The logo and mascot of the future 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics is based on the Canadian Inuit inukshuk. The inukshuk is a stone marker that has been used by the Inuit to help guide through the northern Arctic terrain for centuries - see the Inuit Inukshuk article for background information. The Inuit inukshuk has also become a symbol of leadership, cooperation, friendship and the human spirit. This contemporary design of an inukshuk by Vancouver based Elena Rivera MacGregor and her team of designers was chosen from 1,600 entries from across Canada by an international panel of nine judges. The mascot will be named Ilanaaq which means ‘friend’ in the native Inuit Inuktitut language. Rivera MacGregor claims that her winning design represents the culture, environment and people of Canada.
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The Ilanaaq emblem features five individual parts or the stones of the inukshuk in different colors. The blue and green colors represent the Canadian west coast islands, forests and mountain ranges. The red represents the Canadian maple leaf while the gold is for the brilliant sunrises that light up the Vancouver downtown skyline and the surrounding snow capped mountain peaks. The Ilanaaq inukshuk also has a mouth which gives it a happy and welcoming human characteristic. With traditional Inuit inukshuk markers, each stone relies on each other for support of the overall structure.
The new Winter Olympics symbol also shares this value. "Ilanaaq above all is a team player," said John Furlong, chief executive officer of the Vancouver 2010 Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC). "As VANOC relies on partnerships and a shared vision to deliver the Games, so does our emblem. Each stone relies on the other to support the whole. Together, the result is a symbol of strength, vision and teamwork that points us all in the direction of excellence and it will welcome the world to Canada in 2010."
Ilanaaq was introduced in front of 10,000 people at Vancouver’s General Motors Place, the site for the ice hockey events in 2010. The event which featured a 28 foot tall representation of the new 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics symbol was also broadcast across Canada. This new logo will be used on merchandising items for the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games and companies who will be official sponsors of the games will also have the right to use the symbol. The 2010 Winter Olympics will be staged from February 12 to 28 in 2010 at various sites in both Vancouver and Whistler, B.C.
Inuit artists are producing some stunning Inuit art these days including inukshuk sculptures. Imagine displaying such a piece in your home. See Inuit carvings or Inuit art prints at very affordable online prices at Free Spirit Gallery.
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