Winnipeg Tattoo Show returns after a 2-year break, from May 12-14 at the RBC convention center.
J&A Inked Enterprises present the fourth annual convention, but the co-founder says friends and volunteers almost entirely put it together.
“We just do it for the love of the industry,” said Abigail Boivin, 40, who came up with the show and her husband, Jeff, 44.
The couple operated Living Canvas Tattoo on St. James Street and founded J&A Inked Enterprises in 2013, primarily to bring tattoo shows to Winnipeg and Manitoba, as city and provincial health bylaws at the time prevented such gatherings.
“(It’s) for the community and the love and respect. Bringing people together and artists together, just making every show better than the last one,” she said.
Abigail Boivin is a tattoo artist who has been tattooing since 1992. She has also attended shows across Canada. She and Jeff from East St. Paul had the idea to hold a Winnipeg Convention while she was still on maternity leave.
“I have two kids already, so let’s put some more stuff on the plate,” Boivin said with a laugh.
“Everybody’s like, ‘You own a business, and you run a tattoo show, and you have kids….’ I’m just the kind of person that’s like, ‘Yeah, bring it on.’ I love challenges.”
Since they were given the green light to proceed by city and provincial regulatory bodies, Boivin said that they’ve been able to put Winnipeg “on the map” of the Canadian tattoo industry.
“We were able to discuss how it could be done safely and properly, like every other province in Canada where they have shown, and they gave us the go-ahead to do it,” Boivin said. “That was cool. From there, it just expanded.”
This year’s convention will welcome many local and international artists — the list is still being updated — including Babiery Hernandez and Jime Litwalk, world-recognized tattoo artists who have competed in the reality TV series Ink Master.
Participants can book artists online to get tattoos done at the event.
The weekend will also feature many other attractions, such as a hair-and-makeup competition and a motorcycle custom show. Each day, awards for tattoos will be presented.
Tickets for adults are $20 or $45 if you want a weekend pass. Children under the age of 12 are admitted for free.
More information on artists, vendors, and scheduled entertainment is available online at winnipegtattooshow.com
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