A Pride-themed marathon tattoo session will kick off this year's week-long Yellowknife Pride Festival with the help of local tattoo artists.
When organizers of the festival approached tattoo artist Trevor Pelletier to see about his interest in hosting a fundraiser during Pride week, the answer was immediately "yes."
"Oh, I was totally down for it," said the artist and owner of Cryosphere Tattoos in Kam Lake, which opened in February. "I've done a few of these down south. And I'm just glad that they came to me and asked if I was interested."
Popular at Pride festivals elsewhere in Canada, the flash tattoo fundraiser in Yellowknife will run from 11am till 7pm on Monday, August 5. Artists donate their time while all proceeds, after costs of the tattoo instruments, go directly to the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife.
For Pelletier, supporting Pride with his craft is "one of those important things to do."
"The acceptance and just everybody being part of the community ... It's [about supporting] the people you care about," he said.
Tattoos up to the size of a palm will be inked for $100 and designs won't be shared until the day, to keep the mystery alive.
"There's going to be a little bit of something for everyone," said Chelsea Thacker, executive director of the Rainbow Coalition of Yellowknife, keeping tight-lipped on the designs that will be available.
Designs will include rainbow flags and themes such as body positivity and equality.
"Maybe there are a couple unicorns thrown in too because, of course, unicorns are magical and associated with the LGBTQ2S community," Thacker said.
Trevor Pelletier, left, and Chelsea Thacker. Emelie Peacock/Cabin Radio
Pelletier said around 20 designs will be revealed, ranging from "your basic rainbow tattoos" to other themes including BDSM, allowing Pelletier to flex his creative muscle. "It makes it more fun for me to do those tattoos that maybe you don't get a chance to do all the time," he said.
Just days after announcing the event, Thacker said she has already heard of groups of people planning to get together and get the same tattoo.
She is planning to join in the fun, if there's room. "I won't take anyone's spot away from them but I will definitely try to sneak my way in there," she said.
"Even if people choose different designs they're all going to be connected. It goes to show the connection we have within the LGBTQ2S community and with our other community members who aren't necessarily LGBTQ2S," Thacker said.
This year's Pride festival runs from August 6 to 10 – and represents the first time the Rainbow Coalition has taken on the running of the festival.
Events include drag queen story time on Friday and a rainbow run and all-ages Pride party on Saturday.
Thacker continued the mystery by waiting to reveal Saturday's headliner, which she says is an LGBTQ2S band from outside Yellowknife.
Correction: August 1, 2019 – 11:37 MT. This article initially stated tattoos would be available starting at $50. After publication, Pride organizers contacted Cabin Radio to say they had changed this price since our interview was conducted, and tattoos will now start at $100.