Tattoo convention leaves its mark
Windy City Tattoo Convention continues to grow each year
The largest tattoo convention in Lethbridge filled Exhibition park over the weekend for a three-day event that supports the love and artistry of tattooing in southern Alberta. Windy City Tattoo Convention celebrated its 11th year in Lethbridge and continues to draw in larger crowds as the event continues. The convention brings more than 100 artists from across Canada and internationally to show off their style and compete in categories for best in show.
Tattoo artist Will Woods, from Peppermint Hippo Tattoo in Lethbridge, says he is surprised at how the convention has grown over the years, and he enjoys the environment and challenges the event presents.
“It has grown massively. We started with not really knowing what we were doing and we just stepped into it and it has grown every year and has become a very popular event,” says Woods. “There is different categories for tattoo competitions. We also have our own ink challenge which is a three-day event, where five artists compete in categories and they can win a big belt and $1,000 cash.”
Tattoos have become more popular and accepted in society over the last decade, with two in 10 Canadians getting their skin permanently inked, according to market research company Ipsos.
Woods says with conventions such as this one, it opens up more conversation about the different types of tattoos, and making it more acceptable within society’s standards. The convention also offers the opportunity for people who are unsure about tattooing to learn more about it personally with the experts.
“I do think that tattooing has come a long way and the industry has grown,” says Woods. “I think that these kinds of shows let people come in here that wouldn’t normally come get a tattoo, and they can feel a little more comfortable coming in and talking to people about tattooing rather than going into a shop and maybe being a little intimidated.”
With the tattoo guns buzzing, ink flowing and customers tensing up from the needle pressure, tattooers displayed their art style across peoples bodies to spread throughout the community, connect with like-minded people, compete for top prizes and enjoy the strange live entertainment that is shown every year.
Monty and Lesile Rickens from Monsters Ink Tattoo in Medicine Hat double-team a piece at the Windy City Tattoo Convention at Exhibition Park, Saturday afternoon.