On the ice, Team Canada’s World Junior hockey team is undoubtedly talented, but off the ice, they show some creativity with a paintbrush.
Ahead of the 2o21 World Juniors Hockey Championships in Edmonton later this month, Team Canada was forced to quarantine in their hotel rooms for 14-days after a pair of COVID-19 cases during selection camp in Red Deer.
That led staff to find different ways to keep the group entertained.
One such event was a Bob Ross inspired paint night. Ross has videos online showing amateurs how to recreate some of his famous artwork.
“It maybe threw some of the guys off when we found out we were doing it, but I think it was a really fun team bonding experience,” said Canadian defenceman Jamie Drysdale.
“You got a couple good laughs out of it and a couple of artist painters on our team, so it was cool to see the outcome, it was just a fun time.”
It's true… a Bob Ross paint night in Red Deer quarantine revealed some artists in our midst! 🎨
— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) December 15, 2020
Those works of art created in the Red Deer bubble were the idea of Red Deer Tourism Executive Director Rene Rondeau and his staff, who wanted to give the players a taste of the city during their time here.
The paint night went so well, that Rondeau and the Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce decided to auction off some of the paintings and donate the money raised to local charities. Rondeau said which charities get the fund depends on how much they end up raising.
“It was an alternative to the mundane stuff that they were going into. Just to give them a chance to express themselves and next thing you know, it worked out well,” Rondeau said.
“(Hockey Canada) reached out and we asked them if we could auction these off for charity. They said yeah, that would be a great idea.”
There are 44 paintings available from the players. In a team bracket challenge, Dawson Mercer, Braden Schneider and Peyton Krebs earned the nod as players with the top paintings.
The auction started Thursday and will end on New Year’s Eve, the same night Canada is set to play Finland in its final round-robin game at the World Juniors.
Even if they might not be the next Picasso, Rondeau appreciated the paintings and was happy the players enjoyed the activity.
“Very impressed with the artistry and not overly surprised. You just know some sports guys like to break out of their shells and they’re competitive. When it became a game, the game was on,” he said.
To see all the paintings, check out www.32auctions.com/HCAA.