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Inking life back into summer with return of Okanagan Tattoo Show

The three day event hosted an estimated 180 tattoo artists at the Kelowna Curling Club
Matt Tyefisher (@longcatmatt) was one of the local artists at the 2022 Okanagan Tattoo Show (Brittany Webster - Capital News)

Tattoo lovers from all over gathered inside the Kelowna Curling Club over the weekend for the 8th Annual Okanagan Tattoo Show.

Organizer Terence Smith was thrilled with the turnout, saying over 1,500 tickets were sold online and just as many - if not more - people paid at the door.

Smith said this should have been year 10 hosting the show, but the pandemic cancelled the previous two years.

“We didn’t pull the trigger until the restrictions lifted in February,” Smith said. “Normally for this event we start planning in November or September for the following year.”

Smith said about 180 tattoo artists were around for the weekend, some local and many others from across the country. In previous years, Smith said some artists have travelled from as far as Mexico and Germany.

“When we first started at the Parkinson Rec Centre we only had 50 tattoo artists and the fact that we’re up to 180 should speak volumes within itself,” Smith noted. “The tattoo community also is really tight-knit and they tend to talk to each other, so on that scale they talk about our festival and they want to be here.”

Attendees were able to book in with artists throughout the weekend, some offering walk-up tattoos.

Vendors were there selling bags, hats, and other merchandise, a beer garden was set up in the middle of the curling rink, and some great live entertainment of local and out-of-town bands played to fill the event.

The event kicked off at the curling club 5 p.m. Friday (July 22) and concluded Sunday at 7 p.m.

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