Vancouver 2010 – Emblem

Designer: Elena Rivera MacGregor/Rivera Design


The Vancouver 2010 emblem has a special name: Ilanaaq, which in Inuktitut, the dialect of the Canadian Inuit, means “friend”. This emblem reflects the warmth and friendliness of Canadians and welcomes visitors from all over the world. The emblem is based on Inuit stone figures, so-called Inukshuk (plural: Inuksuit). Since time immemorial, the natives of the Canadian Arctic, the Inuit, have stacked stones on top of each other in such a way that they take on the form of a human being. In this way, an Inukshuk becomes a visible signpost in the vast Arctic landscape. Over time, the Inuit gave the Inukshuk another meaning: the stone people were increasingly stylised as a symbol of friendship and hope; a sense that is probably derived from the extended arms of the Inukshuk. The emblem depicts the Inukshuk in an abstract, stylised form. Her figure stands with both legs firmly on the ground and is thus rooted in the vastness of Canada’s nature. At the same time, the Ilanaaq’s extended arms embrace the sky. The figure is also supposed to be a symbol of teamwork, as several individual stones together form something new. Thus the emblem directly refers to many of the winter sports disciplines of the Olympic Games, which include individual and team competitions. The colours chosen for the emblem also have a special meaning: green and blue point to the Pacific with the Vancouver Islands, the forest and mountains of British Columbia, red refers to the national symbol of Canada, the red maple leaf of the state flag, and golden yellow reflects the sun over the city and the mountains at its back.