KPU instructor designs cauldron for Canada Winter Games

Tue, Feb 28, 2023

Athletes and spectators of the 2023 Canada Winter Games will be greeted with a stunning piece of visual art designed by a Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) instructor.

Sholto Scruton is the designer behind a new cauldron that is keeping a symbolic flame alive during the multisport event hosted by Prince Edward Island until March 5.

Canada Games cauldron

“Research was really important to make sure that we reflected all Canadians – that was really the big task,” says Scruton, a product design instructor at KPU’s Wilson School of Design, whose work brings industry examples to the classroom. “We really wanted to make sure it was inclusive and connected people in the best way possible of what’s awesome to be a Canadian in the Games.”

What emerged after extensive research, which included interviewing athletes, were themes connected to the challenges Canadians overcome and how they inspire and support others to face their own.

“Sports are so important because they teach people to be resilient, to pursue things and to be passionate about things that are really valuable,” says Scruton. “We compared the Canada Games with an old growth forest, particularly a nurse log and how all these saplings grow out of it, which in turn eventually become old growth logs themselves. In the same way when someone overcomes a challenge, they then provide inspiration and support to others in a continuous, repeating cycle.”

The circular design of the cauldron’s mobius ring is intended to evoke the idea of perpetual inspiration, while the gold texture of the cauldron’s flora elements aims to connect diverse identities by integrating plants unique to regions across Canada.

“The perpetual ring of fire symbolizes the ongoing inspiration that athletes have continually drawn from each other and pass onwards. The black spruce, silver birch, sweetgrass and red cedar span Canada and represent our unity and our diversity,” says Scruton.

Scruton’s Sholto Design Studio designed the concept for the three-metre tall cauldron with support from Indigenous artist Randall Bear Barnetson and marketing firm Will Creative. Charlottetown Metal Products completed the fabrication in PEI using stainless steel.

The cauldron was set ablaze at a ceremony Feb. 19. It will remain on display throughout the Games, which is bringing together 3,600 athletes, managers, and coaches, across 20 different sports.