Show preview: Canpex 2016 to bring national-level philately to Southern Ontario this weekend

Canadian philatelists clamoured for another national-level show, and this weekend, they’ll get their wish.

On Oct. 15-16, the inaugural Canadian National Philatelic Exhibition (Canpex) will take over London, Ont. The upcoming event – recently sanctioned by The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) – will be hosted by the Middlesex Stamp Club (RPSC Chapter 204) at the Hellenic Community Centre on 133 Southdale Rd. W. It’s slated to feature 120 frames of competitive exhibits; more than 30 dealer tables; and free parking and admission. The show will be open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 15 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Oct. 16.

Canpex committee co-chair John Sheffield said there are likely more than 250,000 Canadian stamp collectors, many of whom will make the trip to London for this weekend’s show.

“This will be the start of the exhibition season for collectors to qualify their exhibits for the APS [American Philatelic Society] World Series of Philately,” said Sheffield, who’s an active member of the Middlesex Stamp Club.

“The World Series of Philately is an agreement the RPSC has with the APS where – just like other World Series shows in the U.S. – the person who receives the Grand Award wins the chance to enter their exhibit in the World Series of Philately show hosted by the APS every summer in August,” explained Sheffield, who was formerly a director with the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association.


Luckily for philatelists in Southern Ontario, Canpex is planned to be an annual event.

“Hopefully it’ll be the first of many,” Sheffield said. “The Middlesex Stamp Club ran a club show called Midpex every fall, and in 2005 and 2015, we hosted two successful Royals that in our opinion raised the bar as far as Royals go.”

This—coupled with the fact Orapex is the only national-level show regularly held in Ontario each year—spurred several Middlesex Stamp Club members to start their own show.

“We got together and said, ‘We can do this in Southern Ontario.’ The collectors in Southern Ontario deserve an opportunity to see national-level exhibits without having to go all the way to Ottawa, and you can’t always depend on a Royal being held in Southern Ontario,” said Sheffield, who added after hosting last year’s RPSC Convention, the club’s members decided it was time to take action.

“As much as we’d like to have it at the Convention Centre, they can’t guarantee us space on the same weekend every year, so we picked another great venue,” said Sheffield. “It’s bright and airy, it’s easy to get to by car or public transportation, and there’s lots of free parking.”


Committee co-chair Steve Johnson said Canpex attendees will have the opportunity to view a “strong showing” of competitive exhibits, which range from traditional postal history to display class to thematic exhibits.

“Collectors and interested members of the general public will have an opportunity to see material not readily available,” said Johnson. “Exhibits have been entered from as far away as The Ukraine. The members of the jury will be kept very busy judging this material.”

Canada’s national-level shows include the Edmonton Spring National Stamp Show, held in April; Orapex, held during the spring; the Royale, held during the summer; Novapex, which is bi-annual and held in September; and the upcoming Canpex.

“I think we’re the only national show in the country that can say we actually have exhibits from Europe, and there are very few exhibits in this show that were at the Royal,” said Sheffield, who admitted it was “challenging” to find exhibitors given the number of national-level shows bunched together this summer. “You have three national exhibitions within 90 days, plus BNAPEX [the annual convention of the British North America Philatelic Society, BNAPS]. We’re proud we’ve attracted the exhibits we have.”

Johnson said exhibitors spend their highly valued time producing outstanding displays featuring stamps, many of which are “works of art,” from their collections.

“A walk through the exhibits will be educational and informative,” he added.


Sheffield said he and the other committee members adopted “the Orapex model” when planning Canpex 2016.

“It’s the same consistent weekend, but they’ve also always had an honouree,” he said, adding the Orapex honouree tends to be a prominent philatelist. “Our honouree is going to be someone from London who has made an impact in the world.”

This year’s Canpex honouree is Frederick Banting (1891-1941), who was the co-founder of insulin. This year marks the 125th anniversary of his birth.

“London, Ont., was the head of organ transplant technology in Canada,” said Sheffield, who added there are no shortage of famous Londoners to honour in future years. “We can go down the list of doctors here that are now world famous.”


“There are a lot of guys taking a lot of tables,” said Sheffield, who added there are a number of philatelic societies and organizations, including The RPSC; BNAPS; and the American Topical Association, are slated to attended.

Canadian Stamp News will be attending Canpex 2016 at dealer table Nos. 1-2.

For a full list of attending dealers, visit

On Oct. 15, after the bourse closes at 4 p.m., Canpex attendees are invited to celebrate “Stamp Collecting Month” at a reception recognizing the show’s exhibitors. Admission is $25 and includes food and drink. Tickets may be ordered by emailing

What’s more, on Oct. 16, noted philatelic judges Ed Kroft and Sam Chiu will host a seminar on the recently revised APS Manual of Philatelic Judging and Exhibiting.

Trajan Media, publisher of Canadian Stamp News, is a Canpex sponsor.

For more information, visit

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