Still Not Asking For It: International tattoo fundraiser for sexual violence recovery and prevention

Story by Jamie Campbell
Photos provided by Altar Tattoo

Still Not Asking For It is an annual tattoo flash fundraising event founded in 2015 by tattoo artist  Ashley Love. Each year, tattoo shops come together to host flash events, in unison, with all proceeds going to local organizations working toward sexual violence recovery and prevention. The next Still Not Asking For It is happening on Sunday, June 9, with over 80 shops around the world participating. Tattoo shops from New Zealand, Lima, Italy, Los Angeles, Portland, Montreal have joined forces to support this initiative. And guess what? Altar Tattoo has added Calgary to the list by recruiting some of the city’s best artists to participate.

Altar Tattoo, a shop in town initially started by Heather McLean and Stu Teekasingh, has expanded their once two person shop to include six additional artists and a guest booth. The shop is a private tattoo and art collective – making the fact that they are participating that much more exciting. Eight Altar resident artists and two guest artists will have flash sheets priced between $100 – $350. On Sunday, June 9 your new ink will go toward an incredible cause, so head down to Altar (4B 1304 4th Street S.W) at noon – you don’t want to be late to get a tattoo from this artist line-up.

According to McLean, it’s important for them to participate because, “Everyone is affected by sexual assault in some capacity, being directly or through friends or family members.”

She adds that whether it’s the tattoo industry or any industry, people have been tolerating grey area or unacceptable things for a long time, so it’s important that these conversations are happening.

To date, the international event has raised $367,000 and Altar and the participating artists, who, let me add, are generously donating both their time and talent, hope to raise around $7000. Their charity of choice is Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA) who are the primary sexual abuse and sexual assault crisis and education service provider for Calgary and surrounding areas.

Not only are they raising money, they’re raising awareness. For those looking to be involved and support the event without committing to a tattoo, CCASA will be at the shop answering questions, taking donations and selling merchandise. The event will also be joined by award-winning Venezuelan food truck Arepa Boss who are donating 10 per cent of food sales.

This is Altar’s first charity event of many; McLean says the group of artists love the idea of all getting together for the day to support a charitable cause, and decided that this should be a regular give-back situation.

The next one they’re hosting is to raise awareness on environmental conservation in September, animal welfare in February and one in May 2020 for psychedelic therapy.

For a list of participating artists, and more information on the event head to Altar Tattoo’s Instagram and Facebook. To learn more about Still Not Asking For It, visit www.stillnotaskingforit.gives