There will be 99 red balloons floating around Kelowna a day after International Women’s Day this year, but they won’t be tied to a child’s wrist or ascending toward the sun.
Darcy Cameron, owner of Jays & Arrows Tattoo Inc. is about to commemorate the day that recognizes women’s achievements and the challenges women continue to face in the quest for gender equality by tattooing 99 red balloons on 99 people in one day. However, the idea wasn’t inspired by Nena’s hit song from the 80s.
“When I was younger I would see a balloon float away and I would look up and wonder if I could be free like that, it’s that sense of freedom,” said Cameron.
Cameron will be donating all proceeds from the flash tattoo event to the Elizabeth Fry Society in honour of the services he and his mother accessed when he was growing up in Ontario.
“What they do is super amazing… when you get these people (at non-profits such as the Elizabeth Fry Society) that are volunteering their time, on top of helping somebody going through a lot, there are a lot of emotions for both parties involved. I am really grateful for people who take on that.”
The flash tattoos are something that Cameron says he has been wanting to do for years, but now he has the right team for the job. He and his three tattoo artists plan on working for at least 12 hours straight to complete the bouquet of red balloons on 99 people.
Since creating the e-mail for people to sign up to join the cause, the tattoo shop owner says he has been flooded with beautiful stories from grandmothers, mothers and daughters who plan on getting the tattoos together.
“It really makes me happy to see families pulling together, the amount of stories we are getting about how they had used the services themselves and that they are really touched by what we are doing, that is the real reason we are doing this,” he said.
All the credit for choosing to execute the red balloon flash tattoos near International Women’s Day goes to Cameron’s wife Jeanette and he says there was never a better time of year to do it.
“The biggest accomplishment will be that 99 different people will be attached to a positive thing. People are going to see that (the tattoos) and it will start a conversation and get the word out. There are people that still need help and we are at a point where we can help make a change,” he said.
Cameron along with his three tattoo artists are 80 per cent booked and are still booking for Saturday, March 9 via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Three sizes will be available, applicants must be at least 18-years-old and hold valid I.D.
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