defender of the year

A well-known Nunavut artist has carved an award for the Canadian Premier League.

Reuben Komangapik’s carvings will be presented to some players in Canada’s top soccer league.

Komangapik, who is originally from Pond Inlet, Nunavut, but is currently living in Ottawa, created a muskox and walrus figurines for the awards.

He said he feels honoured that a top-tier league reached out to him.

“I feel really privileged and proud,” he said.

Komangapik says he chose to carve a muskox to represent leadership — that carving will be presented to a “Player’s Player” of the year, the recipient of which is voted on by other players.

“We chose it because it [the muskox] has been here since the Ice Age and … it was a leader when they do a different form — they form a circle, then one of them keeps the predator like a wolf away,” Komangapik said.

Meanwhile, the walrus represents defense, to be presented to the league’s “Defender” of the Year.

players player of the year
Rueban Komangapik is the carver behind the Players’ Player of the Year award of a Muskox, presented by the Canadian Premier League, a professional soccer leauge. (Canadian Premier League website)

“It’s a really formidable creature,” he said. “It’s able to defend its child in the water even up against killer whales and polar bears.”

All seven awards to be handed out by the league are designed and made by Inuit — each one is unique piece of Inuit soapstone art carved by artists from Kinngait and Pond Inlet.

The awards from the league are being handed out on various dates in October.

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