Profile: Lapel Pins – 1985 Canadian Figure Skating Championships, Moncton, Canada
The pins made for the 1985 Canadian Figure Skating Championships, held in Moncton, New Brunswick, are a mystery from a design standpoint because of two unusual elements on them. It’s usually easy to conduct research about an event and come up with an answer about a design element since those things are often local, national, or historical in nature. Another approach is to just ask someone. Both of these avenues failed miserably for The Curator of The Netropolitan Museum of Figure Skating Pins when the web turned up nothing to solve the mystery, and the main source that might be able to provide information did not reply to inquiries. Names will not be given here, but the non-responder is a national governing body of figure skating in a large North American country with many provinces.
As noted in an earlier blog, sometimes details regarding a figure skating championship’s logo and branding direction are simply lost to time, if they were ever documented at all. It’s not as if this information is historically significant to the sport, as it is for the Olympic Games, for example. So when it comes to the 1985 Canadian Figure Skating Championships, we’re left with two oval-shaped pins in a color palette of red, black, and white (or off-white, taking into consideration the yellowing of the epoxy covering as the result of age).
As noted in an earlier blog, sometimes details regarding a figure skating championship’s logo and branding direction are simply lost to time, if they were documented at all.
At the center of the main logo pin are the event name, year, and location in stacked format on a white background: “Canadians 1985 Moncton.” A red border frames the pin. The first element to catch the eye is a torch-like element on the left, into which an old-style logo of the Canadian Figure Skating Association is placed. The logo nicely incorporates the obligatory maple leaf seen on almost every other Canadian nationals pin. But surely, the deliberate black and white division of the torch-like element must have a particular meaning or symbolizes something of significance?
Designed into the word “Canadians” is another element—indistinguishable, unfortunately—used as the third “a” in Canadians. Part of the design appears to be heart-shaped. So is it heart-shaped balloons carrying away a champion figure skater? A figure skater in an ice revue juggling heart-shaped balls to entertain the audience? Large, heart-shaped stones falling precariously from the sky and about to crush to death the figure (skater) beneath it? Whatever the element is, it is neither successful as an element nor as a substitution for the letter “a.” So now you know. The main logo pin is on a gold-color base metal and measures approximately 1‑1/4″ x 3/4″ (3.2 cm x 1.9 cm).
Also issued at the 1985 Canadian Figure Skating Championships was a larger version of the same pin, although not identical, that would have been given only to competitors and selected officials. This was a common practice at Canadian Championships during the era. The main difference in the larger pin comes in the treatment of the event name, year and location, which are placed onto a gold-color background, creating an outline effect. The font is similar to that seen on the logo pin and is likely a variation from the same family of type. Here, the element used to replace the “a” in Canadians is completely indistinguishable, the result of poor production. This larger pin, also on a gold-color base metal, measures approximately 1‑13/16″ x 1‑1/8″ (4.6 cm x 2.9 cm).
As always, The Curator welcomes an email from anyone who has details about this pin or who can solve the mystery behind the two elements. This blog will be updated accordingly should such information become available. Until then, your guess is as good as any.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1985 Canadian Figure Skating Championships Pins: The Moncton Mystery. And be sure to read the museum story for more information about figure skating pins.
Pins Gallery: 1985 Canadian Figure Skating Championships
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