By Jesse Robitaille
The biannual National Postage Stamp and Coin Show returned to the Greater Toronto Area this October for its fourth showing since 2015, when Trajan Media took the reigns of what was then known as the National Postage Stamp Show.
Nearly 1,000 collectors attended the Oct. 28-29 show, and they were greeted by a familiar 9,000-square-foot bourse located in the Hilton Mississauga’s Graydon Hall, which has been the show’s home since last spring.
“I liked that there’s a mix of postal history and postcard vendors,” said collector and award-winning exhibitor Leon Matthys about the bourse, which included 25 dealers of all kinds of philatelic material as well as about two dozen numismatic dealers.
“If I had more time, I bet I’d have ventured into uncharted territories and browsed the coin merchants for non-philatelic ephemera such as medals, badges, pins and tokens.”
Matthys added the event was “a breeze for drivers” with free on-site parking at the hotel, which is located directly off Highway 401 on Mississauga Road.
Sam Chiu, who was representing The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) at the society’s bourse table throughout the weekend, agreed the show’s location is “good for a Torontonian.”
“CSN also has good organizational skills and thought of every detail, including free parking for visitors,” he said, adding it was the first time he was able to attend the show since Trajan Media acquired the show’s rights from the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association in 2015.
In regards to the $3 admission on Saturday, Chiu said it’s a reasonable solution to the high cost of modern stamp shows. Admission on Sunday is always free.
“The charge is fair, and I think philatelists must get use to paying an entrance fee to a stamp show like our coin-collecting counterparts,” he said, adding he enjoyed meeting RPSC members and recruiting new members on the bourse.
“I had 46 members signed in, and with the blessing of The RPSC’s membership recruiting committee, each member was given an RPSC pin. We distributed all 50 copies of our membership forms and about the same number of old copies of The Canadian Philatelist,” he said, adding most members were “happy to receive an RPSC pin.”
“We hope to have some new members joining us from this exercise.”
The long-time collector and esteemed exhibitor also commended the expansive bourse, which included some of the most prominent philatelic dealers from across Canada.
“The dealers were well stocked, and there were important out-of-town dealers like Hugo Deshaye, Les Garvey and Frank Hoyles, who have great stock for collectors.”
‘UP A BIT FROM LAST YEAR’
Dealer Nigel Mackey, owner of Oshawa’s Mackey Philatelics, said the show was “very good” and continues to improve with each passing edition.
“It was up a bit from last year, which is surprising, considering everywhere else has been a little bit down.”
Another dealer, Roy Houtby, owner of Roy’s Stamps in St. Catharines, Ont., said the two-day show was a “well run, excellent event.”
“Trajan staff were super helping with the move-in and move-out process – including the security guards – and assisted with lots of other show details,” said Houtby, who’s the bourse chair for Royal 2018 Royale, which will be hosted in St. Catharines by The RPSC and St. Catharines Stamp Club on June 22-24, 2018.
“It’s great to have the host hotel and show location in the same place. Attendance and sales were excellent on both days, but Saturday was particularly strong,” he said, adding he will “most certainly be returning for the spring show and would strongly recommend the event to our clients, as well as other dealers.”
“As a dealer who attends 25-plus national shows across North America every year, my congratulations on a super, professional event.”
Dealer Hugh Anderson, of Oakville, commended the show’s organization and attendance.
“Everything for me was perfect. I absolutely had a great time,” he said, adding he recommends the show to his clients. “I send out notices to people and phone them and tell them to come.”
Overall, Anderson said there were “four big pluses in addition to selling a lot of stamps.”
“I like the fact you provided sheets to cover our stuff overnight. I like the fact that if we brought lights, you supplied the lighting, but we didn’t need it because the room is so bright,” he said, adding he’ll be returning to the bourse next spring.
“I also appreciate the bags of snacks and water – that was unexpected and appreciated – and security helped me in with two loads. I didn’t have to wreck my back as much as it’s already wrecked.”
Stephan Bilodeau, owner of Canadian-Stamps in Cantley, Qué., also complimented the show’s location.
“It’s one of the best shows. I love when it’s in the same location – the hotel and the bourse – and we had good sales and a good time,” he said, adding there was “absolutely nothing” negative about the two-day show. “I had a wonderful weekend.”
What Bilodeau appreciated the most were the “bags of goodies,” which contained water, snacks and other surprises, supplied by show organizers to all of the dealers on the bourse.
“It means you are thinking of us, and that we aren’t just filling the room,” he said, adding he’ll be returning to the show next spring.
SPRING 2018 SHOW
The Spring 2018 National Postage Stamp and Coin Show will be held next April 7-8 at the same location, the Hilton Mississauga. As always, admission is $3 on Saturday and free on Sunday, and parking is always free on site. It will also include a coin and stamp auction over two evenings by Colonial Acres.
Next spring will also see the return of the North Toronto Stamp Club (NTSC), which will host its 75th Annual Exhibition in conjunction with the two-day show. Next year will also mark the NTSC’s 80th anniversary. The club, which is RPSC Chapter #5, was founded in 1938.
For more information about the biannual show, which is hosted by Trajan Media, publisher of Canadian Stamp News and Canadian Coin News, visit stampandcoinshow.com.