RED LAKE, ONT. — Last month, curling Canada revealed the jerseys Canadian curlers will be wearing when they compete at the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The jerseys were created by Dynasty Curling, an Indigenous-owned company based in Manitoba, in collaboration with two-spirit Anishinaabe artist Patrick Hunter and designer Kevin Hurrie.
Hunter, from Red Lake, Ont., will see the collaborative effort in his team jersey design when Canada’s curling teams hit the ice at the Olympics in Beijing next February.
Hunter worked alongside Hurrie to create Canada’s new uniform set. The uniforms follow in the spirit of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action No. 83, which calls for “Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists to undertake collaborative projects and produce works that contribute to the reconciliation process.
Hunter did much of the Indigenous inspired work to be seen on the design, while Hurrie helped put all the design elements together to create the completed product.
On the front of the jersey, Hunter included silhouettes of seven trees, representing the seven grandfather teachings sacred to Anishinaabe people: love, humility, wisdom, bravery, honesty, truth and respect. On the sides of the uniforms, Hunter put four eagle feathers to represent each member of a curling team. He included braided sweetgrass, woven with cedar, tobacco and sage leaves on the sleeves. The back of the jersey showcases a large maple leaf to complete the look that spreads to the shoulders.
It is hoped by Hunter that the design, of which majority was created within his mother’s house in Red Lake, will provide positivity and empowerment to the team that wears them.
Hunter, who has worked with companies like RBC and BMO previously, Ernst & Young, CTV and Global Affairs Canada, gained recognition earlier this year with a mask design for Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-André Fleury.
But this commission marked the first time Hunter had ever designed a team uniform.
With the men’s and women’s finals set for the Canadian Olympic curling trials last month in Saskatoon, curling fans were acquainted with the design as they will be worn at the 2022 Paralympic Games, the World Junior Curling Championships in Sweden, the World Women’s Curling Championship in Prince George and the World Men’s Curling Championship in Las Vegas. Outside of the Olympics, the uniforms will be worn by Canadian teams at the World Junior curling championships as well as at the World men’s and women’s curling championships in 2022.