Initiatives aim to enhance connection to the hobby

As I have written previously, we have been making a concerted effort in recent months to enhance our connection with Canadian stamp clubs and affiliated organizations. As of this column, I have been invited to four club meetings as a guest speaker. This not only provides me with the opportunity to speak about the history and vision of Canadian Stamp News; it also serves as a great venue to receive feedback from collectors on how we can improve our magazine for the enjoyment of all readers. It has also served as a great opportunity to exchange ideas on how we can collectively improve the hobby experience for both the beginner and seasoned collector, and how we can entice the “closet collector” to attend club meetings and shows. Continue reading →

Stamp error recall creates challenge for collectors

This official first-day cover – a hot commodity after being recalled only days after its initial issue – is now garnering bids nearing $300 on auction sites like eBay.

While some collectors are excited about Canada Post’s recent recall, others have expressed concern about the difficulty in acquiring some of this recalled material, which was only available for a few days before being returned to the Crown corporation’s headquarters and destroyed. One of these concerned collectors is noted philatelist Irving Osterer, whose letter to the editor can be read on page four of this issue of CSN. “While I can certainly appreciate the design issue that caused Canada Post to recall the UNESCO stamps from general circulation in July, those of us that are true collectors – that relied on Canada Post to supply us with our standing order – now find that the booklets, souvenir sheets, postcards and FDCs [first-day covers] in question were sold over the counter for a time, and have now become a scarce commodity,” said Osterer, who added he relies on Canada Post to keep him informed on new issues. Continue reading →

There’s a lot of sharing in this hobby

You’re all a bunch of amateurs (French for “lovers of”), although I must admit I’ve never met as professional a bunch as you. This notion of professionalism – doing business ethically, morally and courteously – is widespread in philately. And while some hobbyists might eventually become true “professionals” in every sense of the word, all true hobbyists live out their existence as amateurs regardless of the amount of money being earned. When you love the “art and science of philately” and begin taking this hobby seriously – as most of you certainly do – you inevitably become better at what you’re doing and begin specializing, and even commercializing, your activities. Suddenly, by acquiring and selling material, attending shows and joining associations, you’ve become more of a professional than a hobbyist, although the passionate amateur remains, steadfast as ever. Only when you’re an “amateur” can you truly become pro. Continue reading →

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