When the Vancouver Canucks take to the ice to warm up ahead of their match-up against the Nashville Predators on Friday, they’ll be sporting some bright new threads.
The locally-designed gold warm-up jerseys, which honour elements of South Asian culture, are one part of a package of sights and sounds set to animate Rogers Arena as the club hosts its fifth annual Diwali Night.
Diwali, the five-day festival of lights celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and some Buddhists, begins Thursday.
The common thread of the holiday among practitioners is the celebration of new beginnings, light over darkness and good over evil.
Fans at Friday’s game will be treated to a performance by Intense, one of the world’s biggest Punjabi music producers, accompanied by Vancity Bhangra dancers and Beats By Dhol drummers.
The limited-edition jerseys, designed by artist Jag Nagra, feature a twist on the Canucks’ classic “stick in rink” logo embroidered with imagery that calls back to Diwali celebrations, including a diya (clay lamp), fireworks, lotus flower and mustard plant.
The club will auction the game-worn jerseys after the event at vanbase.ca, with partial proceeds going to the Punjabi Market Regeneration Collective.
Friday’s game will also feature performances in a Diwali Plaza outside the arena, DJs, and a Vancouver-based singer Jugpreet Bajwa leading the national anthem.
As a part of the event, the Canucks for Kids Fund will donate $20,000 to Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen, a Sikh organization providing food in the Downtown Eastside, and Kids Play Foundation, which engages youth through sport.