This Yellowknife woman collected over 30,000 pins. Now, they could all be lost

Pacey, sporting a memorial t-shirt, talks to would-be traders during the 2023 Arctic Winter Games, in Fort McMurray, Alta. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

When Janet Pacey flew to Anchorage, Alaska, for the Arctic Winter Games a few weeks ago she brought her 200-pound pin collection with her.

Or, that’s what she thought.

Upon arrival, she discovered her collection never made it off the plane. In fact, it was nowhere near where she was.

“All of that is lost somewhere in Memphis I think at the moment,” Pacey told CBC.

CBC partially paid for Pacey and her pins to travel to Alaska.

Pacey, who lives in Yellowknife, has been collecting pins from the Arctic Winter Games since 2004. She says her collection now contains upward of 30,000.

“I have to say, I’m not a crier but I came very close to shedding some tears that day,” she said.

Pacey is well-known at the games for her massive collection. She also makes “starter packs” of pins, which she hands out to kids at the games so they can start their own collection.

She describes her pins as a “traveling museum piece.”

“Not having it there meant I didn’t have anything to hand out to kids,” she said.

Janet Pacey at a pin-trading station at the 2023 Arctic Winter Games, in Fort McMurray, Alta. Pacey is well-known for her massive pin collection, which is now stuck at U.S. Customs according to Canadian North. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Pacey and her pins took a Canadian North charter plane to get to Alaska. Pacey said as far as she knows, part of the plane wasn’t unloaded.

In an email to CBC News, Canadian North confirmed that Pacey’s pins weren’t unloaded from the charter.

“Upon notification, Canadian North representatives worked with the passenger to get the pins to Anchorage through a third-party transportation company,” the airline wrote.

“However, the shipment was held by United States Customs, where it remains,” they added.

The airline said it is still working with U.S. Customs to return Pacey’s pins to her.

Despite going to the AWG empty-handed, Pacey’s friends still showed up with pins to share with her and to trade.

“At least I had something to show people,” she said. “My friends made it amazing.

“It’s a big community thing. It’s their way into something fun and different.”

Connections over the years

Pacey said she’s part of a small group of people who travel to every Arctic Winter Games to trade pins.

“I can’t imagine that collection not being at every games,” she said.

“So it is worrisome that that collection is out there in boxes, wherever it is.”

Pacey said she has been pursuing her missing pins for two weeks now, and she’s hopeful she’ll be reunited with them in Yellowknife soon.

“I might have to have a little event when they get here and show everybody off. It is pretty fantastic, and I never got to show anybody.”

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: N.W.T athletes are excited and ready to compete in the Arctic Winter Games, CBC News

Finland: Ice fishing World Championships latest in Finnish series of odd sports events, Yle News

United States: Veteran musher Brent Sass wins Yukon Quest 300, CBC News

CBC News

For more news from Canada visit CBC News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *