Cole Dawe is in awe Sunday as he looks over a vast array of colourful Games pins on display and available for trading.
The pin trading event took place at the Commonwealth Building and there were lots of eager collectors eyeing up pins for their collection.
Dawe, who only started collecting last week, already has a few dozen marching down his scarf. The Heather Park student says he wants to collect even more.
That’s how “Krassi” of Vancouver got interested in the hobby, he says.
“I began collecting pins in 1968 when I was just a boy. I was about 10 when people started giving me pins. My parents are from Europe and they were very involved in [competitive] sports – and that’s how I got started with this. I’ve never bought or sold a pin on the Internet because I believe in the love of the trade, especially for children because of course that’s when I got started.”
Collecting means socializing, he said.
“You meet a lot of people and visit a lot of places doing this. Last year I was in the Commonweatlh Games in Glasgow. There is always a lot of enthusiasm from the host cities and it really brings people together. The spirit of each city is different.”
Krassi says he’s been enjoying his time in Prince George, particularly the weather.
“Even if it goes down to 30 below now I will remember these days. It has been so sunny and warm which is maybe not the best weather for all the athletes – some skating sports had to be moved to another town [Fort St. John] – but for spectators and visitors it has been wonderful.”
He also has high praise for the Canada Winter Games volunteers.
“My first day here I wanted to find the Media Centre and one of the volunteers actually walked with me to the centre, he didn’t just offer directions. Another time I met a First Nations volunteer who had two pins on his hat and when I asked him where he got them, he offered to take me to where they were – at the [Lheidli T’enneh] Native pavilion. Everyone has been very polite.”
The pins mean more to Krassi than a collection of beautiful “art”; they are also a collection of memories.
“Each one brings back memories of the event like the Olympics or the Games in Vancouver. Just looking at them, I can always remember the event that went with them, just as I will remember Prince George and the Games here.”