News / Edmonton

Beach business: Print shop selling out 'Accidental Beach' tank tops

Edmonton residents are getting crafty, with signs, stairs, trash mobs and now official merchandise

Mark Wilson, partner at Vivid Print created the Accidental Beach Tanktop's which are selling like hotcakes.

Kevin Tuong/For Metro

Mark Wilson, partner at Vivid Print created the Accidental Beach Tanktop's which are selling like hotcakes.

The “Accidental Beach” has become an accidental marketing success for an Edmonton printing business.

When Whyte Avenue shop Vivid Print created a tank top with a colourful retro logo bearing the nickname of the beach that appeared on the North Saskatchewan River as a side effect of LRT construction, there was no intention to sell them to the masses.  

“We did it as kind of an internal joke, really. We just made a really small run,” said Vivid business partner Mark Wilson. “But then people saw them and said, ‘Oh, can we get one?’ ”

Vivid owner Bee Waeland designed the logo, and the shop sold out the first run of men’s and women’s tanks. On Tuesday, it was nearing the end of its second run.

Wilson said the shop’s staff are all fans of the beach and the sense of community and responsibility that has developed around it.

“It’s celebrating something that I think has become close to the hearts of many Edmontonians,” he said.

Fish Griwkowsky and Amber Byrne enjoy Edmonton's


Fish Griwkowsky and Amber Byrne enjoy Edmonton's "Accidental Beach" wearing tank tops from Vivid Print.

Wilson said every time he’s been to the beach, he’s seen a broad cross-section of Edmontonians enjoying it respectfully.

Wilson feels people have been proud of taking ownership of the sandy spot because it hasn’t been officially sanctioned.

“They’re not waving beer bottles around, they’re not getting out of control. People are playing music but it’s not blaring,” Wilson said.

“I think they’re trying to avoid what happened with the End of the World, where it’s become a nuisance for the neighbourhood.”

One resident carved a set of stairs into the steep path leading down to the beach from a dirt trail, and others organized a trash mob to keep the area clean.

Alex Lakusta made a wooden sign reading “Accidental Beach” last Friday, and it remains hanging from a tree at the entrance, to the joy of many social media users.

“I just want it to be called Accidental Beach. I wanted to do my part to make that stick as much as possible,” Lakusta told Metro Tuesday.

Lakusta is a hobby woodworker in his spare time, and didn’t intend to tell anyone he did made the sign until someone “sleuthed” him out on Twitter.

He said he appreciates the beach for its location and visibility, and the communal efforts to maintain it.

“It’s kind of brought the community together,” Lakusta said.

City council hasn’t decided whether to maintain the beach next summer and has not given it an official name.

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