P.O. Box 3244, Station D
Ottawa ON K1P 6H8 Canada
A “Resounding Success” is how Steve Woodland, Chairman of the 2008 Canadian Numismatic Association Convention, qualified the event that was held in Ottawa, Ontario, July 16-20, as did Michael Walsh, President of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association. This comment is based on feedback from dealers, delegates, exhibitors and members of the R.C.N.A. Executive. “We were told that this was, by far, the best convention in recent history” continued Woodland.
A welcome reception on Wednesday evening, hosted by the Association’s President Michael Walsh and the City of Ottawa Coin Club, kicked off the activities, where the first of 19 different scrip, used as tickets for different events during the convention, was passed out.
Thursday was already an extremely busy day. The first 48 persons to register for the convention (based on postmarks) were taken to the Royal Canadian Mint for a V.I.P. tour, right on the floor. Meanwhile, the Numismatic Symposium was going full speed ahead, with topics like: The Canadian Numismatic Bibliography: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Paul Petch); Early Tokens of a Town in East Kootenay (Ron Greene); Collecting Newfoundland Decimals, What’s Different Here? (Phil Carrigan); Pritchard & Andrews: Ottawa Token and Medal Manufacturers (Scott Douglas & Chris Faulkner); 1859 Wide 9 Over 8 Cents (Rob Turner); Recent Collector Coin Counterfeits (Henry Nienhuis) and Commemorative Silver Dollars (Michael Turrini). The afternoon was witness to a first, the holding of the Numismatic Book Fair during which the RCM presented the long-awaited book “The Royal Canadian Mint: 100 Years of History” and Serge Pelletier launched his “Canadian Dictionary of Numismatics”. The Bank of Canada and other authors were also present. Collectors really enjoyed the fair, “it’s not everyday you get to meet numismatists that are leaving their mark on the hobby and to whom we owe so much” said one collector from Saskatchewan. Come six o’clock, all registrants converged on the 100 year old mint building, on Sussex Drive, for a special reception hosted by the Royal Canadian Mint.
Friday morning the bourse floor opened and with it “Canada’s Money Collector Show”, the public portion of the convention, including “Initiation to Coin Collecting” prepared and presented by François Rufiange, President of the City of Ottawa Coin Club. The series of ten lectures was held over the next three days. “I was extremely pleased with the turn out, averaging 15 to 20 people, mostly adults.”, said Rufiange, who has been actively promoting coin collecting to youth for several years. Mintmaster Ian E. Bennett opened the show with R.C.N.A. President Michael Walsh and convention chairman Steve Woodland. Following the opening, Bennett returned to the Mint’s booth where he received collectors and autographed the centennial book, mint sets and the card dedicated to him. Indeed, registrants had received as part of their kit, a set of six autograph cards for: Ian E. Bennett (mintmaster), Cecily Mok (who designed and engraved the Canadarm coins), José Osio (who engraved the 2005 300-dollar), Christie Paquet (who designed and engraved the award-winning “Pink Ribbon” 5-dollar), Cosme Saffioti (Master Engraver, who engraved the Canadian Victoria Cross) and Susan Taylor (who engraved the obverse currently used on Canadian coinage and designed and engraved the popular monarch 50-cent coin). Indeed, collectors had the opportunity to meet several Mint engravers throughout the weekend. The Bank of Canada hosted a reception for conventioneers at its Currency Museum that evening.
Saturday activities included the meeting of several specialized clubs: Canadian Numismatic Research Society, Medallic Art Society of Canada, Canadian Association of Token Collectors and the Canadian Tire Coupon Collector Club. The astute reader will have already picked up that we have not been referring to the C.N.A. but rather to the R.C.N.A. Indeed, at its Annual General Meeting, members voted with an overwhelming majority in favour of graciously accepting Queen Elizabeth II’s grant of the royal title to the association and adopting the new name of “The Royal Canadian Numismatic Association”. The day culminated with the Annual Banquet where the most important awards are presented. The R.C.N.A. instituted a new one, the Paul Fiocca Award, henceforth the highest of the association, for outstanding service to the association. It was awarded to long time Honorary President and numismatic legend, James E. Charlton. Canada’s highest numismatic prize, the J. Douglas Ferguson Award was presented to Quebec City resident Jean-Pierre Paré who recently published a book on the banks operating in Quebec, after over 40 years of research on all Canadian chartered banks. Other special events included the visit of the Canadian $1 million coin, the world’s largest, and the opportunity for collectors to swap regular 2-dollar coins for the new issue commemorating Quebec City’s 400th anniversary. Convention activities continued on Sunday until 2 p.m.
The bourse was comprised of 68 dealer tables, the Royal Canadian Mint booth, 40 tables of competitive and non-competitive exhibits (which included a display of the British Columbia 1862 gold pieces and a display with an aggregation of five collections resulting in the best-ever display of museum quality Newfoundland coins, tokens and paper money) and 10 club tables. Attending were 241 registered delegates and over 500 paid “walk-ins” in the three days the event was opened to the public.
Registrants were somewhat spoiled this year as their kit included several firsts: the convention medal was presented in a card signed by both designers, François Rufiange and Steve Woodland, and the engraver, Stan Witten; as previously mentioned, a set of six autograph cards; a set of five wooden tokens: a 150-cent that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the Canadian dollar, a 100-cent that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mint; a 60-cent that commemorates the 60th anniversary of organized numismatics in Ottawa, and two 50-cent tokens that commemorate, respectively, the 50th anniversary of the issue of the first Canadian municipal trade token and the issue of the first Canadian Tire coupon. Juniors also received, courtesy of the Canadian Coin Certification Service (CCCS), a certified 2005 Terry Fox dollar in the CCCS’ new hard slab, with the certificate autographed by the coin’s designer and engraver, Stan Witten (a Canadian first). Some of these special items will be offered at auction on eBay on October 1st, with the proceeds going to the R.C.N.A.’s Novice Program.
The Canadian Numismatic Company has been appointed as the Official Convention Auctioneer for the 2008 Ottawa C.N.A. Convention. Catalogues are available throught their website at: www.cpnum.qc.ca
2008 C.N.A. Auction-Session 1.pdf Friday 18th 4 pm.
2008 C.N.A. Auction-Session 2.pdf Saturday 19th 1 pm.
2008 C.N.A. Auction-Session 3.pdf Sunday 20th 9 am.