The Vancouver Canucks‘ latest community-focused warm-up jersey will hit the ice Friday, this time in support of the LGBTQ2 community.
The team will wear the new jerseys during warm-up, ahead of their Pride Night 7 p.m. matchup with the Washington Capitals.
— Vancouver #Canucks (@Canucks) March 8, 2022
The white kit features the Canucks’ leaping orca logo rendered in the rainbow colours of the Pride flag and was designed by queer Swedish artist Mio.
Elements inspired by the artist’s own experiences and British Columbia’s landscape — mountains, forest, sky, ice and sea — have been worked into the orca crest.
“I drew from my own experience because I don’t think there’s a universal queer experience. How everyone feels about being queer is unique,” Mio said in an interview provided by the Canucks.
“I really wanted to tell a story about being alive, being free, and finding yourself, and about community.”
Hi! I'm Mio, an illustrator & designer who adores hockey and has previously worked with clients such as the Dallas Stars, Carolina Hurricanes & the PHF!
— mio 🙂 (@flyerswitch) March 7, 2022
The artist, who said she grew up into “nerdy culture” and as an “anti-hockey fan,” fell in love with the sport during the pandemic when she began obsessively watching it and merging it with her other passion, art.
“It was all I could think about and all I would draw,” she said, adding that her work began to attract the attention of other fans and even teams.
Recognizing hockey as a world with space for everyone was part of the experience she said she channelled into the Canucks design.
“I wanted to tell a story about being stuck trying to find yourself, but finding yourself in others, finding a community, growing to accept yourself and going out and being able to wander the world,” Mio said.
“Even if the world is dangerous and unpredictable, you can still find beauty in it. I think that is really the story I want to tell.”
The new design follows community night jerseys worn by the Canucks celebrating Diwali, Lunar New Year and Black History Month, and that have debuted to rave reviews from fans.
Like those other jerseys, the Pride kit will be available for purchase through an online auction following the game, with partial proceeds going to the You Can Play Project, which advocates for LGBTQ2 inclusion in sports.
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