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Trying dyeing: Workplace injury causes P.E.I. builder to take up a different kind of creativity

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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — When Terry Betts broke his leg in a workplace accident, he probably did not foresee a new career that had him happily showing off a tie-dyed “P.E.I. is for Plovers” onesie at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market Artisan Christmas fair Dec. 11.

“I’m just an animal lover and, you know, an environmental lover,” he said. “It’s just kind of the things I enjoy.”

The bestselling design is one of his original works that’s been screen-printed onto shirts, socks and shorts that he tie-dyes himself. It features a piping plover on a beach with a heart-shape for the “o” in plovers.

Terry Betts was nearly sold out of his popular P.E.I. is for plovers T-shirt at the annual Artisan Christmas Market hosted by the Charlottetown Farmer's Market Co-operative Dec. 11. The special seasonal market will run again Dec. 18.  - Alison Jenkins
Terry Betts was nearly sold out of his popular P.E.I. is for plovers T-shirt at the annual Artisan Christmas Market hosted by the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market Co-operative Dec. 11. The special seasonal market will run again Dec. 18. – Alison Jenkins

 


Fast facts

Piping plovers are featured in one of Moose Factory Arts’ most popular T-shirts. Here’s a few facts about the small shorebird that returns to make its home on P.E.I. beaches each year. For more information on P.E.I.’s piping plovers, visit www.pipingplover.ca

• Piping plovers (Charadrius melodus melodus) are small shorebirds that nest on Atlantic Coast beaches from Newfoundland and Labrador to North Carolina.

• The Atlantic Canadian population of piping plovers was declared endangered in 2003.

• Piping plovers arrive to breed in March and stay, nesting and rearing their young, until August when they return south to overwinter along the southeastern U.S. coast and the Caribbean islands

• Fewer than 25 pairs return to nest on P.E.I. beaches most years.

The Island Nature Trust has been watching the piping plover populations on P.E.I. since 1995.

Source: islandnaturetrust.ca


The Island Nature Trust has been monitoring piping plovers on P.E.I. beaches since 1995. - SaltWire Network
The Island Nature Trust has been monitoring piping plovers on P.E.I. beaches since 1995. – SaltWire Network

 

New venture

The founder of Moose Factory Arts said he’s trying out the Christmas market scene this year and “can’t complain at all” about the response he’s gotten so far.

“A lot of my designs are Grateful Dead influenced,” he said. “I just thought I can make shirts I would like to wear, you know?”

After a workplace his injury, he returned to school at Holland College to take video game art and animation.

“I was always a hobby artist, but I worked construction for probably 20-some-odd years. I had a work-related injury where I broke both my bones at the ankle. Lots of hardware and stuff in there and it was too hard to get back at what I was doing before,” he said. “So that’s why I went full-on with the art.”

“I’m just an animal lover and, you know, an environmental lover. … It’s just kind of the things I enjoy.”

Terry Betts

Nature lover

Down the road, he hopes to keep growing perhaps heading to music festivals. He’d also love to collaborate with a P.E.I. group, and use the plover shirt sales to raise funds for the endangered migratory shorebird.

“What I do do is a tree donation,” he said. One dollar from each T-shirt sale was going to One Tree Planted. “They’ll plant trees wherever they’re needed most in the world.”

He’d like to organize something for P.E.I., to replant after the loss of trees after post-tropical storm Fiona, it’s in the planning stages at the moment.

“Definitely in the spring-summer I’d like to do a tree-planting here on the island.”

Betts’s work is available for sale at moosefactoryarts.com




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