By Jesse Robitaille
Deltiologists in and around the Greater Toronto Area are undoubtedly excited for a yearly staple of the show calendar this February.
With more than two dozen leading dealers on the bourse, the 39th-annual Toronto Postcard Club (TPC) Show returns to the Ontario capital on Feb. 23. The one-day postcard party will open its doors from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre, which organizers call “one of our best venues” since the show began in the early 1980s.
“It is, as far as we know, the largest postcard show in Canada,” said TPC President George Sachs, who has served in that role since 2010, when he succeeded past president Shirley Avery.
“The show has evolved in various ways since the first one 39 years ago.”
Aside from venue changes – from the Thornhill Community Centre to the historic Old Mill and Leaside Gardens arena – the TPC Show has continued to add “more variety and a wider range of dealers,” Sachs said.
“The dealers come from all over the province and other parts of Canada as well as one from Great Britain. For most postcard collectors, this will possibly be the largest number of cards that they will come into contact with all year.”
This February, show-goers will be able to browse nearly 40 tables of material from 26 dealers on the bourse.
“Our 26 dealers include many of the most knowledgeable on Canadian deltiology,” said show chair Win Boyd. “Their carefully organized inventory holds thousands of postcards that might include a very special front view or an intriguing stamp or cancellation on the other side. It’s a great day when the community of postcard, stamp and postal history collectors gather to shop and share stories.”
Beyond the bourse, while there are typically no special events at the annual TPC Show, the club does host “one-on-one sessions” if attendees have dreams of becoming a deltiologist.
“People also come to the show to find out what they can do with cards that they have inherited,” Sachs added, “and we try to advise them in the best way possible.”
With the rise of deltiology among exhibitors – some even winning major awards – the TPC and its annual show are gearing up for a busy outing this February.
“I know philatelists now seem to include more postcards in their exhibits, and they do have exhibits consisting entirely of postcards,” said Sachs. “This is rather refreshing since postcards – especially real photo postcards – are a form of social history in that they capture an instant of time that no longer exists, a building that no longer stands or a way of life that is no more, and I could go on.”
As always, show admission is free for TPC members and $5 for non-members, and parking is free.
FORMED IN 1977
The TPC traces its roots back to 1977, when 10 postcard-collecting enthusiasts decided to gather under the umbrella of deltiology.
They met once a month in Agincourt, a neighbourhood in Scarborough, just east of Toronto. Ever since, the club’s contribution to deltiology in Canada has been significant, Sachs said.
With more than 250 members from across Canada and abroad, the TPC hosts regular meetings mostly every month – usually at the Ontario Historical Society on 34 Parkview Ave. – and visitors are always welcome. The first 30 minutes are for postcard-related discussions and free coffee. Either a presentation (something of interest to history buffs and postcard collectors) or a show-and-tell session about a specific postcard topic follow each meeting.
Later this spring, on April 25, TPC member and CSN columnist Mike Smith will speak at the club’s monthly meeting from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. He’s slated to give an update on prolific postcard producer Stedman Bros., which was incorporated in 1908 to trade, manufacture and publish books, magazines and postcards with branches in Brantford, Toronto and Winnipeg. Stedman is believed to have boasted 9,000 different designs in its repertoire.
Aside from meetings, the TPC also occasionally hosts online “members-only auctions.”
“Members I have spoken to are quite happy with this arrangement and it is excellent for our out-of-town members.”
Three times a year, the club also publishes a magazine called Card Talk, which contains club news, important postcard sales and events plus exciting postcard stories from every corner of Canada and beyond.
For more information about the TPC, visit torontopostcardclub.com.