benefit being a number of the performing groups got to meet each other that had not met before,” said Norm Crerar of the Kalamalka Highlanders Pipe Band Society, who is a co-chairperson for the Okanagan Tattoo organizing committee.
The event is slated to bring together pipe bands from Vernon, Shuswap, Kamloops, Kelowna and Penticton, highland, Ukrainian and Sikh dance groups as well as drummers.
A Vernon choir, the RCMP and First Responders have also expressed interest in taking part, as has the Vernon Army Camp Summer Training Centre with its pipe and brass bands, and drill team, under the direction of drill master Capt. Kelly March from the Shuswap, who also serves on the Okanagan Tattoo organizing committee.
The committee has received $15,000 in funding from the Regional District of North Okanagan and the B.C. Winter Games legacy fund, and are looking to raise another $15,000 for the event through sponsorship.
A website devoted to the event – www.okanagantattoo.ca – has been launched and is in operation for anyone requiring more information.
Crerar has visions of turning the one-day event into a five-day affair, similar to a long-running tattoo in Nova Scotia.