The Swedish artist who designed Braden Holtby’s new Canucks goalie mask has apologized after concerns were raised about cultural appropriation.
Holtby apologized last week, telling CTV he didn’t intend to offend anyone and that he “definitely learned a valuable lesson.”
David Gunnarsson, who designs masks for Holtby and many other NHL goaltenders, confirmed the mask wouldn’t be used “out of respect for local Indigenous artists.” Instead, Gunnarsson said that a new mask would be designed in collaboration with an Indigenous artist.
“I’ve been made aware of the feedback about my mask design for Braden Holtby. I’ve talked to Braden, and we won’t be using it next year out of respect for local Indigenous artists,” Gunnarsson said in an Instagram post today.
“Our goal was to celebrate [the] Indigenous legend of the Thunderbird and Orca, and I never intended to cause any concerns. I have great respect for Indigenous artists, and Braden and I have started to collaborate with an Indigenous artist to make a new painting.
“I have learned from this, and I also want to apologize to everyone who got sad. Thank you to all who contacted me about it, thank you for your wisdom.”