Battle of the Blades

    Stars will be skating for crystal

    Canadian crystal artist creates new "iconic" trophy

TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - When you think Canada you think ICE, so it is fitting that the sparkle and brilliance of the purest optical crystal is what some of Canada's top NHL stars and Olympic women figure skaters will be vying for in the new CBC "Battle of the Blades" TV program premiering October 4, 2009.

Executive producers Kevin Albrecht and Sandra Bezic have commissioned renowned crystal artist and designer, Mark Raynes Roberts, to create the new "iconic" Battle of the Blades trophy to bring immediate cache to this exciting new TV format for viewers to enjoy.

No stranger to the world of NHL hockey, Raynes first commissions when he arrived from England in 1982 as a silversmith, were to create the 1983 replica Hart Trophy, (Wayne Gretzky) Norris Cup, (Rod Langway) and Calder trophy (Steve Larmer) for the Hockey Hall of Fame. "It was hard to imagine at age 21, but I literally had my hands on Stanley Cup within weeks of my arrival in Canada" said Raynes Roberts.

Since then Raynes has gone on to build an international reputation not only for his crystal art which has been exhibited around the world, but also for the prestigious award designs such as the familiar crystal tennis racquet design for the WTA Rogers Cup trophy, Canada's Top 40 Under 40 Awards, and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award amongst many others.

In September, Anne Murray, Blue Rodeo, Tom Cochrane, Kim Cattrall, Dan & Dean Caten, Howie Mandel, Chantal PetitClerc, and Robert Munsch were all honored with the Raynes crystal sculpture which has been presented to recipients at Canada's Walk of Fame Awards gala since 2003, which is where Bezic first met the artist. Having worked closely on the Canada's Walk of Fame Awards, Bezic was fully aware of the artist's talents in crystal, but also in creating "icons" synonymous with building brand identity and equity.

"The beautiful new Battle of the Blades trophy is gorgeous!" commented Bezic.

Raynes Crystal has been presented to leaders in business, the arts and sciences, and can be found in private and corporate collection around the world. International recipients of his work have included HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, Dr. Nelson Mandela, Muhammad Ali, Roger Federer, Harry Belafonte, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir Mick Jagger, Serena Williams, John McEnroe, Steve Fossett and Susan Sarandon amongst many others.


For further information: For further information: and photographs please contact: Karen Gruson, Battle of the Blades, Publicist,, Tel: (416) 923-0076; Mark Raynes Roberts, Crystal Artist & Designer,,, Tel: (416) 962-2100

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