CAPEX host a ‘philatelic destination city’

By Jesse Robitaille

This is the final story in a two-part series on CAPEX 22, an international exhibition to be held in Toronto in June 2022.

When the first World One-Frame Stamp Championship comes to Canada in 2022, it’s expected to give yet another big boost to one of the country’s “greatest centres of philately.”

Following in the footsteps of the previous two CAPEX shows, hosted in 1996 and 1987, CAPEX 22 will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) in Ontario’s capital city. This time, however, the event will feature a World One-Frame Stamp Championship – a first for international philately.

“Toronto is probably one of the greatest centres of philately in Canada,” said Ingo Nessel, of Brampton, Ont., who’s handling the show’s seminars and societies. “With resources like the VGG (Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation), it’s an attractive place to hold a stamp show.”

Home to the world-famous Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library, which is known for holding the most comprehensive collection of British North America reference material, the VGG will be “open and welcoming visitors, subject to COVID-19 restrictions,” throughout the four-day show, Nessel added.

“Those rank among the best in the world as far as research centres and expertization services go, so I think we could certainly call it a philatelic destination city,” said David McLaughlin, chair of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) international liaison committee.

The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is also known for its strong collecting community, which includes several long-running clubs like the 85-year-old West Toronto Stamp Club and 82-year-old North Toronto Stamp Club.

“There’s a good handful of clubs in the GTA that are active and will certainly be participating, if not officially as a club then by lending their manpower to the success of CAPEX 22,” said Nessel, who’s the past president of the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada.

Nessel is planning to add to the exhibition’s international flair with a slate of worldwide speakers, seminars and society meetings.

“We will reach out to the whole world – not just Canadian societies, but those in South America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere. We want to welcome the world with lots of seminars,” he said. “In some cases, it might even be worth it for them to gather as an AGM (annual general meeting), especially for groups with far-flung members from around the world.”

Anyone interested in hosting a meeting or seminar can contact Nessel at b62hkg@yahoo.ca.

The first World One-Frame Stamp Championship, CAPEX 22 will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on June 9-12, 2022. (Photo by ‘Coolcaesar,’ CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia)

A NEW IDEA

The concept for the never-before-seen World One-Frame Stamp Championship was first discussed in 2018 at the 75th Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) Congress in Thailand.

“Comments were made about the need for future international exhibitions to be smaller in size,” said McLaughlin, who added Bernie Beston, then the incoming FIP president, called for an international single-frame exhibition.

“On the flight home, I thought about those comments, and when I got back home, I made a proposal to the other RPSC international liaison committee members,” added McLaughlin. “They endorsed the idea unanimously.”

The exhibition is being organized by the Canadian Association of Philatelic Exhibitions and will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne as its theme. Organizers first received approval from the RPSC board before being granted approval for FIAF patronage last August. The FIP board granted FIP recognition status earlier this year.

A proposal to host the 77th FIP Congress as part of CAPEX 22 has also been put forth by organizers.

“A decision on this proposal is expected later this year,” said McLaughlin. “If we are successful, this will be the first time in the history of FIP that its biannual congress will be held in the Americas.”

65-BOOTH BOURSE

In addition to 400 single-frame exhibits as well as a philatelic literature class, CAPEX 22 is also slated to include a 65-booth bourse.

For comparison, about 70 dealers and postal services – 24 from the United Kingdom, the largest overseas contingent – were on the bourse of CAPEX 96.

For 2022, dealers from Canada – specifically those who belong to the Canadian Stamp Dealers Association – will “get a good opportunity, the first opportunity, to sign up for dealer booths,” McLaughlin said.

Beyond Canada, dealers from the United States and overseas are also expected to have tables at CAPEX 22.

“There are a number of international dealers that make that circuit quite frequently, and some of these dealers have not been here for 26 years now,” he said, adding there have only been three international exhibitions – Pacifica 97, Washington 2006 and New York 2016 – in all of North America since CAPEX 96.

“I think the bourse issue is going to work out well for us,” added McLaughlin, who said there has been “interest from the United States and Europe, and we’ve certainly had unsolicited interest from Canadian dealers.”

Aside from dealers and philatelic organizations, postal administrations from around the world might also be invited to participate in the show.

“We’re in discussions with Canada Post and hoped to have our discussions with them completed by now; however, our main contact there was assigned to their COVID-19 communications team, so she’s been on other duties for a while now,” said McLaughlin, who added “all signs are that we’ll have involvement by them, but they haven’t specifically told us what kind of involvement.”

A team of about a dozen people has been working on show planning, including budget preparations, risk assessment and registrations, at this early stage.

In addition to McLaughlin and Nessel, other positions are filled by:

  • Charles Verge, of Toronto, who’s the jury president;
  • Ross Paolo, of California, who’s the jury secretary;
  • Roy Houtby, of St. Catharines, Ont., who’s the bourse chair; and
  • Joe Trauzzi, of Brampton, Ont., who’s the floor manager.

“We also have a number of other people that are members of the organizing committee that we haven’t given specific roles yet, but that will get flushed out as we move forward,” said McLaughlin.

A “big area” that needs filling is with online promotions such as website and social media management, he added.

“Myself and others on the organizing committee believe – especially now with what’s happening with COVID-19 and how things are moving online – that we need a strong online presence in terms of Facebook, Twitter, a website, Messenger and all of the other social media sites we would want to be on. There are a lot of things we need to do online, but it really means we need to have a good social media presence and need somebody with a background in that area.”

In the coming months, McLaughlin is also looking for someone to oversee fundraising, which he said is another major aspect of show planning. 

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