1979 Canadian Figure Skating Championships Pins: No Thunder in Thunder Bay.

Profile: 1979 Canadian Figure Skating Championships Pins

Thunder Bay. It just sounds so alluring and conjures thoughts of a cloud-covered, stormy sky; oversized woolen sweaters; aromatic coffees; artisan breads; and a warm bowl of clam chowder. It sounds less like a place where a major figure skating event might be contested, but it was just the same. The 1979 Canadian Figure Skating Championships breezed into Thunder Bay in late January of that year and were commemorated with rather plain pins that, while lacking their own thunder, are definitive of the time.

The diminutive main logo pin features a pair team in an arabesque, arms and free legs extended gracefully. The medium red background creates strong contrast against the skaters in white and gray. Along the top right of the pin is the location in a plain block font: “Thunder Bay.” In stacked fashion on the left are the event name and year: “Canadians, ’79.” Like the U.S. Figure Skating Championships that are often colloquially referred to as “Nationals,” the Canadian Figure Skating Championships are often shortened to “Canadians,” as is the case here. The font used for the lettering, a calligraphic style (think Zapf Chancery), is a peculiar choice for the application but likely was chosen because it looks “fancy.” It isn’t. On a silver-color base metal, the pin features a thin white border and slightly rounded edges, creating a modern look and feel. It measures approximately 5/8″ x 3/4″ (1.6 cm x 1.9 cm).

The diminutive main logo pin from the 1979 Canadian Figure Skating Championships features a pair team in an arabesque, arms and free legs extended gracefully.

Next in the gallery is a larger version of the pin, made for and given only to selected officials and competitors. The pin is generally similar to its smaller counterpart but instead is produced on a gold-color base metal, which complements the red background nicely and is somewhat reminiscent of the 1978 World Figure Skating Championships pins. Design and arrangement of elements are the same as the logo pin. This pin measures approximately 1‑1/4″ x 1‑5/8″ (3.2 cm x 4.1 cm) and was likely made in limited number. As with a few other pins at The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins, this pin has provenance, having come from the collection of Brian Orser, the Canadian champion, world champion, and Olympic medalist.

Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1979 Canadian Figure Skating Championships Pins: No Thunder in Thunder Bay.

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