Tattoo 2017 Logo

Welcome to the 1967
Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo Web Page
Bienvenue au site web du Carrousel militaire des Forces canadiennes

tattoo 2017 photos/archives videos music links RIP facebook guest book contact me at
Ad Banner
Tattoo Photos, Videos, Music
Click on the links above

I hope you enjoy my photos of Tattoo 1967 I took during a dress rehearsal of the blue train show. I've had these pictures all this time and thought I should share them so you can relive those memories of over 40 years ago. Whether you were on the blue or red train or on the stadium shows, the scenes will rekindle that wonderful military show we all played a part in.

I was on the red train and the stadium shows and remember the snowy winter I spent in Picton trudging back and forth from the barracks to the hangers for all those rehearsals. I was posted to Picton from the Royal Canadian Engineer Band in Chilliwack, BC in February (a four day train ride) in the cold of winter to be assigned to an eight man room at one of the barrack buildings, but I survived (I was in my twenties at the time) and made some good friends.

Have a look at my pages here and recall the scene(s) you were in and relive those times (if you dare) and share it with your family or if you weren't on the Tattoo but saw one of the shows when we travelled across Canada you'll also recall what you saw. I remember those wonderful standing ovations we were honoured to receive in almost every place we did our show. What a thrill it was!

The Tattoo On Facebook
Meet members of Tattoo '67

You can also Google the Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo on Facebook and see memories and pictures posted by members of the Tattoo and perhaps meet up with some one you knew back then. We would love to have you join us.

Tattoo 1967 Press Reports
Read more on Photos/Archives page

Barrie Examiner April 14, 1967
"Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo received a standing ovation last night from a packed house at the Barrie Arena. It was a fitting tribute to two and a half hours of breathtaking excitement, and probably will be repeated in every one of the 150 performances the Tattoo will play this year."

The Moncton Daily Times, April 20, 1967
"The Tattoo - Manifique!
The thousands of people who viewed the performances at the Stadium probably more than adequately praised the Tattoo by their reactions to the show. The gasps from the crowd, the sudden thunderous applause, the excited chatter and the superlatives on every lip as the audience left the show was over - these said more perhaps than mere printed words. That the forces could bring together men who are not born to the boards and build them into a group of such accomplished ability speaks eloquently of the plentiful talents to be found within the Canadian population. The whole Tattoo is a tremendous achievement and one in which all Canadians can be proud. Indeed, it may well be that if the Centennial Year does nothing else the Tattoo alone will have been well worthwhile. "

Winnipeg Free Press, May 5, 1967 by Christopher Dafoe
"The Grand Tattoo
We Canadians are often accused of being a staid lot. We are told that we have no feeling for our country's history, no sense of the dramatic, no patriotic fervor of the sort that makes men of other nations weep when stories are told of past glories. I was once inclined to believe this hearsay. Thursday night, however, my son and I sat with several thousand other Canadians in the Winnipeg Arena and we watched the pageant of Canada sweep past us. It was a grand and a noble occasion; we were instructed, we were moved and we say clearly, for the first time, perhaps, that Canada's story is rich, colorful and important. The Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo is about as spectacular as a show can be if it depends on mere men for its success. The northern lights, perhaps, excel it, the sight of a city in flames, perhaps, has more potent power to take the breath away, but of things that are merely man-made this magnificent creation is second to none. . . . The Military Tattoo is a celebration of tradition, a dramatic and colorful pageant of our past. Mere words cannot describe its splendor. "

Calgary Albertan May 12, 1967
"Twenty million Canadians won't be wrong when they acclaim the Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo which opened last night for a three-day run at the Corral the greatest single presentation of centennial year."

The Daily Colonist, Victoria May 26, 1967
"The 21/2-hour show is a brilliant musical spectacular with the accent on history. This $1,000,000 production, with its cast of more than 500, must rate as the most lavish live show ever produced in Canada."

The Toronto Telegram August, 1967
"If it isn't the Greatest Show on Earth, it certainly rates high as the greatest spectacle ever seen in Canada."

The Toronto Telegram, September 6, 1967
"The Ex's Tattoo
The superb display of history and tradition, of pageantry, this wonderful exhibition of martial discipline, color and music, magnificently produced, stirringly proud, should convince the Department of National Defence and the CNE of two facts. The first is that no spectacle seen in Canada has imbued crowds with a sense of belonging, an intense spirit of national pride, a sure feeling of being Canadian as has this Tattoo. If the Department disbands this splendid organization it will be wasting, throwing away, the finest patriotic influence this country possesses. "

Hamilton Spectator September 9, 1967
"When the lone piper plays his last sad lament tonight at Civic Stadium and the Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo comes to a close, it spells the end for the greatest spectacle ever seen in Canada."

The Guardian, Charlottetown September 20, 1967 by Anne Bond
"If we had to find a simple phrase to describe the Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo held last night at the Coliseum at the Provincial Exhibition Grounds, that phrase would probably be something like "a thrilling spectacular." One of the most pleasing side effects of the show, is the feeling of national pride and an appreciation of Canada's history that the show leaves with you."

Woman's Service Group Reunions

If you were apart of the Woman's Serice Group for Tattoo 1967, you are invited to attend one of the reunions to share your memories with the other woman who participated in the Tattoo. Check the guest book for Linda Mosson-Hockley or Lynda Rees and their contact information if you would like more information. They are keen to make contact if you have any information.

Sixth Month Performance
The show travelled across Canada

Tattoo 1967, the Canadian Military contibution to Canada's 100 birthday in 1967 toured the country from coast to coast. The tour was made up of three parts, the first part of the tour comprised two identical shows, a blue train and a red train each with about 450 men. These two shows toured across Canada by rail and performed in arenas. The show rehearsals took place in Picton, Ontario commencing in late February. The train shows played across Canada starting at the end of March and finishing in May before both trains united in Victoria, BC which were then augmented by more military personel to form a show of 1700 men and woman which became the second part of the tour.

This second part played in the stadiums for example, Empire Stadium in Vancouver, Autostad at Expo 67 in Montreal and the CNE Stadium in Toronto.

The third part was a smaller contingent similar in size to the train shows that toured the Maritimes in the late summer of 1967.

All three branches of the military provided personnel and many of these sailors, soldiers and airforce personnel served in more than one scene. I for one was a musician and played in the fanfares at the opening and closing sections, the Boer War scene, massed bands in scene 9 and for some curious reason, I was picked to play the bugle (although I was a trombone player) at the cross in scene 8 during the stadium shows wearing a second world war naval reserve uniform (although I was actually in the army). Perhaps that was a harbanger of things to come because when intigration commenced in 1968, my RCE Band in Chilliwack, BC was disbanded and we were all transferred to the HMCS Naden Band in Victoria.

The Tattoo consisted of the following sections:

  1. Overture - played by the pit band
  2. Opening Fanfares - (see video page)
  3. Scene 1 - The Massed Bands - (see video page)
  4. Scene 2 - A French Garrison: 1665 - (see video page)
  5. Scene 3 - A British Garrison: 1782 - (see video page)
  6. Scene 4 - HM Dockyard: 1813 - (see photo page)
  7. Scene 5 - A Drummer Boy's Dream or Half a Cake - (see video page)
  8. Scene 6 - Music of the Veldt (The Boer War 1899 - 1902) - (see video page)
  9. Scene 7 - HMC Dockyard: 1911 - (see photo page)
  10. Scene 8 - The Legacy of Freedom - (see video page)
  11. Scene 9 - Massed Bands - (see photo page)
  12. Scene 10 - Reconnaissance Patrolling: 1967 - (see video page)
  13. Scene 11 - Massed Pipes and Drums - (see photo page)
  14. Scene 12 - Gymnastic Display - (see video page)
  15. Scene 13 - A Raid - stadium shows only
  16. Grand Finale - (see video page)
Tattoo Revisits History
300 years of Canadian history covered

More than three hundred years of Canada's Armed Forces history was portrayed by the Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo, one of the largest spectacles of its kind ever presented in North America. The Tattoo shows started in late March 1967 and ended in October after approximately 150 performances.

The Armed Forces have never produced a show of this caliber since but perhaps for Canada's 200th 150th birthday in 2017 we'll again marvel at the sights and sounds of Canada's history once more.

Share Your Photos of the Tattoo
You could see them here on this webpage

If you have some photos or newspaper clippings you'd like to share on this web page so everyone can enjoy them too, email me and I'll be in contact with you.

The Tattoo Program Book
This is a copy of the original book

Tattoo 1967 Program Cover Page

Perhaps you haven't seen the Tattoo 1967 Program since 1967 so here's your opportunity to see it again. You can view the Tattoo program in PDF format right here. As it's 32 pages in length, it may take a bit to load.

Click here to view the program


Tattoo 1967 was an outstanding success!

The Canadian Armed Forces Tattoo of 1967 was undoubtedly the greatest and biggest road show in Canadian history. It took six years to plan and two years to produce and cost in excess of $3,000,000 equivalent to over $21 million today. While the theme of the show was historical, the result was pure entertainment, and received rave reviews from newspapers from St. John's, Newfoundland to Victoria, BC. Music, pageantry, colour, sweeping spotlights, action, fantasy, and comedy were combined to portray Canada's growth since the early days of the first French fur traders. The show only vaguely resembled a traditional military tattoo; rather it took the best of show business and combined it with toe-tapping martial music to the delight of the hipster and the traditional alike. The Tattoo comprised 1700 performers from the three branches of the military and produced 140 shows across this country. Music was supplied by hundreds of professional military musicians ranging from military bands, massed pipes and drums to the lonely sound of a single fyfe. The "show" was so well received there were proposals to have it tour the US and Europe and cries to "Save the Tattoo". Unfortunately once the Tattoo finished its last performance on October 11, 1967 it was shelved and the "show" that thrilled and amazed thousands of Canadians all those years ago was relegated to our memory. This web page rekindles those memories from 1967.
Thanks to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and National Film Board (NFB) for filming the Tattoo for without them, we would only have our pictures and memories to relive that wonderful show.


Keith Wilson of the Royal Canadian Engineers in 1966

This is what I looked like back in 1966 just prior to being posted to the Tattoo in February 1967. This photo was taken at CFB Chilliwack in British Columbia.
Thank you for visiting my webpage on the Tattoo. I hope you found many memories and come back soon.


Copyright © 2010-2013 Contents of this web page by Keith Wilson

Flag Counter