The Calgary Highlanders will join the massed pipes and drums at the first Pacific Tattoo at Bear Mountain arena.

Pacific Tattoo hosts inaugural event this weekend

For most people, a tattoo is either an attractive body decoration or a regrettable mistake.

For most people, a tattoo is either an attractive body decoration or a regrettable mistake.

However, a traditional tattoo is an event worth travelling thousands of miles for.

The Pacific Tattoo takes place this weekend, July 14 and 15, at Bear Mountain Arena. A tattoo – a term that predates the body marking – is a demonstration of military drumming, piping and parading, full of fanfare, pomp and pageantry.

The name originally comes from the Dutch phrase for “turn off the tap.”

Drummers used to be sent out at night to call curfew, essentially letting tavern owners know they needed to stop serving drinks and send the soldiers back to base.

The phrase is “doe den tap toe,” which was shortened to “tap-too,” which was anglicized by British soldiers into “tattoo.” They brought the idea back to the United Kingdom and the tradition of the tattoo was born.

“In Canada we’ve added a bit to that,” said director Dave Terry. “We’ve taken it inside, we’ve added professional lights and sound, we’ve added some pageantry, some dancers … we’ll do a little bit of comedy. So there’s really something for everybody.”

There have been tattoos held in B.C. before, but this is the first Pacific Tattoo, an event that organizers plan to make annual. It will be the only tattoo event on the west coast of North America and is intended to rival large tattoo events in Halifax, Quebec City and even Edinburgh.

Terry has an extensive history with tattoos, including ones held in Esquimalt and Chilliwack. He said this year’s event will have around 400 participants, but the plan is to expand in the future.

“That’s a little smaller than some, but it doesn’t take away from the quality,” Terry said. “It’s certainly going to attract people from all over the province.”

In fact, there is a word for someone who travels to tattoo events around the world: a “tattourist.”

Terry said there are many people who love tattoo displays and go out of their way to see them.

To see for yourself this weekend, there is one performance at Bear Mountain Arena on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and two on Sunday, at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $37.50 for adults, and $32.50 for seniors, youth and active military personnel. Tickets are available at Pacifictattoo.ca, by phone at 250-478-8384, at the Tourism Victoria Visitor Centre (812 Wharf Street) or at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre (located just above Bear Mountain Arena).

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

VicPD seeks person of interest after short-term rental ransacked

Combined losses for damage and theft are over $5,000

Whitecaps favourite switches to the Island

Marcel de Jong worked to end Whitecaps contract, joining Pacific FC on the ground floor

RCMP ask for public’s help to determine cause of weekend fire

RCMP are investigating the cause of the South Island Concrete fire

UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

Centre For Aerospace Research works with partners including Department of National Defence

Langford barber shop donates cuts for veterans’ cause

Hair cuts raise funds for Wounded Warrior Run, which travels from Port Hardy to Victoria

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

Most Read