Shining a light on Canada Post’s Stamp Advisory Committee at this weekend’s National Postage Stamp and Coin Show

Three educational seminars will be hosted at the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show this weekend in Mississauga.

This afternoon at 1 p.m., Canada Post Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips will give collectors a “sneak peek” at the remainder of the 2017 stamp program while shining a light on the issuing process used by the 12-person Stamp Advisory Committee. A question-and-answer session will follow the presentation.

“As the director of stamp services, I am here to oversee the design, production and selection of all of Canada’s postage. That includes mail users and small businesses, but stamp collectors are also a big part of our business,” said Phillips, who added it’s important for the Crown corporation to connect with the philatelic community.

“There’s a perception we don’t do much for stamp collectors, but we do.”

Much of what Canada Post does for stamp collectors involves supporting clubs, Phillips said.

“We might not go to every Royal show, but we support them with money, awards, door prizes and magazines.”

Another way Canada Post tries to keep in touch with collectors is through presentations, such as the one Phillips will lead this March.

“What better way to connect with collectors than to meet them head on and answer their questions truthfully? Often, there’s more behind the story than they know,” he said, adding there were “tough questions” thrown his way at a presentation given to the Ottawa Philatelic Society in 2015.

“It’s very interesting, and it’s not always cut and dry. You may not always win them over – they may not always agree with the reasons why Dinosaur Provincial Park was withdrawal from sale – but I think when you tell them why you did what you did, what the reasons were, and why the decision was taken so firmly, I think they appreciate the honour.”

A ‘SNEAK PEEK’ AT WHAT’S TO COME

Phillips’ hour-long presentation will include “as many images as possible,” including a look ahead at what designs will be issued throughout the year.

As an interesting “behind-the-scenes” look at Canada Post’s issuing process, Phillips said he might also share with attendees some designs that weren’t chosen by the Stamp Advisory Committee.

“A segue into some of the stamp designs that didn’t make it would offer a bit of a peak inside the Stamp Advisory Committee world,” he said. “That would be about the stamp-issuing process and the committee, how it works at a high level, and also how it works with designs to get to a final design.”

Phillips said he’s also planning to explore the hidden Canada 150 markers found on all stamps issued by Canada Post in 2017.

As noted earlier this year, philatelists should be on the lookout for the Canada 150 logo; the words “Canada 150”; or the dates “1867-2017” on each issue this year.

Lastly, Phillips said he’s planning to address the resurgence of kiosk stamps.

“That’s another item of interest, kiosk stamps and their evolution. On the one hand, it’s created a huge buzz … although there were complaints about getting certain versions.”

FREE PHILATELIC STUFF FROM CANADA POST

At Phillips’ presentation today, there will be “some sort of philatelic items” handed out by Canada Post to all participants. At a presentation given to the Ottawa Philatelic Society in 2015, Phillips chose some items he thought attendees would be interested in – “things they might not have seen because they don’t collect new issues, or because they specialize” – and placed them in a folder seeded with rare or autographed stamps.

“It’s all about the hunt,” said Phillips, who added collectors were excited to see what they chose. “If someone gets that Montreal Canadiens lenticular from 2009, the person beside them could see it and say, ‘Oh, I don’t have that, but I have the Star Trek lenticular. Can we trade?’”

MEET THE EDITORS

Tomorrow, a “meet the editors” session will be hosted by the editors of CCN, CSN and Nummus Canada with a focus on how to promote local clubs.

Leading the seminar will be Mike Walsh, publisher and editor of CCN and CSN; Jeff Fournier, CCN consulting editor; Serge Pelletier, editor-in-chief of Nummus Canada; and Sean Isaacs, Trends editor.

Walsh said the seminar will have a “two-prong approach,” which will include a opportunity for attendees to ask questions about the editorial content of CCN, CSN and Nummus Canada.

“Secondly, we will use it as an opportunity to provide advice to clubs and newsletter editors on promoting their clubs internally and externally,” added Walsh.

There will also be two separate presentations exploring local numismatics today.

For more information, visit stampandcoinshow.com.

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