Canada Launches The Pin Button Project Online

As GAY PRIDE month comes to a close,  The Pin Button Project, an interactive website and gallery exhibition will launch this Friday June 29, 2012 at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives

The project is an online gallery exhibition that features pin buttons from the archives’ vast collection, and invites visitors to share their personal stories and interact with the hundreds of pin buttons collected over the CLGA’s history.

For decades, buttons have symbolized political statement pieces worn by the masses to spread
awareness during specific campaigns worldwide. Since its original design patent in 1896, the simple
communication abilities of a single button have survived the test of time. Specifically for the LGBT
community, buttons have been used for a variety of reasons ranging through forms of protest, to
conveying messages without use of the spoken word. Creator William Craddock comments, “The Pin
Button Project is about sharing history through the display of photographs of pin buttons that represent
a range of causes, events, organization, and identities from our various pasts. It’s about provoking
memory and inviting individuals to share their memories with others. It’s a place for discussion about
the past – and about the present. And it is, of course, a place to look at and enjoy all of the visual
appeal that these buttons from the past have to offer.”

The CLGA has a history of providing ground-breaking innovative exhibits to the Toronto art scene: The
Pin Button Project marks a new online initiative to spread awareness and content. Dennis Findlay, VP
of the CLGA remarks: “I have two major hopes for the site. First, that its existence allows these archival
objects and the discussion around them to extend the reach of the CLGA across Canada, and even
beyond. Given the limitations of access to the CLGA by individuals outside of Toronto, it’s important
that we work to extend channels of communication and engagement with our fellow Canadians. My
second hope is that the project, by engaging visitors in telling their own stories and sharing their
opinions, that we will collect a wealth of diverse histories and ideas that help us to better know and
remember the past. Our history books and documentary films are often filled with colourful accounts by
our communities’ prominent figures, but I hope this website opens up these accounts to the stories of
everyone else, those who weren’t necessarily on the front-line on a rally, but who may remember
carrying a placard in the back of the crowd.”

The Pin Button Project launches on Friday, June 29th, 2012 with a public reception at the Canadian
Lesbian and Gay Archives (34 Isabella St., 3rd Floor) from 6:00 to 9:00pm. Complimenting the launch
will be interactive button design stations and social media integration – providing a true multiplatform
experience for all guests. For more information, visit

About The Pin Button Project:
The Pin Button Project is an online interactive exhibition and oral history project featuring pin buttons
from the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Viewers engage by asking questions, stating opinions,
and sharing their own stories.

About Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives
The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives was established to aid in the recovery and preservation of
LGBT histories. Its mission: to acquire, preserve, organize, and give public access to information and
materials in any medium, by and about LGBT people, primarily produced in or concerning Canada. To
support this function, the Archives also maintain significant non-archival collections, which include a
research library, international subject files, and an international collection of queer periodicals. It is the
CLGA’s mandate to make this information available to the public for education and research. Over the
years, the CLGA has helped hundreds of people – students, artists, journalists, lawyers, filmmakers
complete numerous projects inside and outside of the LGBT community.

Website: (official site launch: June 29, 2012)
Twitter: @PinButtons