On Feb. 11, the Winnipeg Jets will host the franchise’s first South Asian Heritage Night, presented by Canada Life. The team will take on the Chicago Blackhawks while celebrating South Asian heritage with specialty jerseys featuring a unique logo, an auction supporting Punjabi Community Health Services Manitoba, merchandise, and South Asian food and cultural performances at the Canada Life Centre.
This is the Jets’ second Heritage Night of the season – their first was Filipino Heritage Night in November. With over 60,000 people of South Asian descent calling Winnipeg home, this should be a special evening. Here’s what to expect next Saturday night.
South Asian Jets Logo and Jerseys
The Winnipeg Jets Creative Services team worked with Charmi Sheth, a graphic designer from Winnipeg, to create the South Asian Jets logo that will appear on the Jets’ jerseys during warmup. They also worked with the creative director at Ethnicity Matters, Waseem Shaikh, to help guide them throughout the creative journey. Ethnicity Matters is an agency that specializes in working with people to seize multicultural opportunities and engagement with cultural communities in a way that is both meaningful and impactful.
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Josh Dudych, the director of creative services with True North Sports and Entertainment, explained the importance of hosting these nights saying, “we want to make sure that fans that might not otherwise feel that they’re seen are seen and acknowledged and feel that they have a place in our Winnipeg Jets family.”
The actual design of the South Asian Heritage Jets logo is inspired by the traditional art form Rangoli, which signifies happiness and good luck and is practiced mostly during celebratory events. The details that fill the Jets’ logo are inspired by Henna patterns and Bandhani designs.
Bright patterns also feature in the background of the Jets’ South Asian Heritage Night online posts and graphics. These colours and designs represent the diversity and vibrancy of the various cultures that make up the South Asian community and are inspired by South Asian textiles, including Bandhani, Phulkari and the Saree.
Supporting Punjabi Community Health Services Manitoba
The specialty jerseys worn by the players during warmup will be auctioned off with proceeds going to Punjabi Community Health Services Manitoba (PCHS). The auction will open at auctions.nhl.com/WinnipegJets on Feb.16 at 5 p.m. CT and close on Feb. 26 at 8 p.m. CT.
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Jets fans can also grab some South Asian Heritage Jets merchandise at Jets Gear and TrueNorthShop.com during the week of Jan. 23. A portion of the profits made from the sales of the merchandise will go to PCHS.
PCHS was founded in July 1990 as a community development project and has become a non-profit, accredited, and charitable Health Service Provider organization. Their mission is to improve the well-being of individuals, families and communities and provides a variety of services and programs covering mental health, addictions, families, settlement services, geriatrics, and community development. This collaboration is a great way for Jets fans to rock some new gear while supporting the South Asian community.
What to Expect During Game Night
You can always expect a good time when you arrive at Canada Life Centre for a Jets game, but this one will be extra fun. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m. to give fans the chance to engage in all of the South Asian cultural celebrations in the arena before puck drop.
Until 8:30 p.m., fans can watch performances from the Winnipeg Punjabi Arts Academy, including drumming and dancing. They will also be performing during intermissions and throughout the game. The pre-game music will be played by South Asian DJs, and there will be South Asian food available in the concourse.
If you’re tuning in from home, the game will be broadcasted in English on Hockey Night in Canada on Sportsnet and in Punjabi on Hockey Night in Canada: Punjabi Edition on OMNI Television.
Dudych says South Asian Heritage Night is something fans have been looking forward to: “Everything we’ve heard has been very positive and well-received. And I think the impression that I’ve got, anyway, is that the community is just really excited to be seen and acknowledged.”
Make sure to tune in at 9 p.m. CT or purchase your tickets at WinnipegJets.com/TICKETS to catch all the action.
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Courtney is a 23-year-old graduate from the University of Western Ontario, earning her Master of Media in Journalism and Communication. She combines her longtime love for hockey, journalism, and sports media as she covers the Winnipeg Jets for The Hockey Writers.