July 14th, 2024

Skateboarding and Indigenous communities team up for event

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on June 21, 2024.

Photo by Kort Woycheshin A young skateboarder gets some help performing a slide along a rail during last year's combined Go Skateboarding Day and Indigenous Peoples Day event at Festival Square downtown.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

With Go Skateboarding Day landing on the same day as National Indigenous People’s Day, Borderline and Analog Books have partnered to celebrate both in one big free event.

Ian Gauthier, owner of Borderline skate shop, told the Herald this week that since many skateboarders in Lethbridge are Indigenous, they are bringing both communities together to celebrate tonight from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Festival Square.

“We will have skateboard ramps setup, Indigenous performers and speakers, free food from The Owl, cash to be given out as prizes for the skateboarders that compete as well as free skateboarding lessons,” said Gauthier.

 He said everyone is welcome to come by and enjoy amazing skateboarders performing tricks, while also celebrating Indigenous culture.

 “This will be our second event. We started last year and we won the downtown event of the year. So now we’re going into our second year and we’re trying to make it bigger and better thanks in big part to the Downtown Reimagined grant we received by the City of Lethbridge and Opportunities Lethbridge,” said Gauthier.

He said with Borderline being around for 35 years, they continue to look for ways to bring the community together and today’s event allows them to do just that.

 “Bringing the Indigenous community as well as the skateboard community, it really all ties in together where we’re all a big family and we want to showcase both as best we can,” said Gauthier.

He said they have always strive to bring the community together, for all ages, genders and races to come together in a positive way to promote a healthy lifestyle.

“As well as healthy competition of getting better at skateboarding and learning to fall down and get back up and keep trying. It’s all very similar to life and that’s why we try to keep a positive thing going and give back to the community as much as we can,” said Gauthier.

He added that for anyone wanting to try out skateboarding, free lessons will be available and they will have skateboards and protective gear on hand for it.

To help celebrate both Go Skateboarding Day and Indigenous People’s Day, Analog Books launched their SK8R HUGO Fundraising Extravaganza which includes a draw for a $200 gift certificate to Borderline.

Penny Warris, co-owner of Analog Books told the Herald hat after being approached by the author of a book about indigenous kids skateboarding to put their book on display at their store, they decided to partner up with Borderline to celebrate together.

 “We started to think about how we could promote the skateboard contest and so we decided to do a colouring sheet with Hugo as well as Hugo stickers of him skateboarding that were done by local artist Eric Dyck,” said Warris.

 She explained the stickers were being sold with the proceeds going to Lethbridge Nitokska Indigenous Youth Sports in an effort to also promote the Go Skateboarding Day.

 “It’s a really nice community event that involved a lot of different parts of the community. There was going to be a reading of the book Let’s Go! By Julie Flett on Festival Square, but there isn’t now because the person that was going to read it isn’t going to be available for it and we wanted an indigenous person to read,” said Warris.

 She said that even though the reading was not going to happen, they will be having a book display at their store and will be doing the Borderline Gift Certificate during the event.

 “And the colouring sheet goes on until July. We are taking submissions of that and hanging them in the window. The winner of the colouring contest will win a $50 analog gift certificate,” said Warris.

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