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Enjoy free wine and tattoos at event honouring one of Canada’s ‘original vintage inkers'

Tattoo and wine lovers alike can enjoy this fun night out that gives a nod to the city's inky history
Vintage Ink is partnering with a Vancouver tattoo shop to host a tasting inspired by one of the first tattoo artists in Canada on May 25, 2023. The first 10 people will receive complimentary tattoos.

Doc Forbes (real name Forbes Hendry) is one of the most well-known early tattoo artists in Canadian history.

He trained under Frederick Baldwin, the first tattoo artist in Canada to use an electric tattoo machine in the 1920s, and some of his American Traditional flash artwork can be found at Vancouver tattoo shops

Forbes travelled with carnivals and circuses before settling in B.C. He worked near the navy base in Victoria and become internationally known as sailors wore his work around the world. Eventually, Forbes settled at Ace Tattoos in Vancouver in the 60s and was there until his death in 1977.

The historic shop no longer exists but the business lasted 50 years, starting in the Heatley Block building on Hastings Street before moving to Langley.

Just steps away from where Ace used to be, Palace Tattoos has the largest collection of Forbes' art on display including some of his most popular pin-up designs. The shop is a wealth of tattoo history knowledge and is outfitted like a time capsule with curated decor. Many of the customers who walk through the door are wearing pieces of history too.

On May 25, Palace Tattoo and Okanagan winery Vintage Ink are hosting a tasting inspired by Doc Forbes.

Tattoo and art lovers can come together for a free sampling of Vintage Ink wines or get one of 10 complimentary preselected tattoos inspired by Doc Forbes’ iconic flash designs.

Tattoos will be on a first come first serve basis and those who are getting them are not able to drink before or after but they will get to take home a free bottle of wine to enjoy at a later date.

To reserve a tattoo slot, guests need to comment under the event page post and all other guests are also encouraged to RSVP so the venue has an idea of how many people to expect.

The Vintage Ink wine is made with locally-cultivated Okanagan grapes and winemakers experimented with aging it in tequila and whisky barrels.

“Something too fine and too ornate will not stand the test of time. Our mission is to return tattooing to its fundamentals” says Palace Tattoo co-owner Chirs Hold. “We like to see a bit of ourselves reflected back in the brands we support. As we got to know Vintage Ink, we saw the passion they have for unique winemaking reflected in the creativity of their product, from what’s inside the bottle to what’s on it.”

The event runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Hold and fellow co-owner Nick Wako will be on hand at the event to teach gusts more about the history of tattoos in Vancouver.


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