Linda Dunda, Laura Kae and Esther
Brooks make money from discarded
hockey socks and jerseys.
haired, motor-mouthed giant stroll- friends to a warehouse store for a lei- around and talking about the cool big a great date spot.” p long-running Las green room is Costco, according cheese-and-peanut-butter crackers, and those killer a says. —J. Rentilly
CANADA IS A CULTURALLY diverse nation.
KELLY PUT TER
Some simply accept this fact, or even ignore it.
Costco member Rik Leaf ( www.rikleaf.com)
From left, Rik Leaf,
Garan Coons and
Buffy Handel at the
“I had been working as a songwriter and
recording artist for a couple of years,” he says,
“but when I moved to Winnipeg in 1998,
that’s when this all started.”
Festival du Voyageur. Sweet sock-cess
Leaf recalls, “and a couple of dancers were
having coffee upstairs from the rehearsal
space, and one of them came running down
and said, ‘I can totally choreograph a piece for
that song you were just writing.’
“This” is Tribe of One, a collective of per-
forming and visual artists who create an
immersive experience that is both entertain-
ing and edifying.
AS THE MOTHERS of nine children among
them, three Grimsby, Ontario, women know
a lot about stinky socks.
“The area of Canada where I’ve lived for
the last 12 years, the Red River Valley, it’s very
distinctive in Canada,” Leaf says. “It’s probably
the only place in the country where the First
Nation and the French and English cultures
coexist to such a degree.”
“And my wife had just started to paint.
Her art studio is in the same place we were
rehearsing, so week after week, as the band
showed up to practice, you start seeing these
paintings that are in the process of being cre-
ated, and many of us found that fascinating.
All of a sudden we started blending these dif-
ferent cultures and languages, and the next
thing you know, you’re doing something
you’ve never done before.”
In fact, wondering how to preserve
their kids’ sportswear is what inspired their
home-based business, which refashions
hockey socks and jerseys into fun and
“We’re giving new life to these socks,”
says Laura Kae, who, along with Linda
Tribe of One was born in a serendipitous
moment of inspiration.
“We were working on a song one night,”
Leaf describes Tribe of One as a sensory
experience, in which you can listen to exotic
instruments blending, watch art being created
and see dancers in different regalia and styles
interpreting it all.
Dunda and Esther Brooks, runs Sock-cessories ( www.sock-cessories.com).
“I heard a quote once,” he says, “which
said the music should sound like where you’re
from. Tribe of One sounds like where I’m
Their creations are handmade from
new and reclaimed socks and jerseys,
many of them donated by associations and
people wanting to purge equipment rooms,
garages and basements. The clothing is
redesigned, cut and sewn into new creations, such as mittens, hockey bags,
scarves and purses.
“I once had a whole date just walking
around and talking about the cool big
boxes,” he laughs. “It’s
a great date spot.”
It’s also the pres-
ferred spot for
stage snacks for
Penn & Teller’s
Vegas show at
the Rio. Their
green room is
from the local
to Jillette. “We love
the mixed nuts, the
crackers, and those killer
chocolate cakes from the
bakery are amazing,” he
In addition to helping the environment,
these three busy Costco members donate
10 per cent of retail sales to hockey associations and non-profit organizations.
Marketed to students, players and fans,
as well as fans of one-of-a-kind accessories,
the designs can be customized with personal jersey numbers. Sock-cessories has
filled orders from across Canada, the U.S.
and even Holland.—Kelly Putter
IF YOU HAPPEN TO see a longhaired, motor-mouthed giant strolling through Costco, enjoying the
free samples with flair and wild
gesticulations, a beautiful lady on
one arm, it could very well be
Penn Jillette—“the larger, louder
half” of comedy-magic superstars
Penn & Teller—enjoying a hot date.
More than once, Jillette, a Costco
member since 2003, has brought lady
friends to a warehouse store for a leisurely afternoon of noshing and chitchat.
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