A staple in Halifax for the past 30 years, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo showcased some of its performances and upgrades to its latest edition Thursday.

The 2009 Tattoo starts July 1 and will feature military bands, dancers and other performers.

Ian Fraser, the show’s longtime artistic director, said the new and improved technical systems will make the show bigger and better this year.


“In the technical sense, we’ve advanced the art beyond anything anyone in the world has been,” the Halifax native said. “We’re leading the world in the quality of the technical equipment we have.”

Fraser hopes the audiences enjoy the show, but also think about and have a greater respect for Canadian Forces currently serving in Afghanistan.

“One of the things we want to do is make the public aware with what’s going on in the Canadian Forces,” he said. “There is a tremendous amount of sacrifice being given by the young people.”

Fraser said one of the reasons the Tattoo is so important to Halifax is that all of the money raised with ticket sales stays in the city. Organizers said the Tattoo brings in $15 million more than all cruise ship traffic for one year.

Something new for this year’s show is an American band that will bring the stars and stripes back to the Tattoo, something organizers said audience members have wanted for years.

When asked which part of the show Fraser was looking forward to the most he said, “people ask me that every year, and it’s the one that’s on the floor when they ask me,” he said with a grin.

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