Lighting the Way. 1978.

Figure Skating Pins Profile: 1978 Canadian Championships

Victoria, British Columbia, on Canada’s west coast, is known for many things: the magnificent Empress Hotel and afternoon tea; abundant flowers from prolific gardens, including the famed Butchart Gardens; an elegant, old-world style that helps define the nearly 180-year-old provincial capital; the world’s largest freestanding totem pole; and the iconic, hanging basket-adorned lampposts—some 1,600 of them in different styles that dot the city’s busy thoroughfares. And it’s the lampposts that not only lit the way to the 1978 Canadian Figure Skating Championships, held in Victoria in late January-early February, but that became a symbol used on the event pin. It may be the only pin from a major figure skating event to have a lamppost as a main art element.

A multi-globe lamppost is featured at the center of the main logo pin from 1978 Canadians, with illustrations of a female and male skater in an elegant, opposing pose on either side. On a gold-color, shiny base metal, the pin is filled with white and blue enamels while art elements and lettering are in the gold base color. On the white background and along the top three quarters of the pin is the event name: “Canadian Figure Skating Championships.” Along the lower quarter, with a maple leaf to each side, are the event location and year: “Victoria 1978.” A blue border neatly frames the pin, which measures approximately 7/8″ in diameter (2.2 cm).

The 1978 Canadian Figure Skating Championships pin may be the only pin from a major figure skating event to have a lamppost as a main art element.

The Netropolitan is proud of the provenance of many of the pins and medals in its collection. The large version of the 1978 Canadians pin is one of those, having been acquired from Gary Beacom, the innovative Canadian competitor of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The large pin is similar, but not identical, to the main logo pin, using a different color palette. It likely was produced in limited quantity and given only to competitors, officials, and selected others. Oddly, the much-beloved Canadian maple leaf is in blue—likely a stylistic decision since research reveals nothing to suggest a provincial or other tie-in to explain the color variance. Here, the lamppost and skaters are filled with a bright yellow–gold color on a white background, and a similar blue border encloses the pin, which measures approximately 1-1/2″ in diameter (3.8 cm). Other details are the same as the logo pin.

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: Lighting the Way. 1978.

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