Orapex’s 60th also ‘the best,’ says longtime show dealer

Attendance, sales unprecedented as exhibits impress

Orapex 2023 not only drew “high-calibre” exhibits, but also crushed past attendance and set sales records for stamp dealers during the May 6-7 show at Ottawa’s Nepean Sportsplex.

“Orapex 2023 was very successful in terms of the general public attending, dealer satisfaction, great exhibits, and well-attended philatelic meetings and open-to-the-public philatelic presentations,” said committee chair John Tooth. “The planning that was undertaken by the Orapex committee of 18 individuals addressed many if not all of the problems of Orapex 22. Stamp shows are detail-driven and when all of these pieces come together as they did with this year’s show, the result was an outstanding two days.”

Chief judge Sam Chiu had high praise for this year’s exhibition.

“Of the 44 exhibits, the 13 Large Gold and four Gold medals awarded speak volumes about the high calibre of the exhibits in this show,” he said. “As the top national show in Canada together with the RPSC (Royal Philatelic Society of Canada)’s annual Royal*Royale convention and exhibition, Orapex always attracts the more advanced exhibitors to participate.”

However, Chiu was quick to add the judges were also impressed that this year’s exhibition drew four novice exhibitors.

“What is welcoming to see is three exhibitors and one regional exhibitor are novices,” he said. “It is always pleasing to see new exhibitors on their first try at exhibiting.”

Tooth said they had 500 programs printed for the show, courtesy of Canadian Stamp News.

“At the end of Saturday, we had 30 programs left,” he said. “On Sunday I would estimate 350 attendees. The overall attendance of 800-plus is the largest in the past decade. Most important was that 39 youths with parents and/or guardians attended the Ottawa Philatelic Society’s Youth Booth and received free stamps, stamp tongs, magnifying glasses and stockbooks to begin their stamp-collecting hobby.”

Celebrating its 60th anniversary, Orapex 2023 offered several events for show-goers, including a competitive exhibition, seminars, a youth booth, four society tables, and 31 stamp dealers from across Canada.

“In a survey to dealers of some 16 questions, all respondents ranked event questions as good and most as excellent,” Tooth said. “One dealer stated: ‘I believe this is the best overall Orapex. I have attended all since 1979.’ 

“While no survey was conducted of attendees, many positive comments were directed at Orapex committee members.”

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