The Tattoo began in 1979 as a way to celebrate the first International Gathering of the Clans held outside Scotland, and was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. It was only meant to be a one-time show, but whether it was the skirl of the bagpipes, the beating of the drums, the military displays, or the Highland flings, the audience loved it. The Canadian Armed Forces and all levels of government saw the magic of the Tattoo and was inspired to help continue its legacy, and now the show is renowned the world over.

The Tattoo blends the historical and the modern, the traditional and the innovative, military and civilian, our cultures, our stories… we strive to create a unique show each year that highlights the very best of this city, this province, this country, and the world.

The word Tattoo is derived from Dutch doe den tap toe (translated to turn off the taps). In 17thcentury Dutch villages when British soldiers were required back at their barracks, a drummer would march through the streets playing the drumbeat doe den tap toe.

Over time, the phrase was shortened to tap toe, then anglicized to tattooand became a word meaning a military musical show. The current Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo blends this military pomp with entertainment spectacles to create a truly unique show that has delighted audiences for over 40 years.

Get ready for two-and-a-half hours of best of the best pipes and drums, dancers, acrobats, military pomp and historical displays anywhere in Atlantic Canada. It’s fun for the whole family!

“It has been a memory for life. Thank you for both performers, light and sound, variation.” 

Bente Hangland
Nesaddtangen, Norway

Photos by Stoo Metz, David Baillieul, Hamish Gordon & others. Translation powered by Google.
Become a Tattoo Insider

En | Fr | De