By Jesse Robitaille
For only the second time ever, the annual convention of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) is coming to New Brunswick, where members of “Canada’s national stamp club” are slated to gather for the much-anticipated show.
“Our club’s members are quite varied in their collections,” said Dianne Earl, president of the Fredericton club. “We have very specialized collectors, award-winning collectors and members that collect worldwide.”
Previously, Fredericton has only played host to the Royal once – in 1999 – but more recently, it also held the annual convention of the British North America Philatelic Society (also known as BNAPEX) in 2016.
“We have a strong organizing committee,” said convention chair Rob Lunn, who’s a Fellow of The RPSC and a member of the Fredericton club. “All were involved in the BNAPEX show in 2016, so there is a lot of experience there. A few were also involved in our 1999 Royal Convention.”
Building on the “very positive feedback” from BNAPEX 2016, Lunn said he’s eager to bring the Royal back to the Maritimes.
“The Atlantic Canadian hospitality and experience, I think, is a big reason for that. We go out of our way to make should everyone has a great time and gets a feel for what Atlantic Canada is all about.”
This year, “Royal*2020*Royale” will be held at the Fredericton Inn on 1315 Regent St., in the uptown neighbourhood.
The national-level exhibition – part of the American Philatelic Society’s “World Series of Philately” – will see about 150 frames of competitive exhibits. The deadline for applications is May 1, and fees are $25 for multi-frame exhibits, $30 for single-frame exhibits and free for youth exhibits.
The jury will be chaired by Jim Taylor, of Calgary, who will be joined by Jane Sodero, of Halifax; Stéphane Cloutier, of Ottawa; Tim Bartshe, of Colorado; and Ian McMahon, of Australia.
As of Jan. 2, 15 dealers from several provinces were also confirmed for the bourse; however, applications are still being accepted. Contact Lunn at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
KINGS LANDING SOCIAL TOUR
A pair of social tours are also scheduled for the upcoming Royal Convention.
The first, to be held June 19, is a tour of Kings Landing, an award-winning living-history museum with original buildings dating back to the late 18th century. Located along the Trans Canada Highway about 20 minutes west of Fredericton, the reconstructed riverside hamlet comprises more than 100 historic buildings and a collection of more than 70,000 artifacts spanning from about 1790 through the first two decades of the 20th century.
“The history told here reflects 19th-century rural New Brunswick, in particular, the social and cultural history of the Saint John River Valley,” reads the Kings Landing website. “Stories span over 150 years from the exodus of Loyalists during the American Revolution to the Victorians and the birth of Canada and on to the age of progress in the late 19th century and early 20th century.”
The cost of the tour, which doesn’t include lunch, is $55.
In June 2002, Canada Post commemorated Kings Landing on a 65-cent stamp (Scott #1952e) as part of its four-year “Tourist Attractions” series. Designed by Regina’s Bradbury Design, the stamp uses a photograph to capture the essence of the historic hamlet.
SAINT JOHN RIVER CRUISE
The second tour, to be held June 20, offers show-goers a one-hour boat cruise on the St. John River.
Discovered by French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1604 – during the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist, to which it owes its name – the St. John River originates in the U.S. state of Maine, where it forms the Maine-New Brunswick border. It travels a circuitous 663-kilometre route before emptying into the Bay of Fundy about 100 kilometres south of Fredericton.
The cost of this tour is $40.
The river has also been commemorated – twice – on stamps issued by Canada Post.
The first stamp, a 43-cent issue (SC #1489), was released in August 1993 as part of the five-stamp series, “Canada’s Heritage River, Routes of Settlement and Growth.” Designed by Malcolm Waddell and based on illustrations by Jan Waddell, the stamp depicts a pastoral scene with white lilies – an endangered species – in the foreground.
The second stamp, a 95-cent issue (SC #1855c), was released in May 2000 as part of the 10-stamp series, “Fresh Waters of Canada.” It was designed and photographed by Mia Matthes based on earlier photographs by Klaus Matthes.
This year’s Royal will be open on June 19 from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; June 20 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and June 21 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The full registration package, which includes a registration kit plus tickets to the President’s Reception and awards banquet, costs $135. Tickets to the President’s Reception on June 19 are $45, and tickets to the June 20 awards banquet, which includes a catered dinner, are $90. The registration deadline is May 15.
For more information about Royal 2020, visit rpscroyal.com.