Exciting news for Northwestern Ontario, a local indigenous artist’s designs will be prominently featured on Team Canada’s curling jackets in the upcoming 2022 Beijing Olympics.
It was announced on the morning of Tuesday, November 23, 2021, that Patrick Hunter, a local two-spirited artist from Red Lake, has designed the jackets for the next Canadian Curling team in the Beijing Olympics 2022.
Hunter, an accomplished LGBTQ+ artist and graphic designer who currently lives in Toronto, said that he’s been keeping this secret since March 2021.
When asked about his thoughts and feelings regarding the massive achievement, Hunter said “I am definitely one of those people that doesn’t believe it until it actually starts to happen.”
Team Canada curlers will debut the new uniforms at the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing and will continue to wear them at the upcoming World Junior Curling Championships in Sweden as well as the BKT Tires & OK Tire World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Nature’s Bounty, in Prince George, B.C., and the World Men’s Curling Championship in Las Vegas.
The jackets were a collaboration between Hunter and designer Kevin Hurrie, who made sure the designs were placed well on the jackets.
Hunter said that he was inspired by traditional Ojibwe themes from his familiar culture, but he also said that he wanted to incorporate ideas from other indigenous cultures.
“There are a ton of different indigenous cultures within Canada, so I was hoping that other indigenous cultures can see themselves reflected in the designs as well,” explained Hunter.
Hunter's designs feature motifs such as the four sacred medicines (braided sweetgrass, woven with cedar, tobacco and sage leaves) and of course, the maple leaf.
Over the course of the last year, Hunter along with officials from Team Canada and the World Olympic Committee, worked in conjunction to create jackets that met both artistic and practical standards.
Hunter shared his feeling about the potential for his designs to be viewed by millions of people, “I hope that they resonate with a lot of people in different places around the world. Hunter went on to say that he hopes this may inspire other countries to turn their own indigenous peoples for input and inclusive contribution.
“I didn’t know how to dream this big for myself when starting out in tenth-grade art class, back at Red Lake District High School. But it's been such a serendipitous experience, you know? It's come full circle,” concluded Hunter.
The jackets that Team Canada will wear are also available for purchase, you can find them by clicking HERE.