Two virtual series, 24 events, planned by RPSC through 2021

By Jesse Robitaille

The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) has unveiled a pair of virtual seminar series slated to run through 2021.

Dubbed “Stamp Talks” and “Stamp Panels,” each series includes a dozen events: the former focuses on specialized topics, with each of those presentations led by a prominent collector, while the latter is a series of panel discussions featuring a veritable who’s who of Canadian philately. Both series will also include a question-and-answer period with attendees.

“Joe Trauzzi deserves a lot of credit for spearheading this project,” said RPSC President Ed Kroft, who lauded the “two-track process,” which includes one series – the panels – focusing on the “fundamentals” of philately and another honing in on specific areas of specialization.

Each panel will include a moderator plus three panelists, and among them are dozens of Fellows of various societies, including the RPSC and British North America Philatelic Society, plus many award-winning exhibitors.

“Each panelist is going to give a five-minute talk on the subject, and then we’re going to open it up,” said Trauzzi. “There are going to be discussions, there are going to be questions, there’s going to be whatever the people want.”

To attend the virtual events, which will be held via Zoom, email to register.


Each of the following monthly “Stamp Talks” seminars will begin at 7 p.m. (EST).

  • Jan. 11: “The Batman First Day Ceremony at New York Comic Con” by Derwin Mak
  • Feb. 8: “ELDO: Forerunner to the European Space Agency” by David Foot
  • March 9: “Telling Stories with Postcards” by Liz Hisey
  • April 12: “Canada/British North America (BNA)-Union and Confederate Postal Cross Border Correspondence during the US Civil War” by Ron Majors
  • May 10: “Online Philately” by Gerard McCulloch, the “Punk Philatelist”
  • June 14: Jane Sodero (topic forthcoming)
  • July 12: “Uncommon Destinations for Mail from Palestine During British Occupation: 1917-1948” by Ed Kroft
  • Aug. 9: Jean Wang (topic forthcoming)
  • Sept. 13: “Evolution of the Unitrade Catalogue from 2005 to the present” by Robin Harris
  • Oct. 11: Chris Green (topic forthcoming)
  • Nov. 8: “Paying for air mail: Canadian Air Mail stamps and protocols, 1928-1939” by Chris Hargreaves
  • Dec. 13: “From Philatelist to Specialist” by Michel Houde

Each asterisk denotes a full panel; however, any seminars without an asterisk are still open to interested panelists (who are each marked by an “p” beside their name). To apply as a panelist, email

Each moderator is marked with an “m” beside their name.

  • *Jan. 18: “Stamp Collecting” with Ken Lemke (m), Jerry Piotrowski (p), Bob Thorne (p) and Stuart Keeley (p).
    • Where do I get stamps, how do I store them and what tools and supplies do I need? Have your basic questions answered.
  • *Feb. 9: “Collecting and Real Life” with Chris Hargreaves (m), David Hobden (p) , Sam Chiu (p) and Bob Gardner (p).
    • What does a collector do? How can collecting stamps help in life?
  • March 15: “Moving Beyond Album Collecting” with Ken Lemke (m), Ed Kroft (p) and Sid Mensinga (p).
    • Why would I want to? What are some areas to collect?
  • April 19: “Thematic Collecting” with Chris Hargreaves (m), Jean Wang (p) and Derwin Mak (p).
    • What is it? Why is it the newest rage?
  • May 17: “The Back of the Book” with Chris Hargreaves (p), Ingo Nessel (p) and John Wilson (p).
    • What does it comprise? Should I collect it? Is it affordable?
  • June 21: “Sample Collecting Area—Communications During War” with George Pepall (p), Leigh Hogg (p) and David Hobden (p).
    • What can I collect? How did it work? Were the solders well served?
  • *July 19: “Other Considerations” with Chris Hargreaves (m), Garfield Portch (p), Chris Green (p) and John Wilson (p).
    • Forgery basics, including how to spot them, plus insurance—do I need it, and where can I get it? What should I do with inherited collections?
  • Aug. 16: “Clubs” with Ed Kroft (m), Garfield Portch (p) and Ingo Nessel (p).
    • Why join a club? Benefits of a club? Where can I find a club? What is the RPSC?
  • Sept. 20: “Stamp Shows” with Mike Walsh (m), Charles Verge (p) and Jane Sodero (p).
    • What are they? Why they are worth visiting? Explore camaraderie and the social benefits of collecting.
  • Oct. 18: “Education and Youth” with Jane Sodero (m) and Ted Nixon (p).
    • Should I get my child involved? What are youth interested in? What can be learned from philately?
  • Nov. 15: “Introduction to Exhibiting” with Charles Verge (p) and Jane Sodero (p).
  • What is it? How does it work? How to get started? It is easier than you think.
  • Dec. 20: “Research” with Charles Verge (p), John Wilson (p) and Rob Timberg (p).
    • Why should I research my collection? How should I conduct research? What resources are available? What is the Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library?


The RPSC backed the virtual seminar series in part to fulfill its mandate as Canada’s national stamp club, Kroft said, as well as to make philatelic knowledge – “not just on specialized subjects, but also on fundamentals” – more accessible to collectors.

“We want to make sure that people have access to information about the hobby so they can better enjoy it,” he told CSN. “I think an absence of information curtails one’s ability to enjoy the hobby, but when people are more informed, they can make better or different choices about what and how to collect.”

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