Profile: Lapel Pin – 1989 Skate Canada, Cornwall, Canada
Kicking off the 1989–90 skating season was the annual Skate Canada event, taking place in Cornwall, Ontario, in late October 1989. And in line with possibly the worst decision ever made by the International Skating Union (ISU) was the absence of compulsory figures from the event. The foundational tracings of figure skating had begun their grim descent into the history books, destined to be but an asterisk in the pages of time. A moment of silence, please. While one asterisk denoted the past, a new asterisk of sorts marked the 1989 Skate Canada event. Gone from the 1989 Skate Canada pin was the familiar stylized skater logo introduced in 1973, replaced with a generic, corporate-style snowflake that resembles, well, an asterisk. Presumably, the new logo was intended to propel the annual event into the future and away from its glorious, historical past. Sun Life, the titular sponsor, now effectively “owned” the Skate Canada event with naming rights and more, it seemed.
Within figure skating as a sport, the Skate Canada event helped to pioneer the concept of a brand built around a competition. Year after year—from 1973 through 1988—the dynamic, stylized figure skater welcomed competitors and fans to another annual international competition. It was reliable and familiar, like the event itself. But time marches on.
Within figure skating as a sport, the Skate Canada event helped to pioneer the concept of a brand built around a competition.
For the 1989 Skate Canada event, the snowflake/asterisk appears in red at the center of the pin. The aqua-color background is unusual, yet effective, as a design choice, but it ultimately served as just another jarring change from the past. This was truly an all-out demonstration of “out with the old, in with the new.” Along the top of the pin is the event name: “Sun Life Skate Canada.” Just below, in script and placed on an angle that at least lends a bit of artistry and movement to the pin, is the word “International” (the formal event name being “Skate Canada International”). The use of International on the 1989 pin is more successful than on the 1988 Skate Canada pin. Along the bottom of the pin is the location and year: “Cornwall 1989.” On a silver-color base metal, the pin measures approximately 7/8″ x 1″ (2.2 cm x 2.5 cm).
The snowflake/asterisk design would also fade into history, used only from 1988–90, after which it was replaced with a series of random designs, some of which incorporated a sunrise element. Sun Life, however, continued to be sponsor through the 1990s, but Skate Canada as an event never returned to having an ongoing branded look and feel.
Enjoy this week’s figure skating pins blog: 1989 Skate Canada Pin: On Snowflakes and Asterisks. And be sure to read the museum story for more information about figure skating pins.
Pin Gallery: 1989 Skate Canada
#figureskatingpins #pincollecting #pintrading #pincollector #netropolitanmuseum #skatecanada