By Izunna Nwogbo, Guest Author
There’s been no shortage of new and fun experiences I’ve had since joining the YYC Campus Ministry back in early 2018, and our latest venture only further cements that there will be more to come. With the Calgary Pride Parade just around the corner, members have been hard at work preparing posters, signs, and banners to flourish and show their support on the big day. Come August 26th, I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in the aptly named Tie Dye Team Build Extravaganza – where all those with a passion for crafting creative and colourfast shirts in the name of a good cause were welcome.
It was my first time ever doing something like this, and I found that when it came to tying and dying, there were patterns galore to choose from. Some opted for stylish spiral designs with different bands of colour, while others sprang for the always appreciated rainbow stripes. There was even a unique case of crinkling used to get a desired and worthwhile effect. Regardless of what was picked, however, it was indisputable that everyone had released the experimental artist within them that evening.
The event’s spread was nothing to overlook either, as Diane and Reverend Tim saw to it that no one left the yard hungry. With delicious homemade mint lemonade provided by our esteemed host and Tim and Diane’s serving of fruit salad coupled with exotic bean salad and yams, we soon had a sure banquet on our hands.
It was no secret that summer was fleeting, and with the last few moments of it shuffling out the door, we found ourselves fighting against wind and rain to keep our tarp from collapsing and our banner dry. But in a way, that proved to be fun for me too, because even when we were trying to keep everything together and from falling into chaos – I felt like it was also bringing us all closer together as a result. Summer coming to an end couldn’t take that away even if it wanted to.
Our tie-dyed shirts were specially wrapped and secured in plastic bags to dry safely until they were ready for the next step. To keep the shirts from losing their beautiful colours, white vinegar would have to be applied after soaking them in cool water. Once all of that was done, they’d be in tiptop shape for Pride 2018.
As we were closing up shop, I decided to get some final comments from fellow partakers. One said he was happy he had shown up because he felt it was a great opportunity to let people know that they weren’t alone in the world, even if it may feel that way at times.
Photos by Izunna Nwogbo