The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in another cultural casualty. The Organizing Committee of the Okanagan Military Tattoo Society has announced that the 7th annual production of the highly popular event has been cancelled.
Tattoo president and producer Norm Crerar announced the cancellation in the following statement issued earlier this week:
“Sadly, we must announce the cancellation of the 2020 edition of the Okanagan Military Tattoo. The Tattoo has been honouring the Canadian Military, First Responders and showcasing local talent since 2013 never missing a beat, but sometimes the show cannot go on.
Public safety and the safety of our cast, volunteers, production team and crew are our first priorities. Although it may seem premature to cancel at this time, a show as large and complex as ours requires plenty of lead time for planning and execution. Given the current unprecedented global situation and uncertainties that surround us, it is in the best interests of the Tattoo and our community to cancel the 2020 production.
We very much looked forward to once again bringing our audience an awe-inspiring show. This year would have been our 7th annual production.
Meanwhile, we will be working diligently from home with our trusted and valued partners including the Canadian Armed Forces, the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the City of Vernon to ensure a triumphant return in 2021.”
Crerar went on to say that the dates for the 2021 edition are July 24 and 25 asked the public to follow the Tattoo on Facebook and Instagram for cast announcements, updates and ticket sales information.
All tickets purchased for the 2020 show will be refunded or purchasers can use the refund to purchase tickets for the 2021 production. The Okanagan Military Tattoo is also a registered charity. For those who are able, Crerar asks that ticket holders consider donating the value of their ticket(s) back to the Tattoo for a charitable donation receipt. The donation will ensure the Okanagan Military Tattoo can continue with its mission for years to come.
Complimentary or promotional ticket vouchers for the 2020 production will be honoured in 2021.
The Okanagan Military Tattoo is Vernon’s largest annual indoor event drawing an audience in excess of 4,500 each year. The Tattoo features over 500 performers and requires the assistance of 130 volunteers. Over the years, the Tattoo has taken on a decidedly international flavour with performances by the Korean Military Traditional Band, the Washington State Army National Guard Band and the Brentwood Imperial Youth Band from the UK.
In his closing remarks, Crerar thanked the public, the partners, volunteers, cast and crew for their support and understanding. He also urged everyone to take the advice of the local authorities to stay safe and look after one another.