Peterborough club withdraws as Royal 2021 host

By Jesse Robitaille

With pandemic-related show cancellations continuing into next spring, collectors across Canada have begun to wonder about the 2021 Royal Convention.

This year marked the first time since 1950 the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) – and its predecessor Canadian Philatelic Society, which earned its “Royal” prefix in 1959 – did not host a convention.

Now, with winter lockdowns looming and about a year until a critical mass of Canadians will receive a COVID-19 vaccine, concerns are swirling about next year’s Royal Convention – especially after the Kawartha Stamp Club withdrew as the event’s host.

“Understandably, it’s because of concerns about COVID and liability for any costs that might have to be incurred if there isn’t a withdrawal on a prompt basis,” said RPSC President Ed Kroft.

Rather than find a new host only seven months before the event is slated to begin, the RPSC board discussed hosting a virtual convention at its latest meeting in November.

“I think it’s too late to go and look for a host for ’21, especially in light of the uncertainties that are there. It’s preferable to me to see if we can hold a virtual show in some form, in some way,” said Kroft, who added a virtual convention could stray from the Royal’s typical June dates and be held at any time next year.

“I could see us holding the Royal in the fall of ’21, but I need more input from my board.”

The 2021 convention will also be up for discussion at the RPSC’s annual general meeting (AGM) on Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. ET. To be held via Zoom, the meeting will also be the Royal’s first virtual AGM. To tune in, visit bit.ly/37nVxQl and use “874 3048 4834” as the meeting ID.

A decision about next year’s convention is expected by January.

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