A group of deaf people are putting together a costume and dog equipment collection that will be showcased during the opening of the Dog Gear festival in Winnipeg on May 26.
The event, which will be held at the Centre for the Deaf in downtown Winnipeg, is aimed at introducing the deaf community to new dog equipment and to raising awareness about the deaf-friendly world of the dog.
“I wanted to do something that I think the deaf and hearing communities could be proud of and show off what our communities have in common,” said Lori Ruggles, a member of the Winnipeg Deaf Collective.
The collection will include dog costumes, dog accessories, dog bedding, ear muffs and a few other items.
Each item will be made from a dog-friendly material and will be available to the public.
One of the items in the collection is a pair of dog ear mufflers that were designed by a deaf dog owner in Ontario and can be purchased online.
A special section of the exhibit will also feature a dog leash, a dog collar and a special harness that can be worn by a dog to walk with you around the neighbourhood.
“There is a lot of excitement that is being created by this event,” said Stephanie Stoll, president and CEO of the Manitoba Deaf Association.
“It’s going to really be a showcase for what we can achieve.”
“We have a lot to be proud about and it’s something that we can all be proud to be part of,” said Julie Gee, a co-organizer.
“We’re really excited about it.
It’s really a chance for people to show their appreciation for the hearing community.”
The dog costume event will also be featured in a series of dog accessories that are available for purchase at the Dog Costume Store, located at 2155 Broadway, at 10 a.m. on May 20.
Ruggles said the event is also being hosted at the city’s Centre for Hearing Education and Support, which is providing equipment for the event.
Stoll said she and Gee are also working with the City of Winnipeg to develop a plan for the DogGear Festival.
There are no plans to have the event held in the centre of downtown Winnipeg.
The city is also working on plans for the 2019 event.
Ruggs said she hopes to see a similar event held at other locations around the city.