By Jesse Robitaille
The National Postage Stamp and Coin Show set a new record for attendance this April, when more than 1,000 collectors gathered for the biannual event in Mississauga.
The show returned to the Greater Toronto Area on April 7-8 for the fifth time since 2015, when Trajan Media took over what was then known as the National Postage Stamp Show from the Canadian Stamp Dealers’ Association. After moving locations in spring 2016 to the 9,000-square-foot Graydon Hall at the Hilton Mississauga, the show has continued to grow year after year.
“In my experience, I have not seen so many people lining up out front before the show,” said Sam Chiu, vice-president of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC). “That was excellent. I found it – especially on the first day – very crowded. Some of the stamp dealers were so busy that there were no chairs for you; every seat was taken.”
“Last year, the show was more interspersed between the coins and the philately,” said PSSC President Ingo Nessel. “This year you have it pretty well divided. I think that’s a really good idea. I’m not against coins, but I just don’t collect them myself. To each have their own area is more user-friendly for the visitors.”
The bourse was also “very busy” with enthusiastic collectors and excited dealers, said Nessel.
“Every dealer I talked to was very happy with the attendance and their sales, so I think you’re hitting a home run on the crux of the thing: keep the dealers happy because they’re paying the rent,” he said adding he “really liked the seminars.”
EXHIBITION A HIT
Nessel also commented on the “unbelievable quality” of the North Toronto Stamp Club’s 75th annual exhibition, which was held in conjunction with the show.
“The quality of these exhibits could be at any national show. There is some really, really fantastic material here,” he said, adding his “personal favourite” was Derwin Mak’s six-frame exhibit “The Assassination of John F. Kennedy.”
“I voted for that one, but there were about five that I wanted to vote for. It was absolutely wonderful. I spent a lot of time at the exhibits and enjoyed every minute of it, and learned so much.”
Another attendee who enjoyed the exhibition was Joe Trauzzi, vice-president (liason) of the Grand River Valley Philatelic Association (GRVPA).
“I love the show; it’s great. It’s also got the exhibits, and I like the combination of both. There’s a lot of dealers, and that draws a lot of people, but also, as a stamp collector, I really like the exhibits,” said Trauzzi, who’s also a member of the Bramalea Stamp Club, for which he’s the GRVPA representative.
Dealer Roy Houtby, owner of Roy’s Stamps, said it was a “great show” with a keen focus on organization.
“From the assistance with ‘move in’ and ‘move out,’ to the goody bags and lunch delivery, all the details were handled professionally,” said Houtby, who was recently appointed to the American Philatelic Society (APS) Dealer Advisory Council. “Attendance was great, and it appears that the dealers were very pleased with the overall results of the show; well done. As a dealer who attends 25 to 30 shows a year, this is now one of our top events.”
Houtby, who’s an annual participant in both the APS StampShow and Ameristamp Expo, added he will “absolutely” return to the biannual show this fall.
Another dealer who lauded the “very successful” show was Vance Carmichael, owner of Vance Auctions.
“We met a lot of our customers, buying and selling, and we handed out all of our catalogues,” said Carmichael, who added his next auction is May 9.
R. Maresch and Son, owned by Peter Maresch, was another one of the auction houses that manned a booth on the bourse.
“We were fairly busy with people coming by, and lots of people we haven’t talked to in a while,” said Maresch. “We met a few people that are thinking about selling or preparing to sell, and we had a couple that wanted to make sure they had their I’s dotted and T’s crossed. We’re thinking about trying to drum up some more stuff for coming out to the shows, but we’re pretty busy with the auctions.”
Dealer Nigel Mackey, owner of Mackey Philatelics, said it was his “best show of the year so far” in terms of sales and attendance and added he’ll be returning this fall.
“It’s a very good venue, and the staff takes pretty good care of us,” said William Longley, whose son, Bill, reiterated the venue’s positive aspects, including its accessible location and free parking.
“The show was so busy on Saturday that some people said they came back Sunday so they could get a seat. The crowds were very good, it was well advertised and it was well run,” said the younger Longley, who’s the owner of Longley Auctions.
FALL 2018 SHOW
The Fall 2018 National Postage Stamp and Coin Show will be held on Sept. 8-9 at the same location, the Hilton Mississauga, which is located directly off Highway 401 on Mississauga Road. As always, admission is $3 on Saturday and free on Sunday, and free on-site parking is always available to show attendees.
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.