The One With the Wonky “n.” 1983.

1983 Skate Canada at The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins

Way up in Atlantic Canada sits Halifax, a seaport city in the province of Nova Scotia that has hosted a number of figure skating championships, including the 1990 World Figure Skating Championships and the 1983 Skate Canada event, the subject of this blog from The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins.

When it comes to pins produced to commemorate the long-running Skate Canada event, the 1983 pin is among the most interesting. Not because of complex or clever design (or even well-done design, for that matter) but simply because of the shape: a graceful oval. In a sport where event pins are often circular or rectangular, any variation in shape is a welcomed change. And although the 1983 Skate Canada pin wins points on shape, it doesn’t walk away with the gold.

Measuring approximately 3/4″ x 1″ (1.9 cm x 2.5 cm), the main logo pin incorporates, at its center in a warm orange–red color, the well-known stylized skater used to represent the Skate Canada brand. Over the years, the figure has been redrawn and refined, and the version used for 1983 is sleeker and tighter than previous incarnations, although the arms seem to be a bit out of proportion. In the lower half, the pin is adorned with the year, event, and location in gold: “1983, Skate Canada, Halifax.” An obligatory maple leaf punctuates the design at the bottom.

When it comes to pins produced to commemorate the long-running Skate Canada event, the 1983 pin is among the most interesting.

On a gold-color base metal, the pin is bordered on the outside in the same orange–red used for the skater and on the inside in gold, allowing the elements to stand off well against the crisp white background. In the gallery below are the main logo pin, which would have been available to those attending the event, and the larger version given to competitors and officials. The larger version differs only in size from the logo pin and measures approximately 1-3/8″ x 1-3/4″ (3.5 cm x 4.4 cm).

Although the pin as a whole is attractive, a roughness and inconsistency can be seen in the lettering on both “1983” and “Skate Canada.” For example, notice how the numerals and letters are neither cohesively formed nor spaced, and the “n” in Canada, in particular, can be best characterized as “wonky.” It’s purely conjecture, but the numerals and letters perhaps were from artwork originally hand-drawn by an individual with limited understanding of both calligraphy and typography. A calligraphic pen does not a skilled artist make.

See other blogs about pins from Skate Canada: O Skate Canada! 1973–1980., Figure Eight in Ottawa. 1981., and Kitchener–Waterloo in Eighty-Two. 1982.

Enjoy The One With the Wonky “n.” 1983.


1983 Skate Canada Pins Gallery

  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.
  • Copyright-protected image. Do not download or use without express written consent of the copyright holder.

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