ALBERTA — Jason Carter, a proud contemporary Indigenous artist from Little Red River Cree Nation currently based in Alberta, received a request from Hockey Canada last year.
He was asked to paint 155 hockey sticks that would be given to each ‘player of the game’ and dignitaries during the World Junior Hockey Championships that were to be held in Red Deer and Edmonton.
The sticks show a design that paints a bear under the Northern Lights with a mountain background. On December 21, 2021, Carter took to Facebook to express his excitement writing “thrilled.”
“When the 150 hockey sticks arrived at the studio here in Canmore just over two months ago and the 12 inch by 3 inch blade seemed awfully small, somewhere around the time I was painting the 100th stick, I found myself thinking of the young amazing athletes that these sticks will soon be in the hands of – and I garnered so much energy and inspiration in that. This design is a celebration of strength and determination as seen through the Bear – with the northern lights playing homage to Alberta’s electric and vibrant skies we are so lucky to live under here in this stunning province. As an Indigenous Artist (Little Red River Cree Nation-Treaty), I am so proud that these sticks will be presented at this tournament and truly, as someone who grew up watching and cheering on the World Juniors every year — this is just a thrill. Thanks to Hockey Canada for asking me to be involved. It was an intense and awesome endeavour,” he wrote.
Many of the 155 sticks were gifted at the popular tournament, but the event that features teams from ten countries with players under the age of 20, was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Carter now hopes organizers will use the remainder of the sticks this summer when they hope to hold the event.
Carter is also a sculptor, illustrator, public artist and graphic designer, and his work can be seen worldwide.