A young Sasquatch with a passion for hockey, a surfing sea bear with a snowboarding obsession, a sports-enthusiast animal spirit with thunderbird wings, and an extroverted marmot with a fondness for food… meet the mascots of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
Inspired by West Coast First Nations folklore, Quatchi, Miga, Sumi and games-sidekick MukMuk are also quirky charms in a line of jewelry by Birks, official jeweler of the games.
Birks’ 2010 Winter Games collection celebrates Canada’s aboriginal culture as well as the Olympics. Nature-inspired elements depicting such things as a bear, tree, and a Squamish legend of surviving a great flood reinforce the theme as well as pay homage to the B.C. landscape.
Most represented is the official emblem, a contemporary interpretation of an inukshuk, the Inuit rock structure and navigational marker. Called Ilanaaq, which means “friend” in the Inuktitut language, “it’s something we can all embrace,” says Birks design director Marion Cameron.
“It’s uniquely Canadian and stands for hope and friendship, which also has great meaning for the Games.”
The designer’s mandate was to incorporate official graphic images sanctioned by the Vancouver Olympic Committee (VANOC) in a line that captures the spirit of the games, the Birks brand and the Birks consumer as well as fans of the sports.
Most pieces are sterling silver to keep prices accessible as well as to give the collection a modern yet timeless quality.