Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo 1967

Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo 1967

A Journey into '67

It is still considered in some places, but back in 1967 the Tattoo was cherished by many.

In fact, as part of Canada's centennial the Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo 1967 was staged. It was a series of military tattoos or displays performed by members of the Canadian military portraying more than three hundred years of Canada's military history. The Tattoo, which was the Canadian military's contribution to Canada's centennial year celebrations in 1967, toured the country from coast to coast. This was the largest such event in the history of the Canadian military.

The Tattoo shows started in late March 1967 and ended in October after approximately 150 performances in over 40 cities across Canada. The Tattoo performed in every Province in Canada. After several years of planning, rehearsals for the show commenced in late February 1967 at Camp Picton (later CFB Picton) in Ontario.[3] All branches of the military - the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force - participated.

There were three parts to the Tattoo:

Between March and May two identical shows, one travelling in a blue train and the other in a red train, each with about 450 men, toured across Canada and performed in arenas.

The two trains united in Victoria, BC, and were augmented by more military personnel to form a show of 1700 men and woman. This second part of the tour played in larger stadiums, for example, Empire Stadium in Vancouver, Autostade at Expo 67 in Montreal and the CNE Stadium in Toronto, then Ottawa and finally in Hamilton, Ontario. Hamilton was the last stadium show.

Following the Hamilton stadium show, a troupe similar in size to the train shows toured the Maritimes in the late summer and early fall of 1967. The tattoo has never been repeated.

Upon the completion of the last show in October 11, 1967, all the hundreds of uniforms, costumes, muskets, swords, etc. where put into storage and over the years have been sold off to museums and private collectors.


Keith Wilson