It can be written with certainty that the bonus warm days of mid-September that many parts of Canada are currently experiencing won’t last much longer.

With that in mind, the seventh edition of Hudson’s Bay Red Mittens are now in stores to keep Canadian hands warm when that will inevitably be necessary.  A few details below about the 2016 version of the annual must-have – practical and fashionable – Canadian winter item.

The design

The prominent maple leaf returns as a mainstay on the mittens, this year embroidered in white on the outside of the hands (the previous version had it in red and inside). While black was dominant on the 2015 Red Mittens, the new look for 2016 sees that colour mixed in the tweed with grey. Red and white remains ever-present and the embroidered letters on the inside of the hands spell “Canada.” They’re available in adult, youth and infant sizes at Hudson’s Bay stores and online (Canadian shipping only).

Helping athletes

Marie-Philip Poulin for 2016 Hudson's Bay Red Mittens (Photo: Alexandra Fernando).

Marie-Philip Poulin for 2016 Hudson’s Bay Red Mittens (Photo: Alexandra Fernando).

Aside from keeping hands looking great and feeling warm, Red Mittens will continue to help Team Canada athletes with 30% of its sales at Hudson’s Bay going toward the Canadian Olympic Foundation to help athletes gain access to top coaches and equipment. Each pair of Red Mittens (sold for $12) creates a thread that directly connects the contribution of Canadians to the performance of their Olympians. Since the debut of Red Mittens in 2009 ahead of Canada’s last home Olympic Games at Vancouver 2010, Hudson’s Bay has raised more than $28 million toward high-performance sport through this initiative.

The ambassadors

With Red Mittens reaching iconic levels in Canada, combining them with ice hockey players seems a natural fit. Olympic champions Caroline Ouellette, Marie-Philip Poulin and Shannon Szabados are the face – and hands – of the Red Mittens in 2016. (No, the ‘Sochi goalpost’ is not an honorary ambassador.)

Poulin, who scored the gold medal-winning goals at the last two Olympic Winter Games for Canada in women’s ice hockey, said “The funds raised from the Red Mittens go directly to Canada’s athletes and are crucial in ensuring that they have the resources they need to be the best they can be.”

Szabados skates in men’s pro league

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