A dream came true for a former Kelowna resident on Monday night at the Vancouver Canucks game.
The team, who’s become known for highlighting local artists by getting them to design warm up jerseys for special occasions over the last two years, celebrated Diwali on Monday night.
As part of the celebration, the team wore Diwali-inspired jerseys designed by artist Sandeep Johal, who’s originally from Rutland.
Johal told Black Press Media that the Canucks actually reached out to her, asking her to submit her portfolio for their community nights and reached out again asking if she wanted to design the Diwali jersey.
“It was super exciting (to see it for the first time), it was pretty surreal to see it on such a recognizable logo and Vancouver institution,” said Johal. “The process was really awesome. They gave me a lot of creative range.”
Johal said it took about a month and a half between her and the franchise to come up with the final design.
Her and her family were in attendance at Rogers Arena for the game on Monday night where they got to see her Canucks design on the ice.
“It was unreal,” said Johal. “I knew that I’d created the design, I knew I was going to the game but actually being there and seeing the players wearing the jersey during warm up with their names translated to Indian-Punjabi was pretty cool, it was really surreal.”
As for the whole experience, for Johal, it’s about bringing communities together to learn about and celebrate each other.
“I just think its so important to bring communities together,” said Johal. “I love that these larger organizations are starting to create partnerships with the community and you’re seeing this intersection between art, culture, and sport.”