At the request of Hockey Canada, artist Jason Carter was asked to paint hockey sticks that would be given out to each player of the game and dignitaries during the World Junior Hockey Championships being held in Red Deer and Edmonton, Alta.
The sticks show a bear under the Northern Lights with mountains in the background.
“I didn’t realize how big and what the reaction was going to be to the sticks, the reaction was phenomenal,” says the Cree artist. “I’m still getting questions asking me where these sticks are and if they can get one of these sticks.”
Carter, who is from Little Red River Cree Nation, says many of the 155 sticks were gifted at the tournament.
But because of the spread of COVID-19, the popular Christmas time tournament that features teams from ten countries with players under the age of 20, was cancelled.
Carter isn’t quite sure where the rest of the sticks are – only that Hockey Canada says they have them.
He says organizers are hoping to hold the event in the summer where they’ll be used.
“And the hope is I would create some new sticks, get the amount they need, and go forward again. But that’s the hope anyway,” Carter says crossing his fingers.
Carter says the demand may make him produce new sticks for the public.
“I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a new series because I’ve had so many people call and ask,” he says.
“I’ve been looking into ordering some sticks and making some custom sticks.”