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the royal nova scotia international tattoo

The NABBSS Band with the National Ceremo

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo was first held in 1979 to mark the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother to Nova Scotia for the International Gathering of the Clans and has been held every year since. Regarded as the World’s largest annual indoor show, it was granted Royal Status by Her Majesty The Queen in 2006 on the occasion of her 80th birthday.


The two-and-a-half hour family show is fast-paced with every scene only lasting about 3-6 minutes, so there is always something new to see and experience. It features bagpipes, highland dancers, military traditions, innovative acrobatic acts, modern music, contemporary dancing, trampoline routines, cutting-edge videos, and this year the NABBSS band will feature in its very own scene. A useful guide to performing in the RNSIT is downloadable here.


The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Society, in partnership with the Government of Canada, the Province of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Halifax and the Corporate Community, presents the 8-show Tattoo annually at the Scotiabank Centre. Book tickets here

performances and repertoire

In addition to the eight Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo performances taking place during the course, the NABBSS band will also give two - three additional concerts of our own, the highlight of which will be our St Matthew’s Church Concert conducted by NABBSS' Musical Director, Robert Childs. 


During the Tattoo, under the direction of Gaetan Bouchard, the NABBSS band will primarily perform from a static standing position on the main stage.

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A booklet of music (usually in the region of 16-20 separate titles) will be provided, but you will need to bring your own music lyres. Tuba players are also advised to bring instrument straps. For the first time, the entire NABBSS band will also be featured in its own scene, led by NABBSS’ Associate Conductor, David Childs.


Away from the Tattoo, a variety of original compositions and arrangements by some of the brass band world’s finest writers will be explored.


Participation in NABBSS requires no marching, although long periods standing during the Tattoo and walks between our rehearsal venue and the Scotiabank Centre can be taxing for some.


Accommodation is provided at Gerard Hall, Dalhousie University, in the heart of downtown Halifax and just a short stroll from our rehearsal base at St Matthew's Church.


Single rooms are provided throughout the 12-story accommodation block, although twin rooms can often be available on request. A large shared bathroom with several private shower cubicles can be found on every floor of the accommodation. A ‘frequently asked questions’ sheet concerning accommodation can be downloaded here.


Breakfast is included at the University on presentation of Tattoo identification, which you will receive at registration. In previous years, for lunch and dinner, NABBSS attendees have been provided with vouchers which can either be redeemed at the University on an "all you care to eat" basis or used at a number of establishments in downtown Halifax, a list of which can be downloaded here. This may change post Covid, but lunch and dinner will certainly be provided in some way, within the price of attending the course.


Overlooking Halifax Harbour. Join us the

The dynamic waterfront city of Halifax, is the capital of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. The city has many museums including the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia, numerous National Historic Sites, the most notable being Citadel Hill (Fort George), and its tourism industry showcases Nova Scotia's beautiful scenery, culture and coastline.


The nearby Peggy's Cove is an iconic internationally recognized landmark and popular activities in the area include whale watching, boat trips, deep sea fishing, visits to the Alexander Keith's brewery as well as Casino Nova Scotia. Halifax also boasts more bars per capita in the downtown area than any other city in Canada. Important locations for NABBSS participants:


Accommodation: Gerard Hall (Sexton Campus of Dalhousie University)

5303 Morris Street, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2


Most Rehearsals: St. Matthew’s Church

1479 Barrington Street, Halifax, NS B3J 1Z2


Tattoo: Scotiabank Centre

1800 Argyle St, Halifax, NS B3J 2V9


For more information relating to Halifax and its surrounding area, visit and

travel and transport

Halifax has an International Airport (Airport code: YHZ) with established routes throughout the world. Should you be flying into Halifax, you will be required to make your own transit arrangements between the airport and accommodation, both at the beginning and the end of the course.


Taxis / Limousines are available at the airport with a one way cost of $63, which can be cost effective for a group of four.


The Maritime Bus Airport Express has a one-way fare of $22 per person, but with ticketless boarding, a reservation is required for this service. For more information visit:


However, the Metro Transit Shuttle (METRO X #320 – Airport/Fall River) is the most economical travel option with single fares of $3.50. For more information visit:


The accommodation (Gerrard Hall), rehearsal space (St. Matthew’s Church) and Tattoo venue (Scotiabank Centre) are all within walking distance. However, NABBSS will provide transport for instruments larger than a tenor (alto) horn upon request.


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All NABBSS participants will be provided with a RNSIT red tunic and black bow-tie. You will need black shoes (flats), black socks, black dress pants, and several white shirts in order to complete this ensemble for eight shows and two dress rehearsals!

In addition, you will be provided with a t-shirt to be worn for 'Festival' concerts. Light pants and smart / casual shoes (no flip-flops) are required to accompany this. Following initial registration via the form at the bottom of this page, you will later need to provide t-shirt and tunic (chest) sizes


The individual course fee is just $800 CAD per person, which includes tuition, accommodation and meals. Due to RNSIT policy, accommodation and meal allowance cannot be provided for participants residing within the Halifax Regional Municipality.


Following submission of the registration form below, you will receive a link to make a $100 CAD deposit via PayPal, securing your place on NABBSS 2022. Your balance payment will then be required on May 1, 2022, at which point registration will close. 


If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us using the following address:

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