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Family Bonds & Belonging -
Sports Teams & Family

by Dan Conlin, Curator


I’m Dan Conlin, Curator and welcome to Family Bonds & Belonging at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 presented by Scotiabank. This exhibition was originally created by the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, British Columbia. It looks at how we define family and so many of the examples in this show are immigrant families.

Now family is more then just a blood relation, we also create families by association. And one significant example are sports teams. Hockey teams, baseball teams, football teams, swim teams, you name it. They forge very strong bonds and relationships which for many are like family.

For our example in this exhibit, we chose an example surprising to some of cricket in Nova Scotia. Cricket was big in 19th century Nova Scotia. British army and navy cricket team’s faced off against local teams from mines and factories in matches across the province. However, in the 20th century with the rise of baseball, cricket was kind of pushed aside. Until that is, the early 2000’s when immigrants from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the West Indies, Australia and Britain revived cricket in Nova Scotia.

Today, the Nova Scotia Cricket association has over 200 players, 4 teams and has won multiple regional championships. A look at the faces of the Nova Scotia provincial team in 2018 just seconds after they won the Maritime Championship shows you the powerful sense of family in a sports team. How overcoming defeat, savouring victory make a sports team a family.