nvictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025 have announced that four host First Nations artists have been chosen to work together to create and design the visual identity for the Games. Levi Nelson – Lil’wat Nation; Olivia George – Tsleil-Waututh Nation; Mack Paul – Musqueam Nation; and Ray Natraoro – Squamish Nation were selected through an open call for artist submissions released by the organizing committee last fall.
This is a first-of-its-kind inclusive initiative for the Invictus Games, as well as for the First Nations involved, as they will be developing one comprehensive identity that represents each of the nations. First Nations leaders sat on the selection committee and led the process of choosing the participating artists, reviewing submissions based on experience and ideas. Artists submitted proposals to help build the visual identity that will flow through Games marketing (print and digital), on-site activations, and communications materials as the main narrative to support the story of the Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025.
The concept of the visual identity will be based on a connection to the shared journey of recovery that Invictus competitors and their families travel, and the remarkable achievement that arrival at both the start and finish line of the Games represents for them. They will also tie into the tagline of “Paddle Together”, representing the shared journey between the Invictus Games 2025 committee, the host First Nations, the Participating Nations from across the Globe and the friends and families who support them.
The artists will meet with key members of the Invictus Games Foundation for the first time on April 3rd to discuss how they can create a compelling visual story about the relationship between the Canadian Armed Forces, the Invictus Games and the Indigenous communities whose land makes up the territories where the Games will be located. The artists work in different mediums, including carving, providing different perspectives and ideas on the designs.
“The Invictus Games and the athletes will compete on the traditional territories of the x ʷ məθ kʷə y əm (Musqueam), S ḵwxw ú7mesh (Squamish), S ə l ílw ətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and L ílwat Nation,” says Peter Lawless, CEO, Invictus Games Vancouver Whistler 2025. “Including artists from all four territories will help us tell the story of the Games, through the artists’ eyes, connecting us to the lands and waters they have cared for since time immemorial.”
Background Information on artists:
Levi Nelson is an artist from the Lil’wat Nation located in Mount Currie, BC, Canada. He recently completed his undergraduate degree from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, with a focus in the Visual Arts. His work is a part of the Permanent Collections of the Audain Art Museum Whistler and the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Art Collection, as well as numerous important Private Collections in the Lower Mainland and across Canada. Nelson now resides in New York City where he is working towards his graduate degree at Columbia University School of the Arts, Class of 2023.
Mack Paul – Musqueam Indian Band
kʷəlasəltən, whose English name is Mack Paul, is from Musqueam. Growing up their family ensured they were enriched with culture and tradition, which continues to guide them through to today. This led them to become a learner and advocate of their traditional language, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓.
Ray Natraoro – Squamish Nation Kaapulk / Sessiyám (Ray) is from the Squamish Nation. He has been carving masks, poles, and model canoes since 1994. He learned to carve canoes from his late uncle. Canoe building can be traced back through five generations of his family. He has helped carve three race canoes, and in 1998 was the Master Carver on a 37′ sea-going canoe for the Nation. Ray is glad to pass on his knowledge to his many apprentices. He pays tribute to his family’s teachings by carrying on this tradition for generations to come.
Olivia George – Tsleil-Waututh Nation – Olivia George is a Tsleil-Waututh First Nations artist. Born and raised in North Vancouver, Olivia grew to love art at a young age. Her favoured mediums are to create multiple designs and logos for clients on the North Shore. A couple major projects were Season Pass designs for Mount Seymour Resort, and medal designs for HSBC Canada Sevens Vancouver. Being a self-taught Coast Salish artist Olivia always strives to represent a story, an animal, a brand, or any special meaning in a creative, honourable, to the best of her abilities kind of way. Her style is traditional with a simple, modern twist.