Thousands of crystals were on display at the Rock N’ Gem show, from tiny tumbled stones to massive crystal towers (PHOTO: TAYLOR HOLMES).

Mineral and gem company, Silver Cove, is rocking and rolling once more with gem shows across the country, despite initially facing backlash for requiring proof of vaccination. 

Silver Cove is an Alberta-based rock and gem company and for a number of years has been putting on the cross-country Rock N’ Gem Show. In a typical year, it would have done 26 shows, but the pandemic put everything on hold. 

After almost two years and after conferring with local nurses, co-founder and owner of Silver Cove, Chris Robak, decided to give the roadshow a green light. The event requires proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test for entry which angered some of Silver Cove’s clientele. 

Robak said he received hate mail for following the Government of Alberta’s health restrictions for large events. A number of former patrons wrote saying they would never support Silver Cove again, which Robak described as heartbreaking.

Chris and Melissa Robak, founders of Silver Cove, take a break from the hustle to pose at the Rock N’ Gem Show . PHOTO: TAYLOR HOLMES

“When you start to get hate mail, you really start questioning, ‘Am I making the right decision?’ But it was.” 

Chris Robak

Teresa Haspeck and Amchi Kunga couldn’t agree more. Haspeck, a jewellery-maker, and Kunga, a traditional Tibetan healer, had a table at the event. The Rock N’ Gem show was a welcome event after a challenging year for both themselves and attendees.

“You could tell by the way people said it had been so long since the last run –  that was two years ago, that everyone was looking forward to it,” Haspeck said.

Both Haspeck and Kunga said the measures in place, which included sanitizer stations and mask wearing, made everyone feel safe. Robak also said that a number of people attending the event had thanked him for requiring proof of vaccination, saying they wouldn’t otherwise have attended the event. 

After a number of challenges, the overall response to the Rock N’ Gem show has been positive, with people happy to be out with other rock lovers once more. The Rock N’ Gem show took place in Ottawa in December. The Calgary event is scheduled for the end of March.

Premier Jason Kenney has signalled the province’s vaccine passport program will be phased-out over the coming weeks.

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