Pin trading has been renowned as the ‘unofficial sport of the Canada Games’ for many years. While competitive in nature, nothing seems to bring people together more than small little pins.
“To me, the Canada Games is a lot more than just the sport competitions, it’s all about bringing people together from all parts of Canada. It’s great seeing someone all the way from PEI and Nova Scotia trading pins with others from Yukon and Nunavut,” says Barry Taman, Vice-President of Business and Sales at the Pin People.
“I caught the spark of the Games early on. It’s such a special event and I’m very pleased to be a part of the Canada Games.”
With over 100 pins to collect through the duration of competition, there is always something new to find. Barry Tanman has been to nine Canada Games, and has become an icon amongst the athletes, volunteers and fans.
“My teammates from back home were talking about their experience from the Games, and they said pin trading was how they connected with people from other sports and provinces,'' says team Ontario wrestling athlete, Claudia Landry. “I’m a very social person so I thought it was great to be able to use this as an opportunity to go around and meet everyone.”
Other athletes use pins as souvenirs of their time at the Canada Games.
“I think it's a really great opportunity to get out and meet new people,” says Nova Scotia Wrestling athlete, Bella Galaise. “When I’m old I’ll look back at this pin and remember the people that I met and the overall experience.”
“It really is such an outstanding event for the athletes to get together and meet the competitors, not just on the field of play, but in a social setting. Everyone gets to meet and talk about their sport and their future plans and it’s all brought together by a small little pin.”
Pin trading is not just for the athletes but also spectators, volunteers, and supporters of the Canada Games.
“As an ‘unofficial sport’ it’s such a social part of the Games. It brings everyone together from sponsors to athletes, to volunteers and fans,” says Taman. “It’s really what the Canada Games are all about; bringing people from across the country together.”
Barry and the Pin People can be found every day of competition at Niagara Place, just behind the newly built Canada Games Park.
For more information on the Pin People, visit thepinpeople.ca