After an overwhelmingly successful first event, organizers are planning another free semicolon tattoo day for World Mental Health Day.
The event will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 10 at Gas City Tattoos.
“We felt bad after our first one because so many people showed up and we couldn’t tattoo everyone,” said one of the organizers Erin Taefu. “We didn’t know if that first one would flop or not, but it was super busy. We’ve now had time to prepare for this one and plan it, so we’re hoping to really improve upon last time.”
Last event raised $4,000 with only artist Fitu Taefu doing the tattooing. This time there will be up to nine artists working at a time.
“We’re at eight for sure but we’re hoping to have one more,” said Erin. “Essentially, with this many people, in two hours we could do as many people as Fitu was able to do during the entire day last time. We could move through people a lot quicker.
“We have at least one food truck coming and others said they’ll let us know closer to the date.”
To utilize the entire shop, the front door will be locked and people will line up behind Gas City Tattoos. There will still be a limited number of people in the shop at all times, with COVID-19 protocols being followed for the entire day.
For All the Brothers will be on hand Oct. 10 selling T-shirts, and one of the artists will have a special print for sale to help raise funds.
Money raised will go to Medicine Hat Family Services and SARC. A representative from Family Services will be on hand during the event, and Erin says she is hoping to have a psychologist there as well.
The event encourages donations but it is not required to get inked.
“If people can give, that’s great,” said Erin. “If they can’t, we understand completely.”
The semicolon has become a symbol for mental health over the years, signifying that it is not the end of someone’s journey, just a pause.
The shop and artists are donating all the supplies used at the event and will not be taking custom orders or rain checks.
The event is 18-plus and people must have a photo ID ready before paperwork is filled out. All artists are local.
More information can be found on Facebook by searching ‘For All the Brothers Canada.’
Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News