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Monday, June 17, 2024

2023 Tattoo honours Nova Scotia’s connection to the sea

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo returns June 30 through July 3 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax.

The 2023 Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo returns to the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax from June 30 and continues through to July 3. This year, the Tattoo celebrates Nova Scotia’s connection to the sea with the theme of Oceans, honouring the maritime history that defines our province’s stories and traditions.

You won’t see a show like this anywhere else in the world.
– Scott Long.

“There are some significant historical commemorations that we’re honoring this year,” says the Tattoo’s managing director and executive producer, Scott Long. “It’s the hundredth anniversary of the Naval Reserve in Canada, so they will be a big highlight of the show this year. And it’s also the 250th anniversary of the landing of the ship Hector in Picto, which was the first Scottish settlers to Nova Scotia.”

Beyond the historical connections, Long says simply that the oceans are such a big part of life in Nova Scotia. “It shapes who we are, our culture and our people, and how we interact with the world,” he says.

This year's Tattoo Canada Day parade will be replaced by a fly-by from the Snowbirds. Photo by Cpl Sebastian Boucher.
The Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds will replace this year’s Tattoo Canada Day parade. Photo by Cpl Sebastian Boucher.

While the Tattoo usually features a Canada Day parade in downtown Halifax, this year, organizers are swapping the streets for the skies with a performance from the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds.

“I think it’s the first time they’ve done Canada Day in Halifax, or even outside Ottawa for that matter,” says Long. “It’s usually a Parliament Hill celebration, but this year we’re very excited that they’ve chosen to come to Halifax and celebrate with us.”

Among the acts new to the Tattoo is a performance from The Republic of Korea Navy Band, featuring traditional Korean music and dance.

“We also have an act that hasn’t been here in quite some time, the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland,” says Long. “They are one of the very best in the world and are just astounding. People are going to be blown away by them.”

Last in Halifax in 2014, the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland returns to the Tattoo in 2023.
Last in Halifax in 2014, the Top Secret Drum Corps from Switzerland returns to the Tattoo in 2023.

Also performing is The Band of HM Royal Marines from the United Kingdom. “They are one of the best military bands on the planet and have pop-like status in the U.K.,” says Long. “They have hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify and all kinds of accolades and awards and again are one of the best performers you’ll see of this genre anywhere.”

Local highlights this year include Alan Syliboy & The Thundermakers, the return of singer PO1 Brad Davidge, and of course, the Tattoo’s Highland Dance Team and Choir.

“You won’t see a show like this anywhere else in the world,” says Long.

Alan Syliboy & The Thundermakers perform as part of the 2023 Tattoo.
Alan Syliboy & The Thundermakers perform as part of the 2023 Tattoo.

The Tattoo will once again offer its popular Kids are Free program, which allows one free child ticket with the purchase of any adult or senior ticket to match. “We want to make sure that the show can be as accessible as possible for families, and youth engagement continues to be a priority for the show,” says Long.

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo plays at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax from June 30 through July 3, 2023. Tickets are available exclusively through Ticket Atlantic online. Find out more on the Tattoo’s website at nstattoo.ca.

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