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Elk Point artist's design chosen for Oilers goalie mask contest

Jenn mask_001
HEROES - Winning design by Jennifer Vander Hoek of Elk Point celebrates both her beloved Edmonton Oilers and the frontline healthcare workers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Submitted artwork

ELK POINT - Elk Point artist, author and diehard Edmonton Oilers fan Jennifer Van der Hoek was thrilled to discover that her design had been chosen for a goalie mask to honour and support frontline workers. 

The Oilers had posted the contest on their Twitter feed on May 11, and a template designed by mural and goalie mask artist David Arrigo, who would be painting the mask from the winning fan’s design. 

“My immediate thought for the design was a theme of masks as protection for both hockey goalies and frontline healthcare workers,” Jennifer says. “I have also seen a lot of comparisons between healthcare workers and superheroes, many of whom also wear masks. I tied the ideas together and came up with the tagline: “Our Heroes Wear Masks”. 

“I wanted to keep the design crisp and clean, and obviously use the Oilers’ colours, orange, blue, and white. I started with the tagline and the healthcare-style mask, then added the Oilers’ drop on both sides, to represent both the oil industry and blood donations. Next I added the hearts, to show love for the frontline workers, then the stylized ties for the healthcare-style mask. After colouring in the mask, I added the words ‘Thank You’ and the job titles of frontline workers in the background.” 

Jennifer says she was nervous about submitting her design, “But the Oilers replied that they loved it.” The contest ran until May 25t, with designs submitted by fans of all ages, and on May 26th, the Oilers chose two designs and posted a poll to Twitter asking fans to vote on their favourite. “Twenty-four hours later, my design was chosen by 71 per cent of the fans. The Oilers contacted me a short time later to confirm that my design had won the contest.” 

 Her design and her name will now be painted onto an actual goalie mask by Arrigo. The mask will then be autographed by Oilers goalie Mike Smith before being auctioned by the Oilers charity, the Oil Foundation, with proceeds going to support frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19, Jennifer says.  

“In addition to having my name on the mask, I will also get to video-chat with David Arrigo and Mike Smith,” making this an extra exciting achievement for this longtime Oilers fan.

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