Impressive, amazing and wow!
These are just a few of the words that hit me as I walk amongst the thousands of collectors and dealers gathered today for day four of the the World Stamp Show at the Javits Center, located near New York City’s Times Square.
While I just arrived a few hours ago for my first “world stamp show,” I was quickly drawn to the massive layout of exhibits. I have never seen such a large number under one roof.
In fact, Thomas M. Fortunato, chairman of marketing and public relations, provided me with with an updated list of exhibits as of noon today: 706 competitive exhibits are displayed, representing 4,146 frames. The most common theme is Postal History, representing 29.2 per cent of the exhibits; followed by Traditional with 22.4 per cent; and – a distant third – one-frame exhibits with 11.9 per cent of the total competitive exhibits.
Now, that’s an exhibition of worldly proportions.
What’s just as impressive is the Canadian presence.
Within minutes of arriving at the convention centre, my wife Karen and I ran into fellow Canadian Ingo Nessel, who is very active in our Canadian philatelic community, including currently serving as president of the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC). He tells us how impressed he has been with the turnout of collectors and the extraordinary array of exhibits.
In fact, he quips jokingly, his wallet is “lighter” but his briefcase is “heavier”.
Nessel is amongst a very strong Canadian presence at this year’s World Stamp Show. Several Canadian philatelists are giving presentations throughout the week; there are more than five dealers; and an army of volunteers are manning a booth on the convention floor, representing the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, the British North America Philatelic Society and the Postal History Society of Canada.
As mentioned, several Canadian dealers are here as well, including Vance and Chris Carmichael, of Vance Auctions; Roy and Linda Houtby, of Roy’s Stamps; Maxime Herold, of Canada Stamp Finder; Gary Lyon and his team from Gary L. Lyon (Philatelist) Ltd.; and Royal William Stamps Ltd. I even came across John Jamieson, of Saskatoon Stamp Centre, scouting the dealer bourse.
Of course, Canada Post also has a strong presence located near the massive display by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The Canada Post booth is impressive looking, with the display focussed on its recently released, and popular, Star Trek series.
In speaking with our Canadian dealers, sales at the show are off to a robust start.
“It’s been tremendous for us,” says Vance Carmichael. “We have seen collectors and dealers here from all over the world. It will help rejuvinate the hobby.
“The first two days is the busiest I have seen at any stamp show ever,” Carmichael adds, recalling the “mob” of collectors entering the large convention centre when the entry gates first opened Saturday morning.
John Wilson, former president of the North Toronto Stamp Club, has been at the show since opening day.
“It’s a fantastic show,” he says. “The competitive exhibits are absolutely overwhelming. The Court of Honour is not bad either, and the dealers are packed with customers.”
Wilson is also impressed with the Canadian presence. “There is quite a crowd. Canada is well represented.”
In fact, this afternoon, the Vincent Graves Green Philatelic Research Foundation and the PSSC hosted a two-hour “Meet and Greet” in one of the show meeting rooms, which drew a near-capacity crowd.
Below are numerous photographs taken of Canadian dealers and collectors at today’s show. Watch for further coverage throughout the week.
For more details on the World Stamp Show, visit ny2016.org.