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David Aebischer’s Winnipeg Jets Mask, 2011.

David Aebischer’s Winnipeg Jets Mask, 2011.

For David Aebischer’s return to North American hockey Dave Gunnarsson has created a mask that is a tribute to Aebischer’s Swiss heritage and to Canadian Aviation.

According to Dave:

“It was very exciting to create this design, a tribute to the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Aces of WW2. The design has a lot of meanings and messages, so many details that some you cannot see on the photos, only when you see it live. I love to incorporate a lot of details and stories into the designs.”


The left side of the mask features Canadian Ace Wilbert Dodd, who flew in World War II, flying his plane (a Spitfire XIV) over Winnipeg’s mountains. Also painted on this side is the Royal Canadian Air Force logo.

The right side of the mask has been designed to look like an old school fighter plane with nose art featuring a pin up. This pin up is designed to represent Helvetia, a Swiss national figure, and so she carries a spear and a shield featuring the Swiss flag .


Dave also points out that “around the chin is the latin phrase from the Air Force logo, “Per Ardua Ad Astra”, that is also the name of this mask design. It means “Through adversity to the stars”, and that phrase inspired the whole artwork. From the front the graphic lines on the top shapes the letter V, the sign of Victory and the sign Churchill showed when WW2 was won.”

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  1. Nick H.

    Wooooooow, I really like how everything flows. I love the amount of detail Gunnarsson puts into his masks, especially the ‘fresh’ bullet holes on the right side.

  2. Matt in Montreal

    Once again, Dave goes insane on a mask!

  3. paul szabo

    I am a pacifist at heart but that mask is a winner. Lots to look at but not overly busy. Plus the use of the predominant white theme looks clean and sharp. Wow…

  4. JRoy

    Wunnipeg’s mountains?
    Seriously? Are you new???

    • WB818

      Wunnipeg? Do you mean Winnipeg? Are you new??

  5. Blitz

    It’s nice, and I dig the tribute to the RCAF – except the Submarine-Spitfire is not a “Jet” at all – a plane, Yes… a Jet, No.

    Any reference to a military theme/RCAF for Winnipeg without an actual Jet is kinda useless IMO.

  6. Paul Ipolito

    Born in 1953 and doomed to wear a stupid,boring, white plastic “mask” during my playing time.Damn! I’m going out in style though. I am going to request that a mask artist paints my coffin.(Not fo a while, hopefully)

    • David Hutchison

      paint your coffin? Now that would be original….

      it’s never too late to get a paint job!

      • Bob Klem

        Nope- I’m 57 and treat myself to a new one every year. Painting done by Don at macmasks

  7. François J

    Wonderful mask ! I like the Royal Canadian Air Force emblem of the eft side. So, i search the back plate pictures for this mask ! Someones can help me please ?

    Thanks !

  8. question3

    Fantastic mask. Absolutely stunning.


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