Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps FC are marking Canada’s National Indigenous History Month in June with a special logo created in collaboration with a local artist.
The club unveiled the logo on its social media platforms on Monday, May 30. It was created in concert with xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) artist Debra Sparrow.
The Whitecaps will be giving away T-shirts with the logo on their social media channels over the next few weeks. They are hosting their Indigenous People’s Match on Saturday, June 4, against Real Salt Lake, which will include a pre-match jamboree with more than 100 Indigenous youth prior to kickoff. Tsatsu Stalqayu (Coastal Wolf Pack), a traditional Salish singing and dancing group, will perform before the game, and Indigenous athletes and groups will be honoured.
The Whitecaps have a long-standing partnership with Hope and Health, an organization that works to make a positive impact in the lives of Indigenous youth by getting them involved in sports. Last year, Hope and Health opened a mini soccer pitch on Penelakut Island.
Hope and Health was also the charity that artist Coast Salish artist Maynard Thii Hayqwtun Johnny Jr. chose as the recipient of a $5,000 donation from Canadian Premier League team Pacific FC as part of the unveiling of their new alternate kit for the 2022 season back in April.
In October 2021, the Whitecaps marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation — also known as Orange Shirt Day — with an orange patch reading “Every Child Matters” on their jerseys for a match against the San Jose Earthquakes. The day falls on Sept. 30 each year, and “honours the lost children and Survivors of residential schools, their families and communities,” according to the Canadian federal government.
Earlier this season, the Whitecaps marked Vaisakhi — a harvest festival and start of the solar new year celebrated in northern India — and Sikh Heritage Month in April with another special logo created in tandem with visual artist and muralist Sandeep Johal. They hosted their first-ever Vaisakhi Night on April 9 against the Portland Timbers, with Sikh entertainment before the game and at halftime.