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Acceptance and Intolerance

Hemlock Tattoo actively strives to operate in way that prioritizes a welcoming, transparent and consent based tattoo shop atmosphere. We make a commitment to providing a service that accepts, uplifts and encourages the presence of people of every gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, religion, age and type. This commitment is an ongoing one where further education will always be sought and feedback welcomed.


Our staff commit to doing their utmost to ensure that all persons utilizing our services feel comfortable, free, supported throughout their interactions with us, in possession of their own privacy and will to share or not share as it pertains to their identity or needs. We will dedicate ourselves to providing an environment that seeks to never contribute to the erasure of any identity or expression. Any reasonable request will be validated, respected and accommodated where possible. 


During the tattoo booking process, all artists will provide the opportunity for clients to share preferences of treatment that will best accommodate their needs. This can range from communicating accessibility requirements, pronouns, preferred name/s, budget, allergies, to disclosures of pain or trauma that may relate to the tattoo or tattooing process. The creation of a safe-word for the appointment or the need for extra privacy, multiple sessions and pain management tools are just a few more of the accommodations that can be implemented. All clients can also choose to abstain from providing any information that does not immediately relate to the tattooing process.


To implement these values, Hemlock Tattoo commits to actively engaging in a process of ethical and informed consent where the comfort and safety of our clients are routinely checked in on and addressed if necessary. Consent is a process and one that we are committed to engaging with in order to cultivate and maintain an environment where everyone can feel safe, considered and free to communicate their needs, knowing they will be taken seriously and will not face judgment. 

Hemlock Tattoo also commits to seeking out training and education on an ongoing basis to further our knowledge and understanding of how to best provide a safer tattoo space and practice.


If you have or know of training, educational materials, workshops or books that would further benefit our studio, please share these resources with us via our email:

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No assumptions will be made about any persons identity inside or outside of the studio. Every client has the right to communicate or not to communicate their identity to their artist or other staff. The studio will be accommodating to any needs communicated by the client related to their identity. 


Everyone in the studio space should be aware that their experiences as a person of their gender, sexuality, ethnicity etc, may not be the same as those around them. It is encouraged within the space to be aware of any positions of privilege one might inhabit regarding, for example, race, class, gender identity, religion, ability or age and to consider this before assuming anything about anyone else in the studio or assuming a discussion topic will be relatable to all persons in an audible range. Hemlock seeks to create an atmosphere where discomfort caused by assumptions can be shared without judgment and handled with urgency and care.

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Oppressive behaviour

Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia, ageism or discrimination on basis of ethnicity, immigration status, religion, cultural, and/or spiritual beliefs, or any other kind of oppressive behaviour is unacceptable at Hemlock Tattoo. This extends beyond the walls of the studio for our staff and any oppressive behaviour that is noticed will be addressed immediately. Our artists reserve the right to deny service to any person exhibiting oppressive behaviour or any person proven and known to exhibit oppressive behaviour.

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Hemlock tattoo is committed to maintaining a harassment free environment. 


Our studio does not condone or tolerate any behaviour that can be considered harmful or abusive. 


This includes: 

  • Intentionally offensive, derogatory or humiliating comments or jokes

  • Cruelty or offensive comments about someone’s national or ethnic origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender, age, religion, martial status or disability

  • Threatening or intimidating another person 

  • Harassment can also include any prohibited act of discrimination under Human Rights legislation 

Reporting an incident

The first method is is via the submission from at the bottom of our policies page. The form includes an option to submit anonymously if desired. Submissions to this from will be accessible to staff to review and respond to as necessary and based on the consent and wishes of the person submitting. 

Our second avenue for reporting an incident utilizes a third party mediator as the point of contact. We have enlisted the expertise of Melia Wylie (they/them) to fill this mediator role. Melia is a relationship, sexual health/sexual violence educator and has extensive experience in non-violent communication, disclosure response, counselling and conflict mediation. This method of incident reporting is available to be utilized for situations where the submitter is more comfortable with their disclosure or feedback being reviewed by a non-staff member of the studio. Reports made via this method will be dealt with as follows: the mediator will assess and carefully determine how to proceed based on the information submitted. Should it be applicable, the mediator will prioritize the desires, autonomy and anonymity of the submissions writer. If needed and or requested, they will provide trauma informed care, resources/support, information on what next steps could look like should the submitter desire to pursue them and ongoing transparent information on what steps are being taken to address the incident to the studio or staff member/s involved. All reported incidents will be addressed on a case by case basis and the mediator will determine what steps should be taken depending on the nature of the disclosure and the desires (if known) of the submitter. This could include public and/or private apologies/acknowledgements by the offending party/ies, mandatory training related to any harm caused, counselling/therapy, termination of employment, and/or formal legal reporting to the relevant authorities. 

To submit a report to our third party mediator, Melia, please email them directly at Melia keeps the identity of any person who uses this method of reporting strictly and indefinitely anonymous in any and all interactions with studio staff regarding a report. 

The staff at Hemlock Tattoo are committed to accountability, transparency, actionable change and restorative justice where applicable in response to any harm potentially caused by our studio or individual staff.

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Appointment Privacy and Nudity

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Hemlock Tattoo is a small studio of four tables in an open room. While in the space, it is a reasonable expectation that one may encounter visible nudity or be required to exist in states of nudity as a necessary part of accessing certain tattoo placements. Our artists will never request a client to remove any more clothing than what is absolutely necessary for tattooing. 


For client comfort while in states of nudity we are able to provide privacy tools like partitions, single-use sheets for coverings, garment recommendations for certain tattoo placements and nipples pasties. However, our studio does not require any client to cover their nipples if they chose not to. 


Regardless of a clients level of nudity, artists will prioritize consent in asking before any touch is established, asking to adjust clothing for better access, asking if any further privacy tools are needed, getting verbal consent before taking photo documentation and consent before sharing/posting that documentation. 


Additionally, It is the right of the client to know ahead of time how many people will be in the space during their appointment, regardless if their appointment will require them to be in states of undress. If more privacy is desired for an appointment that requires states of nudity or if encountering potential nudity of other clients in the space is uncomfortable, please feel free to discuss possible accommodations with your artist. 

Security Cameras

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The studio utilizes a camera for security purposes. The camera films only the front entrance and the  footage captured will only be viewed in the event of a break in or other illegal incident within the studio.

To protect the privacy of all those who enter the space, the footage captured will ONLY ever be referenced in the event it is legally required. 


If you have any questions or concerns regarding our camera please email us at 


A pronoun is how you refer to someone, for example ‘she’ ‘he’ or ‘they’. The staff at Hemlock Tattoo will never assume the gender identity of any person and will always confirm pronouns with our patrons and visitors. Pronouns will be asked for in each artists booking process and upon arrival to the studio, however, no client or artist is required to disclose their pronouns/gender identity within the space. If any person wishes not to have their identity projected into the space, they can request this and will simply be referred to by their name.

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Conversational Awareness and Consent

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Staff and clients are expected to use accessible language and to be aware of the effect that certain discussion topics and the context in which those discussions are framed could have on others in the space. 


All patrons/staff should practice awareness of discussion topics that could be exclusionary or potentially inappropriate. Additionally, the studio will not tolerate interrupting or talking over others. We also encourage everyone to consider whether it’s appropriate for them to speak on certain topics. 


The studio also encourages clients/artists to ask for consent before discussing intimate or potentially triggering topics. Some of these topics might include, mental illness, trauma, medical history, sex, violence, death and loss, etc. If consent to continue is not given, we ask that the topic not be further discussed.

We also recognize that some reactions and feelings that come up during the tattooing process are unintentional trauma responses. Our staff are educated in trauma informed tattooing and are equipped to respond to certain situations that might come up during the tattooing process.

Sexual harassment

Hemlock Tattoo also has a no tolerance policy towards sexual violence or harassment, and attempts towards it.  


This can include: 

  • Breaking physical, verbal and social boundaries in a sexual nature that is not consented to  

  • Deliberately making attempts to cause someone to be in an unneeded state of undress not consented to 

  • Attempting to use the conditions of the tattooing process to influence or precipitate a sexual interaction or gaze 


Further examples not necessarily related to the tattooing process include: 

  • Engaging in any unnecessary or inappropriate physical contact with someone without their prior consent 

  • Any disrespectful or humiliating behaviour related to a person's sex or sexual orientation 

  • Unwanted sexual advances or unwanted sexual demands, verbal, written or physical 

  • Expressing any sexually transgressive comments or sexually based jokes 

  • Any suggestions or innuendos directed at another person that can reasonably be read as sexual in nature  


These are, however, not the limitations of the definition of sexual harassment or sexual violence. Hemlock Tattoo will address any behaviour or reports from client or staff that can be reasonably defined as sexual harassment when and if it occurs.

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Touring the Space/Accessibility 

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Hemlock Tattoo has access to images and videos of the space on our website for any person to view ahead of their appointment in order to give them an idea of the space, layout, amenities, location and accessibility. Any person can also view the outside of our building and surrounding area via google street view at #1 1111 3rd St SE, Calgary, Alberta. 


We have ample paid street parking on all the streets surrounding our building. Additionally, parking is free on Saturdays and Sundays. Please be aware that the parking lot behind our building is private and not available for public use. 

For cyclists, we are located directly next to the 12th avenue bike lanes and multiple bike racks can be found across the street from our studio.

For transit users, our studio is located a very short distance from Victoria Park LRT station and bus transit route 24


Due to our location within a heritage building, our space has physical accessibility barriers. You can find an accessibly checklist available to review on our website for further detail. 


For wheelchair or other mobility aid users who cannot access our studio, we are happy to be able to tattoo you at neighbouring tattoo studio, Radio Block Tattoo (#100 - 1215 1st St SW). Radio Block is a near by studio whose staff have opened their space to us to allow us to accommodate clients who have accessibly needs that our location does not provide. Arrangements to schedule your appointment at their studio are easily made, please feel free let your artist know if this is an accommodation you would like to utilize! 


Any other accessibility needs such as music/speaking volume, scent sensitivities, support in reading or signing documents, need for headphones, fidget devices, allergy awareness, private appointments etc can be discussed with your artist prior to your appointment. We are more than happy to accommodate whenever possible! 


If you have any further questions or concerns about the accessibility of our shop please email us at

Safe words

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If the client desires, a safe word or hand gesture can also be discussed during the booking/consultation process that will be honoured during the entirety of the tattooing process. This option is to ensure that any client can stop the process at any time for any reason without judgment or question and ensures that no one but the artist will be aware that a request to stop has been made. 

This option is available to accommodate those who may find asking to stop embarrassing or difficult when in a room with other clients and artists. It is also available for those who may be unable to communicate verbally that they wish to stop. Please ask your artist if this is an accommodation you require.

Social Media

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Artist and client will be cognizant and respectful of their social media interactions. Communication between artist and client via social media will remain strictly professional unless explicit consent is given to the contrary by both parties.

We ask that clients do not confuse access to their artists via social media with having a personal or intimate relationship with that artist. Artists reserve the right to privacy regardless of public facing professional social media accounts.

A client must give consent before an artist is permitted to post any photos taken of their tattoo onto social media. This consent is prompted in writing during a clients first visit when filling out a waiver. All clients have the right to deny consent regarding the photographing and or posting of their tattoo. Consent can be given or rejected verbally at any time as well.

Clients also have the right to resend consent and have their tattoo images removed at any time from any online platform they may appear on.

All clients will be referred to only as the first initial of their first name in social media posts of their tattoos. Full names and or the linking of a clients own Instagram account will only be done if specific consent is given and for a specific reason.

All of the public policies outlined on this page extend outside of the studio to any public or private interactions between artist and client on social media.

Please let us know...

Your feedback is very important to us. To inform us about about an experience you have had with our shop, or your artist please let let us know here. All submissions are anonymous unless otherwise specified.


Feedback form
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If you are looking for support or more information about safe spaces, please take a look through our resource guide!



See our COVID-19

protocols and policies

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