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Tattoo Talk: Tia Ackerman on Starting Tattooing, Mini Astronauts, and New Shop “TA Tattoos”

We got in touch with Tia Ackerman to ask her all about her flight path to becoming a newly independent artist and learn more about how she got her start.

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Tia Ackerman, photo by Kieran Marwood

Tucked away in the forests of Powell River, with only two ferry rides and three hours of driving along logging roads away from Vancouver, B.C., lies a new tattoo shop. Fresh paint and sawdust are faint but present, betraying the flurry of recent construction. The all-too-familiar drilling of metal into flesh punctures the air.

Sat at her stool, Tia Ackerman works. She’s only 23, but she’s already well-positioned to take her craft to the next level. Finishing her apprenticeship this year, she’s wasted no opportunity to start her shop: TA Tattoos. It makes sense, given the landscape. Powell River is occupied mainly by loggers and hippies (my words, not hers), two demographics that share one thing in common: a love of body art.

We got in touch to ask about her flight path to becoming a newly independent artist and learn more about how she got her start.

What was the first tattoo you ever got/gave?

Tia Ackerman: “The first tattoo I ever got was when I was 16 years old. I had just come off of an eight-hour shift at work, and there was an annual festival going on, Blackberry Fest. I walked to the local tattoo shop and met up with my parents. I got my first tattoo in full colour, and to this day is my only colour tattoo. After my appointment, my dad surprised me and got one to match mine, but his has an added leaf, (that’s an important factor because he likes to say that his is better because of it) haha.”

How many tattoos do you have on your body?

“I can’t even count at this point. Many have been meshed together and tiny added fillers throughout. I have a full sleeve on my left arm (except some little fillers and elbow), and a patchwork style on my lower right leg.”

How did you get started?

“It all really started when I was a kid, and I used to sit and watch Ink Master with my Dad. My dad and I would use Sharpies and draw ‘tattoos’ on each other. It’s funny, I remember showing up to school and teachers being mad at me because I was going to get “ink poisoning” and my dad and I would get in trouble together.”

“Then, when I was a little older, I started doing Stick and Poke tattoos on myself and close family. A couple months after that, I bought a cheap tattoo gun off of Amazon and started tattooing myself. I realized that I’ve always found beauty in the body modification world, and the artwork and expression really spoke to me.”

What’s the most challenging thing about tattooing/getting tattooed?

“The most challenging thing about both getting tattooed and giving tattoos, is the pain. It’s difficult because there is only so much that your body can take, but your mind knows that you chose this and that it will be worth it in the end. There is a lot of beauty behind the pain, though.”

How would you describe your personal artistic style?

“I have always been very drawn to old-school, Traditional tattoos, as they will forever be a classic. But, I would say I’m definitely more line work/illustrative, although it’s a mix of many styles. I feel like I have the capability to adapt to many different styles, and I do enjoy trying new styles/ways to tattoo. I feel like I’m still trying to find “me” to be completely honest, sometimes if I think about the whole concept of tattooing It still can freak me out… I stab people for a living.”

What’s the most outrageous/batshit thing you’ve ever had or asked to have tattooed?

“There haven’t been too many crazy ones but a lot of cringy ones. There is one that comes to mind, I had two guys ask me to do matching best friend tattoos. Mini astronauts, standing on their chest, with a flag going through their nipples. Lucky for me, they never went through with getting them done. Although sometimes I still wonder what it would be like to tattoo over that area.”

What’s the most popular style of tattoo you seem to be doing (or seeing done) lately?

“I would have to say, some of the most popular tattoos would be fine line tattoos, very minimal to no shading. I have noticed that people because they’re easy to hide and an easy introduction into the world of tattoos, as they don’t usually take that long to do. I have done a fair share myself and even though those styles of tattoos seem really simple, they can be challenging. You can’t hide anything behind a single needle tattoo.”

Do any of your tattoos have a particularly special meaning behind them?

“My first tattoo, I feel like for many people you either love and have a close attachment to your first tattoo, or it becomes your first coverup. I also got an angel for my grandma (who is still alive) because she has always been gifted with angels (as presents) and has been a very special and important person in my life. A lot of the tattoos on my left arm are for my family, or things that they have told me, or things that remind me of them.”

We know you have one… tell us about that stoned/drunken joke tattoo you once got….

“Oh boy! Before I was a professional, I tattooed the inside of my fingers in my kitchen and it said: “Take Five”. I was drunkenly inspired, for reasons I cannot remember for the life of me now. I know it had something to do with the band Five Finger Death Punch and a bottle of tequila. Funnily enough, now if you look at my hand you can’t even tell that they were there, it’s completely faded except for a few speckles here and there.”

Have you had anything covered up? If yes, what was it and why?

“I only have had one cover-up overall. The original was a Sparrow, and I got it covered up because a lot of people made fun of it. One of the factors being someone kept saying it looked like a flying rat. So, I got it covered up with a Raven! When I think about it now, I actually wish I didn’t cover it up.”

If you HAD to get someone’s face tattooed on you, whose would it be and why?

“So, I have truly never wanted anyone’s face tattooed on me, but the first and only face that comes to mind is someone from the Addams Family. I’d have to say, Cousin It (if they count as a face) or Uncle Fester. But, honestly, if I’m really doing it, I’d want their family portrait on my thigh or a back piece (go big or go home).”

Getting a tattoo is a deeply personal experience; do you feel people choose a tattoo artist in
the same way they choose the actual tattoo design?

“I would have to say yes and no. I feel like nowadays, a lot of people pick tattoo artists out of convenience. I’d say most people, unless it’s a large-scale piece and an idea that you have been sitting on for a while, it’s always ‘when is the soonest I can get in’ and ‘is there anyone that can do it today.’

“Although, on the flip side. I do have recurring clients that do say, if they don’t vibe with the artist, it doesn’t matter how good they are, they won’t be going back.”

Director of Communications @ V13. Lance Marwood is a music and entertainment writer who has been featured in both digital and print publications, including a foreword for the book "Toronto DIY: (2008-2013)" and The Continuist. He has been creating and coordinating content for V13 since 2015 (back when it was PureGrainAudio); before that he wrote and hosted a radio and online series called The Hard Stuff , featuring interviews with bands and insight into the Toronto DIY and wider hardcore punk scene. He has performed in bands and played shows alongside acts such as Expectorated Sequence, S.H.I.T., and Full of Hell.

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Max & Iggor Cavalera’s Blood Brothers Coffee Available Soon

Legendary metal brothers Max & Iggor Cavalera bring you a taste of home from the coffee bloodline buried deep within the sacrificial soil.

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Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee
Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee

The Tribe has spoken! Arise from the grave and drink from the lifeblood! Legendary metal brothers Max & Iggor Cavalera have gone back to their roots to bring you a taste of home from the bloodline buried deep within the sacrificial soil. Dubbed the world’s “bloodiest” coffee, this coffee lives up to its reputation as the heaviest of the Brazilian Legenders, with its deep, rich notes that will thump and chug your heart right out of your chest!

This bone-breaking brew was handpicked by the Cavalera Tribe themselves to inspire generations of headbangers to come. So, take your place on the totem around the tribal fires, and drink from the sacrificial lifeblood today, and experience an intense, immersive coffee experience like no other!

Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee Nitro Cold Can Brew

Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee Nitro Cold Can Brew

Concept Cafes tell us:

“Collaborating with the Tribe, we wanted to accomplish two things with ‘Blood Brothers’…: 1) further push the initiative that Metal has a place in the coffee world beyond the burnt leftovers from the factory floor & 2) share the often overlooked, yet some of the best coffee in the world, that comes out of Brazil. The collective challenge was how do you package 40 years of legacy from such an influential & integral part of Metal history into a bag/can of coffee…? Furthermore, how do you represent Brazilian culture, and most importantly, how do you humbly present the best offering to metalheads around the world? But Max & Iggor, and the rest of the Cavalera Tribe, actually made it pretty easy for us once we started working with them. When you see the level of passion & devotion they have for the music and touring for the fans, it really is awe-inspiring; so everything kinda just started to come together on this project ‘organically’. Marina (Concept’s head artist) & I had the initial idea that if we could make everything organic enough to pay tribute to Max’s love for camo, we might just pull this off. How’d we do…? LOL”

Max & Iggor’s “Blood Brothers” coffee was a semifinalist in the coffee industry’s prestigious 2023 Sprudgie Awards (the equivalent of the Grammys in the coffee world).

You can pre-order Max & Iggor Cavalera’s Official ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee Cold Nitro Brew Cans available in espresso, non-dairy latte & flavoured latte versions here.

Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee

Max & Iggor Cavalera ‘Blood Brothers’ Coffee

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Salah Bachir Publishes Titillating Memoir ‘First To Leave The Party’

Salah Bachir recently released his titillating memoir, ‘First To Leave The Party,’ offering intimate details about the rich and famous and Bachir’s gusto and lust for life.

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Salah Bachir, photo by George Pimentel
Salah Bachir, photo by George Pimentel

Author, entrepreneur, art collector, movie industry insider, and philanthropist Salah Bachir recently released his memoir, First To Leave The Party: My Life with Ordinary People…Who Happen to be Famous, a collection of stories revealing his joie de vivre, his love of human interaction, and his altruism.

After immigrating to Canada from Lebanon in the 1960s, Bachir started Videomania, Canada’s first video magazine, followed by establishing Premiere, a trade publication for video distributors and retailers.

For more than a decade and a half, Bachir was the president of Cineplex Media and boss of Cineplex Magazine, Canada’s wildly popular and widely read magazine, serving more than four million readers per issue.

Salah Bachir, photo by George Pimentel

Salah Bachir, photo by George Pimentel

A fixture in the world of film for decades, Bachir naturally met Hollywood’s superstars. Yet what sets him apart is his charisma, compassion, his personal style – chic hats, diamonds, pearls, brooches, and elegant scarves – and his full-blown zest for life and people.

First To Leave The Party recounts his relationships with a literal who’s who of Hollywood: Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Joan Rivers, Mary Tyler Moore, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Edward Albee, Orson Welles, Aretha Franklin, Norman Jewison, and Elizabeth Taylor — although it’s true that Katharine Hepburn once turned him down, very nicely.

There are also stories about Marlon Brando, Princess Diana, Muhammad Ali, Princess Margaret, Sean Connery, Ella Fitzgerald, and Doris Day.

Co-written with film critic Jami Bernard of the New York Post and Daily News, a portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to the LGBTQ+ rights program at Human Rights Watch.

Salah Bachir ‘First To Leave The Party’ book cover

Salah Bachir ‘First To Leave The Party’ book cover

Featured in numerous publications, including The Globe & Mail, Playback Magazine, Dolce, and Toronto Life, Bachir has received five honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Alberta, Ryerson University, York University, OCAD University, and Wilfrid Laurier University in recognition of his business expertise and philanthropic work.

Along with a long list of deserved awards, Bachir, because of his entrepreneurial spirit and advocacy of the arts and social justice, is a member of the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada, as well as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and two-time Grand Marshal of the Toronto Pride Parade.

The stories related in First To Leave The Party not only provide a parade of intimate detail about the lives of the rich and famous, the entertainment industry’s elite, but also bare Salah Bachir’s gusto and lust for life.

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Culture

Koodo is Stacking the Savings for Canadians with “Happy Stack”

Koodo stacks savings for Canadians by introducing Happy Stack, offering customers mobile, wifi, and entertainment at a $99 per month rate.

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Koodo logo
Koodo logo

Koodo is stacking the savings for Canadians by introducing its new Happy Stack, offering customers mobility, home internet and entertainment in one affordable package starting at $99 per month. For the first time ever, new and existing Koodo customers in Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec can stack all three services at an unbeatable value, with monthly savings of up to 23 percent. After a successful pilot program in the Fall of 2023, Koodo Internet is now available to more than 7 million homes across Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, offering more Canadians access to unlimited home internet with no throttling or data overage charges.

Dwayne Benefield, Chief Product Officer at TELUS, comments:

“Happy Stack is the answer to today’s unpredictable economic climate. It combines reliable mobile service, dependable high-speed internet, and the best streaming entertainment at a value Canadians can’t find anywhere else. Our value-minded customers want to invest wisely in a practical, comprehensive connectivity and entertainment package, without sacrificing top-tier quality, and we’re proud to deliver that only at Koodo.”

Powered by Koodo’s award-winning network, and digital-first customer service, Happy Stack bundles together:

  • Pick Your Perk mobility rate plans
  • Fast and reliable unlimited high-speed home internet
  • The ultimate entertainment experience with the new Stream+, featuring three of Canada’s most popular streaming services, Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video

Happy Stack also gives new and existing Koodo customers the flexibility to upgrade their Koodo mobility, home internet and entertainment plan for the ultimate value. This includes a wide range of mobility plans with up to 5G speeds and perk options like Unlimited Data, home internet with download speeds of up to 1 Gbps where available, and Stream+ Premium.

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