Curling Canada has unveiled the uniforms its national teams will wear at 2022 events, including the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing.
By: Dylan Chenier
The uniforms, designed by Dynasty Curling, will feature Indigenous symbols, alongside the familiar Maple Leaf.
The move to include Indigenous designs was inspired by Call to Action No. 83 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which calls for collaboration among Indigenous and Non-Indigenous artists in the spirit of reconciliation.
The uniforms were designed by two-spirit Anishinaabe artist Patrick Hunter and longtime uniform designer Kevin Hurrie.
"For Indigenous artwork to make it to the world stage is such a win for my people and community," said Hunter. "I am beyond stoked for that Indigenous artwork to be mine.
Team Canada will wear three different coloured jackets throughout their events, alongside the familiar red and white will be a third jacket in black. All jackets feature four key elements. On the front is a silhouette of seven trees, inspired by the forests of Hunter's Treaty Three homeland of Red Lake, Ontario. The trees represent the seven grandfather teachings that are sacred to Anishinaabe people: love, humility, wisdom, bravery, honesty, truth and respect.
The sides of the uniforms features four eagle feathers. Eagles are revered in Anishinaabe and other First Nations cultures, where being gifted an eagle feather is an honour bestowed on those who have done a great service for their community. On these uniforms, the four feathers join together to represent the united effort of the four curling team members.
The intricate illustration on the inside of the jacket sleeves is a depiction of braided sweetgrass, woven with cedar, tobacco and sage leaves. These are the four sacred medicines used by many Indigenous peoples to cleanse away difficult energy and encourage spiritual and personal strength. Hunter chose this design to provide as much positive energy as possible for Canadian players as they compete on the international stage.
Finally, the back of the jackets features the iconic Maple Leaf. Unique to Hunter's design are lines within the leaf that represent Canadian spirit and the support of all Canadian athletes to "take on the world."
The uniforms will be manufactured and distributed by Dynasty Curling, an Indigenous opened company, and long-time partner of Curling Canada.
"We couldn't have been more thrilled when Dynasty and Patrick Hunter submitted these designs; they represent exactly what our sport and country is about, they send positive messages of inclusiveness, and our athletes should feel proud to wear them," said Katherine Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Curling Canada. "The Canadian uniform is iconic in curling, and I can't wait to see our teams wear them."
Fans will get their first look at the new jackets at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing. Team Canada will continue to wear the uniforms at the World Junior Championships, as well as the World Women's Championship in Prince George, BC, and at the World Men's Championships in Las Vegas.