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Okanagan Military Tattoo Lives Up to the Hype 

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Performers marched, piped, drummed, danced, and sang their way into the hearts of a welcoming audience during the recent Okanagan Military Tattoo in Vernon, BC. Inspired by the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and run exclusively by volunteers, the Okanagan Military Tattoo has been a constant in the community for 11 years. 

Kal Tire Place was brought to life May 25 and 26 with the Sounds of Celebration, a monumental spectacle designed to unite and transcend generations and cultures through the universal languages of music and dance.  With special appearances throughout the night by the energetic Mr. Mac Bagpipes (the Tattoo’s mascot), it definitely was an event for all ages. 

Our community engagement team was honoured to host on the concourse, using trivia questions to deepen knowledge about the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025, presented by ATCO and Boeing, and inviting visitors to share their ‘I AM’. We enjoyed meaningful connections with many service members and Veterans who shared stories of their deployments, their challenges, and their joys.   

We were incredibly fortunate that two Veterans volunteered with us over the weekend. Retired captain Mary Ann Barber served in the Canadian Forces for 21 years as an army nurse with deployments to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Afghanistan. She continues to serve as a nurse practitioner in her community of Vernon. Mary Ann attended and cheered loudly at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 and is looking forward to helping more with Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025. David George is a Veteran of the UK Military, who specialized in logistics. He moved to Kelowna 15 years ago, and more recently to Vernon. Notably, in 2004 David served under a Canadian General in Afghanistan as part of the International Stabilization Force. Both Mary Ann and David were honored as VIPs at the performances. 

The stadium went dark as a video highlighting the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 played and as the lights returned all the Veterans in the arena were asked to stand as a tribute, acknowledging the 80th Anniversary of D Day and the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The pride was palpable, and the crowd erupted in enthusiastic appreciation for the sacrifices of these brave men and women.  

If you find yourself in or around Vernon in late May 2025, be sure to add the Okanagan Military Tattoo to your agenda. You won’t be sorry.  

Learn more HERE or check out the OMT social media channels for highlights. 

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