Vancouver Warriors goaltender Aaron Bold has many passions in his life, including getting in front of rocket-propelled shots launched by his NLL opponents.
Bold has signed to play for the Vancouver Warriors this season after several stops, including backstopping the Saskatchewan Rush to an NLL title in 2016. Upon getting signed in late September; one of the first things that Bold asked for was the color scheme of his new club. Another passion that the Edmonton resident has is his love of artwork, and making his mask a work of art. With the help of Jasper, AB. artist Jason Bartziokas, Bold went to work.
‘My focus on putting together my mask is to exemplify the team and the values of the logo and the franchise’, states Bold. ‘I know that there was a lot of work done with First Nations on what the logo represents, but I also wanted a warrior figure to represent the fight that our team needs to have to succeed at every game and practice. I like that we are able to encompass all of this with this piece.’
It wasn’t about just the color schemes or the artwork that inspired Bold in his quest for the perfect mask, it was about the message that General Manager Dan Richardson was sending to the veteran keeper. Bold was wanted for more than his goaltending, he was wanted for his integrity and character, two pillars that help shape the Warriors team structure.
‘I believe that the key to success with any team that I have managed has been not only on the floor, but between the ears,’ says Richardson. ‘We need to build our team from the back end out and as we were looking at improving all aspects of our team, goaltending was first and foremost on our list. Aaron was available as a free agent and after doing our background work and speaking with him, I knew we had found our guy. Aaron is a smart, team-first player who ticked off all the boxes that we were looking for, including winning at every level.’
This mask amplifies several things that are important to Aaron Bold, none more than his partner Michelle, with whom Bold has been together with for eight years. Michelle has been in the fight of her and Aaron’s life before, and now again. Michelle has been diagnosed with bone cancer. As Aaron and Michelle now have to once again schedule hospital visits into their daily routine to help Michelle fight, Aaron also was able to draw inspiration from messaging that the Warriors logo gave to him; The North Star.
At the heart of the Warriors logo is the North Star, the beacon of hope that defines a Warriors path. Bold has put the North Star on the back of his mask, with the name ‘Mich’ under the star. Bold sees everything he does as a partnership with Michelle; and honoring her with the North Star and her name was the least he felt he could do.
‘At first, I was going to do a silhouette of Michelle on the back, but it didn’t feel right’ reflects Bold. The North Star and Mich’s name reflect where I draw my strength from and the path that we are on together.’
It isn’t always the size of the message that is being delivered, it’s about the content. One symbol and four letters are all we need to know about the love Aaron Bold has for Michelle, and the singular tenacity in what they battle every day.
It makes stopping shots seem easy when there are bigger things at play.