June 24th, 2024

Lethbridge Tattoo Show inks creativity and design

By Dale Woodard on September 24, 2021.

Herald photo by Dale Woodard - Luke Cormier, an award winning tattoo artist from Sydney, Nova Scotia who is also named Mr. Sticker, works on a client's calf at the Lethbridge Tattoo Show last weekend at Exhibition Park.

It was like going back to high school for Luke Cormier.
Fittingly, art class was in session.
The ink flowed and the creative designs were out in full force as the Lethbridge Tattoo Show took place last weekend at Exhibition Park.
After two years away due to the COVID-19 pandemic, artists from coast-to-coast were happy to sketch a few more shows onto their calendars.
For the award-winning tattoo artist from Sydney, Nova Scotia dubbed “Mr. Sticker” for his tattoos bearing the likeness of a sticker, that meant getting back out west and making the stop in southern Alberta for the Lethbridge Tattoo Show.
“I’ve been doing the Lethbridge show for five or six years now. We took two years off of that,” said Cormier. “Honestly, this is one of my favourite shows in Canada. I like Lethbridge. It’s a nice city. Everyone is always so nice and this show feels like the first day of high school, it feels like family. It’s just such a good show.”
Cormier said his road trips usually span about six months.
The Lethbridge Tattoo Show was the second stop on this tour after an event in Edmonton the weekend before.
“After this, I’ll be staying in town and doing a guest spot at Peppermint Hippo Tattoo,” said Cormier. “We’ll leave around Thursday and head to Manitoba. We’ll drive back up in mid-October and do a guest spot at a friend’s studio and then we’ll do the Calgary show and drive back. We’ve been on the road for two months on this trip. We drive everywhere.”
While COVID-19 has called for heightened awareness of cleanliness with hand washing and sanitizing, Cormier noted those facets have been a part of the tattoo artists’ job long before any pandemic.
“The only thing that has changed is the masks. We’re using the same disinfectant between every client,” he said. “Before every client we’ll clean with a disinfectant and clean our tables and surface we’re working off of. We’ll set up with all-sterile products. Anything that is not thrown away is wrapped. But everything is disposable. Then when we’re done we’ll disinfect everything and repeat.”
Lethbridge Tattoo Show event owner and organizer Ash Woods – who puts on the event with her husband, Will – said the Alberta government’s recent announcement about more COVID-19 restrictions had people wondering if the show was going to be a go.
“Alberta Health Services gave us the green light, we’ve been taking all of the safety precautions that have been needed and they’re having a great weekend,” said Woods.
With, of course, the proper COVID protocol.
“Everything is 100 per cent disposable, but with the masks mandatory, we’ve definitely been wearing masks all weekend,” said Woods. “With the liquor restrictions the party closes a little earlier than normal.”
On the weekend, 120 artists from Nova Scotia to Vancouver Island set up shop at the Exhibition Centre.
“A lot of them haven’t been to shows for two years and they were itching to get out,” said Woods. “It’s really nice to have that many different artists come and enjoy the event. It’s nice to have a different variety of people because they see different things. They have different styles of art in their culture every day and people ask for different things from them.”
The artists were glad to be back, but so were the patrons.
“It has been very busy,” said Woods. “A lot of people are interested in the $2,000 door prize we do. We do a cash door prize every year. I would say there were over 700 tattoos done (Friday). That’s a really busy Friday for tattoos. So a lot of people were enjoying themselves.”
Meanwhile, Cormier and the rest of the artists were happy to put some ink down last weekend.
“I’ve been getting nothing but ‘thank yous’ from them,” said Woods. “They’re so happy to be able to go out and do a show and enjoy it and show their art work. It’s really good for their spirits.”

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