The Calgary Tattoo and Arts Festival has left an unforgettable mark on Calgary, returning for its 20th anniversary at the BMO Centre from Oct. 13 to 15.   

For two decades, the event has showcased tattoos from local and international artists. 

“The popularity of tattooing just surprises me. It just gets more popular every year,” said the festival’s founder, Steve Peace. 

The first show was held at The Westin Calgary hotel with less than 100 artists in attendance. After a few years at Westin Calgary, the popularity of the show pushed the event to move to the Stampede grounds in order to accommodate bigger crowds. 

This year’s event features multiple vendors and entertainment. The Tattoo and Arts Festival also hosts the premier of 200 Hours, a documentary chronicling renowned tattoo artist Paul Jeffries’ 40-year career. 

Promo poster for 200 Hours: The Paul Jeffries Documentary.

“If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo, that’s the best place because some of the best artists in the city, or most of them, are actually at the show,” said Peace. 

People wanting a tattoo used to be able to walk into a shop and choose a design off the wall. Now they can talk to the artist about what they want or find a pre-drawn design that no one else has. 

Peace calls the festival a great place to get inspiration. 

“We just want the tattoo show to be fun and everyone have a great experience.”

Report an Error or Typo