Hudson’s Bay, the department store chain which partners the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC), has unveiled the official Team Canada uniforms for the Toronto 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games.
A total of 14 Canadian athletes took to the stage at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto to model the uniforms, which they will wear during the Games in July and August respectively.
Judoka Sergio Pessoa was joined by badminton player Michelle Li, rugby player Bianca Farella, trampolinist Jason Burnett, athlete Jessica Zelinka, swimmer Katerine Savard, BMX cyclist Tory Nyhaug, field hockey player Scott Tupper, Para-swimmers Benoit Huot and Camille Bérubé, wheelchair rugby players Cody Caldwell and Patrice Dagenais, Para-athlete Leah Robinson, and wheelchair basketball player Melanie Hawtin.
Inspired by the 50-year anniversary of the Canadian flag, Hudson's Bay's internal team of designers used the Maple Leaf as the starting point for the graphics showcased throughout the collection.
Each of the 22 pieces is said to be reminiscent of classic varsity sport, while at the same time, a modern nod towards the current athleisure fashion trend.
“Hudson's Bay have once again hit the mark and delivered a kit that will make our athletes feel confident and empowered as they take on the Americas here in Toronto this summer,” said Marcel Aubut, President of the COC.
Burnett, silver medallist in the men’s trampoline at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, added: “The Maple Leaf has always been a huge symbol of pride for Canadians so it is only fitting that this has been incorporated into the kit.
“Thanks to Hudson's Bay, I know Team Canada are going to walk into the Opening Ceremony with pride and confidence."
The collection claims to unite style and sport with key elements woven throughout, including the use of red, white, grey and black and a modernised Maple Leaf, shown either outlined or solid with a strong Canada wordmark, designed in a font inspired by an oval athletics track.
Other key considerations included choosing fabrics that are lightweight and breathable, and offering various layering pieces such as tanks, tee-shirts, hoodies and a windbreaker to stand up to varying weather conditions.
The Pan Am athletes will also find the words "En Garde" in the lining of several items in their clothing package, a design element championed by Pan Am Chef de Mission Curt Harnett to provide athletes with a strong call to action as they put on their uniforms.
"We are so pleased with the clothing collection launched today and with our ongoing partnership with HBC (Hudson’s Bay Company), who are such dedicated supporters of Team Canada and always put the needs of athletes first," said Gaétan Tardif, President of the CPC.
"Canada's Pan Am and Parapan Am Teams have an enormous potential to unify Canadians and move the country during the Toronto Games.
“With just 100 days to the Parapan Am Games, we are looking forward with great anticipation to Canada hosting the best athletes in the Americas and going for gold."
Hawtin, a 2014 wheelchair basketball world champion and Parapan Am Games hopeful, added: “It was incredibly exciting to be part of the launch of the new line-up of team clothing for the Toronto Games.
"Having a sea of Canadian fans wearing red and white to cheer us on while we wear the Maple Leaf will be such a proud and thrilling feeling.
“I would encourage every Canadian to buy a piece from this clothing collection to show that we are one big team."
As many as 727 athletes are set to represent Team Canada at the Pan Am Games, with 250 due to compete at the Parapan Am Games.
Each team member will receive 18 garments and four accessories consisting of two jackets, two pairs of trousers, seven tee-shirts, a polo shirt, four pairs of shorts, one half-zip pull-over, a hoodie, a rolling duffle, a backpack, a rally scarf and a hat.
This will outfit them for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, during podium presentations and while in the Athletes’ Village.
"Hudson's Bay is incredibly proud to be a premier national partner of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee and to be the official outfitter of the Canadian Pan Am and Parapan Am Teams", said Liz Rodbell, President of Hudson's Bay.
"Hudson's Bay has dressed Team Canada for these Games since 2007 and we remain committed to supporting our athletes.
“We can't wait to see what they will accomplish in Toronto this summer."
October 2013: Hudson's Bay-designed Canada kit for Sochi 2014 unveiled
October 2013: Canadian Olympic team urged to incorporate gay solidarity rainbow flags on Sochi 2014 kit
September 2013: Olympic champion skier Bilodeau launches Canadian Red Mittens campaign ahead of Sochi 2014
May 2013: Canada hopes red sunglasses will prove as popular as red mittens
November 2011: "We'll look and feel like Canadians" promise designers as uniform for London 2012 revealed