The Canadian Olympic Committee will be auctioning off the painting of local Golden artist Enid Petherick, as a part of the Vancouver 2010 anniversary fundraising gala that will be taking place in Vancouver on Feb 22.
The auction goes live at 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb 17 and clsoes at 9:45 p.m. PST on Feb 22.
The painting, titled Pilgrims On a Long Journey, depicts Canadian ice dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, who won gold at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 and in Peyoncheng in 2018. The pair also earned a silver in Sochi in 2014 and are currently the most decorated figure skaters of all time.
“I remember I was laying back doing some exercise in 2010 and they came on the TV and it was just… wow,” said Petherick. “They just floated. I can still see her skating.”
Petherick, who was not a fan of ice dance prior to the 2010 Olympics, was immediately inspired, and began painting the pair.
With a degree from the Ontario College of Art, Petherick has been painting for as long as she can remember, with some of her earliest sketchs coming from her surroundings to keep herself entertained. While her work usually features landscape and figurative works, the emotion and performance in Virtue and Moir’s performances over the years have driven her to recreate them on canvas numerous times.
Pilgrims On a Long Journey was completed in 2017, prior to the 2018 games and showcases the due’s silver medal winning free dance.
“It was very inspiring to me and the reason I picked this particular routine despite it not being the one they got gold on is because it spoke to me,” said Petherick. “It’s like a journey through life, it’s the ups and downs and the struggles and the joys and it’s all there. They’re so theatrical and they just lay it all out for you.”
Petherick had originally donated the painting to Skate Canada, in the hopes that it could use it as a fundraiser to support young skaters and ice dancers. She was pleased to find out that Skate Canada would be sending it to the silent auction to honour its ice dancers first gold on home ice, with 85 per cent of the proceeds going back to Skate Canada.
“It will end up beneffiting skaters, and that’s the whole idea of the donation, was to support young skaters and get them the money they need,” said Petherick. “I think it’s fantastic, because there’s future Tessa and Scott’s out there and we just don’t know it yet.”
The gala hopes to raise $1 million for the next generation of Team Canada athletes as they continue their path to the podium.