Saturday, February 6, 2010

Canada Trinkets and Treats

As a self proclaimed Ambassador of Canada for the Vancouver Olympic Games, I feel a special kind of duty to show people from other countries some Canadian hospitality. For those I meet at Vancouver 2010, I want to have something to give them to remember me by as well as Canada. People visiting from other countries are going to judge Canada on what they see as well as by those they interact with. I want everyone to see that we live up to our international reputation of nice, polite people and show them Canada is a great place to live.

So this poses the question, what to give people I meet as a token of Canadianism? And where am I to buy such items since I am funding a trip that is the most expensive I have ever been on and need to save money not spend it. I got the brilliant idea to check out my friendly neighbourhood dollar store. I knew they had Canada branded products and really, where was I going to find anything cheaper than a dollar store? I’ve found stickers, pens, pencils, key chains, hats and socks. Now I didn’t buy all of that but I did buy some stuff that I will be bringing to Vancouver with me. I also found a few of small Canada flag pins at a gift shop. I also wanted to bring Toronto pins, if I could find them.

I found out that Flag Walk buttons (not pins) are being sold and my contact has graciously allowed me to put an order in for these. They were reasonably priced and I’ve ordered a bunch of Canada ones, as well as a few other countries for my family. I actually like these better than pins because they are bigger and it is easier to see the Canadian flag. Hopefully my new international friends won’t mind that they are buttons and not pins.

I was started to get very frustrated over locating Canada flag lapel pins to buy. In a year where an event as huge as the Olympics is taking place in Canada, you wouldn’t think they would be so hard to find. I was about to give up when a very smart person, genius actually, left a comment on my blog. They told me they had emailed their City Hall and government officials and were getting pins from them. I looked up all the contact information for my area and sent off emails to see what would happen. I am happy to report that they have provided me with a small supply of Canada flag lapel pins that I can give away in Vancouver. The City of Toronto is also sending me pins so I have something to represent my hometown which makes me very happy. Today my MPP’s office confirmed they have Ontario pins they can give me so I’ll have those too! I’ll probably be heading back to the dollar stores to stock up on stickers. I wouldn’t think children from other countries would be too impressed with pins so I’m going to give them Canada stickers.

Pictured above are the Canada flag lapel pins, Toronto pins and Canada stickers I will be giving out in Vancouver.

Here is the inventory of what I have to give away to visitors or even my fellow Canadians: 60 Canada flag lapel pins, 50 City of Toronto pins, 20 Canada stickers, 30 Ontario pins, 22 Flag Walk buttons – Canada, and my business card with my blog addresses and email. Hey, I want people to be able to stay in touch! Do you think that is enough stuff? If there is anything you think I am missing, let me know.

Are you bringing anything to the Olympics to give out to people you meet, maybe to trade as you wait for your event to begin? If you do I would love to hear about it. Leave a comment to share with all of us.

"FlagWalk is the creation of a unique walking route connecting Yaletown and South Granville, two of Vancouver's truly unique neighbourhoods. The FlagWalk pathway spans a total distance of 3.74 kms and features the flags of countries participating in the 2010 Winter Games." Taken from Please visit their site for more information on this unique tribute to the countries of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games.


  1. Hi! This is "Woodsy" from When are you heading to Vancouver? We fly on Wednesday and are so excited. We will be in Whistler, so we probably won't run into you. Have fun!

  2. My first trip is on the 11th and the second is on the 19th. I'm at all Vancouver events so we probably won't see each other. I'll keep up with your blog so I know what is going on up there.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. Christina,

    For my give you, I went to my MP's office and picked up some of those paper Canada Flags and lapel pins. And for those, who I would like to share my contact info with...I made up these mini business cards from My plan was to attach the lapel pin to it.

    I haven't taken a pic of them yet, but when I do...I'll be sure to share it with you.

    My friend and I are leaving for Vancouver on the 13th and got together today to plan it out. We are so excited and it's hard to believe that we are leaving so soon!

    We actually got excited after reading on the Bell app that we had to be at the Closing ceremonies by a certain time for "audience participation rehearsal?! Woo!


  4. Do you have a suggestion for the best store in Toronto to get the items in your picture?

  5. The stickers I bought at Dollar stores, I found some Canada pins at gift stores and the Toronto pins were given to me by the City of Toronto. If you email the Protocol office they will look after the request.

    Christina Wallaert