Canpex virtual exhibition to fill national show void

By Jesse Robitaille

Looking ahead to 2021, the “Edmonton Spring National” in March and Orapex in May – Canada’s first two national-level shows of the year – are already cancelled.

The June Royal Convention originally slated for Peterborough, Ont., before the host Kawartha Stamp Club withdrew as the host, is also up in the air. The only remaining 2021 national shows include the Postal History Society of Canada Symposium in July and Canpex in October. All five of Canada’s national-level shows in 2020 were cancelled due to COVID-19.

What’s certain is these national-level cancellations limit exhibitors’ chances to qualify for CAPEX 22, the first World One-Frame Stamp Championship scheduled for June 9-12, 2022, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto.

“The scramble will be to get shows in Canada at least for Canadians to qualify for CAPEX,” said Ed Kroft, president of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC), which recently approved a national-level virtual one-frame exhibition to counteract the cancellations.

Slated for April 7-30, the National Virtual One-Frame Philatelic Exhibition is a single-frame and literature exhibition managed by Canpex organizers via canpex.ca.

“This is an opportunity for exhibitors to qualify one-frame exhibits for CAPEX 22,” said David McLaughlin, chair of the RPSC international liaison committee.

The virtual exhibition’s prospectus and entry forms have been available via canpex.ca since December. The deadline for entry forms is March 8, and accepted exhibits must be scanned and submitted to organizers by March 20. Exhibits will be uploaded as they are received beginning March 29, and all exhibits will be displayed from at least April 6 until April 30 – a 24-day period.

As of Dec. 14, exhibitors have already submitted several entries for the virtual exhibition.

“They’re actually moving quite fast on it,” added McLaughlin.

The entry fee for adult exhibitors is $20, but youth entries are free thanks to a sponsorship by John Sheffield Philatelist, owned by the London, Ont.-based dealer John Sheffield, who has served as one of two Canpex co-chairs since the event was launched in 2016.

“So far, the response has been positive,” Sheffield added.

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