Kamloopsians can contribute to Canada Games Collection, a crowd-sourced digital history project

Canadians are invited to share their Canada Games story as part of a crowd-sourced digital history project.

The Canada Games Collection, spearheaded by Brock University associate professor of history Elizabeth Vlossak, will be a publicly available collection of diverse stories of people’s experiences of past Canada Games.

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Kamloops played host to the Canada Summer Games in 1993.

“We’re creating a collection of material that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Canada,” Vlossak said in a Brock University press release.

She is asking Canadians of all backgrounds and experiences to share stories, whether positive or negative.

The project came about as Vlossak was preparing for her new course, Making History in Niagara, which will see students create an online museum exhibition about the Games to launch in time for the 2021 Canada Summer Games in Niagara next August.

Vlossak discovered there are not many sources for students to work with and decided to create the new collection.

“We had originally imagined the collection would consist of oral history interviews we are conducting with past Canada Games Council members, high-profile athletes and Games officials,” she said. “But as the project evolved, we realized that these should not be the only voices and narratives that we include in the collection.”

Vlossak wants to include the stories of a more diverse range of Canadians, young and old.

“We decided that crowd-sourcing would allow us to reach out to more people and capture these personal and local memories more effectively,” she said.

Vlossak is asking people with Canada Games memories, whether as athletes, coaches, local organizers, volunteers or attendees, to share images and thoughts about their experiences through the project’s website.

Crowd-sourced material, including digitized Canada Games artifacts, will form part of the larger collection featuring interviews with individuals about their experiences and exploring themes such as race, class, gender, disability, immigration and Indigenous rights.

Some participants will be contacted for follow-up interviews.

The public are invited to upload images, such as personal photos from the Games, medals or memorabilia, and to reflect on what the Games meant to them.

The Canada Games Collection, hosted by Brock’s Special Collections and Archives, will become available to the public in October.

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