The HSBC Canada Sevens 2023 medals have been designed by Olivia George, a Tsleil-Waututh artist. Each medal features a different marine animal, and will be presented to the women’s and men’s medallists on Sunday March 5.
Medal Description (provided by artist Olivia George)
The theme of the HSBC Canada Sevens 2023 medals is Marine Life, to represent Tsleil-Waututh Nation—People of the Inlet. Along with səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), and Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) are also the traditional land owners of the city known as Vancouver. Coast Salish peoples’ ties to the water hold great importance in culture and beliefs. The close relationship with and knowledge of marine life has gained a respectful, positive and priceless outlook on life and what goes on around us. To take only what is needed is sustainable, and respects the harmony of all. A food chain holds its own harmonious balance. These three—the Orca, Seal and Salmon—are a part of one, with the top being the Orca. That is why the medals are held in this order. Within the Coast Salish design of each animal is a large oval, which also stands for the representation of a rugby ball. Each is also in a playful jump out of the water.
Orca – Gold Medal
In First Nation and Coast Salish culture, an orca symbolizes family and power. They travel together, communicate well, and guard their own. Being in the vast waters, they are large, fast, and skilled hunters. These traits relate well to a Sevens winner because the team is like a family. They play the sport together, and their strength and skilled athleticism brings them to celebrate a gold victory.
Seal – Silver Medal
As our people travelled the inlet by canoe, the familiar sight of a seal would be common. Seals symbolize curiosity, creativity and imagination. They also teach us to embrace our sense of exploration and our playfulness, and to be fearless—like when they dive into deep waters. These are great qualities a winner would have, because if you have curiosity and creativity, you allow yourself to be determined and to possess unique talent. When you have players like that on a team, with their combined imagination and strength, accomplishments will be made.
Salmon – Bronze Medal
Salmon were always, and still are, treated and respected with high regard. They are a prime nourishment for our people, valued in important traditions and playing a role in connecting communities. They are a symbol of abundance, wealth, dependability and renewal. The stages throughout their life cycle teach us the cycle of our lives. A team who can make it by working together, with purpose and determination, will move up, and make their goals become reality. Like salmon knowing it’s their time to make their way up the river, a team will know when it’s their time to do what they have trained and practiced. It may be a lot of hard work in a rough current, but they are adaptable and strong together—it’s sacrifice that leads to success.