Ookpik. In 1964 Canada attended and participated in a trade show in Philadelphia. They needed a symbol that represented Canada. For some reason, the beaver was considered lame....they wanted something new, something "unique", something that smacked you in the face politely and screamed CANADA.
I'm pretty amazed by these little guys and have a small collection of them. This one is not a typical sealskin version, but he is lovely and strange and incredibly soft.
Here's a video that was produced by the government of the time, which is interesting in terms of production quality, extra awkward in an amazing way, but also interesting in terms of how the government wanted to portray our collective identity. Best quote from the video...
"If I may offer a comment, I think a much more attractive symbol than the beaver....see the beaver makes Canadians look very industrious, but what Ookpik makes us look is like is, oh, people who have an interest in amusing things".
Oh yes, amusing things. That's why I'm in love. Enjoy! xoxoxo. Anneke