After an extended hiatus due to the ongoing Pandemic, it was great to see the annual Royal NS International Tattoo return to the Scotiabank Centre. As always it paid tribute to the many men and women who have served around the world to keep us safe over the years. It was great to see the show open with both the Town Crier proclamation and a Drum Circle from Eastern Eagle. It was a fantastic way to open the evening.
If you’ve never been, or think it is a staid or tame affair, you couldn’t be more wrong. Sure there are some history
lessons baked in such as this year’s tribute to the No. 2 Construction Battalion who were based out of Nova Scotia and were the legion of men who wished to head overseas to protect their country during the first World War but were declined due to the racial attitudes that ran rampant. Eventually, a small group was approved to be recruited and ultimately played an integral part in the wartime efforts. They operated the water system that supplied all the camps, maintained the roads, built a logging railroad and were directly involved in the lumber operations that help fell trees, and milled the wood that would be used to build and support the trenches, helped build observation posts, walkways and bridges. They were invaluable to the efforts, but even still they were disbanded after less than 2 years. It’s the information like this that is brought to life during the tattoo, that I didn’t learn during my time in school, and is not commonly found in museums, but the Tattoo shines a much-needed spotlight on these parts of the Military History that should be heralded. It was the same battalion that just received an apology from the Federal government this past weekend for the discrimination and racism that they endured and they also received a commitment from the government to honour and remember these men who served their country.
There are marching bands who have travelled from across the globe to perform in the Tattoo, including bands from the US, Germany and the Jordanian Armed Forces band. While a lot of the show is a tribute to the men and women who have served, this year did also include a tribute to the Queen on her platinum jubilee, set to a medley of Beatles tunes. There were also Highland Dancers, the German Bicycle Team, a couple of daring acts such as the Quebec-based RB3 (Russian Bar Trio) and local circus performer Anastasia who wowed audiences suspended high above the arena floor with her aerial silks. Last but not least were the always entertaining Flying Grandpas who also brought The Dark Knight with them on this visit. There is a little bit of something for everyone when you visit the Tattoo.
The event ran for a few days, before wrapping up for another year. Hard to believe it was here and gone already, but we can start looking forward to next year’s production. Hope you had a chance to get out and see it, but if not, enjoy some of the action I captured during my visit.