A virtual Canadian numismatic club?

There has been a lot of discussion in recent years over the future of numismatic clubs, societies and associations. We have seen some clubs fold, others near the brink of extinction due to a lack of volunteers, and then there are clubs – like Windsor, Waterloo and Brantford – that are thriving.

A recent survey by Canadian Coin News certainly suggests there is opportunity for growth.

We asked, “Do you belong to a coin club in Canada?” Of the 86 per cent of respondents who answered the question, a total of 155 (29.75 per cent) said yes. The remaining 366 (70.25 per cent) said no. Wow, what a surprise.  Think about it…more than two-thirds of the collectors who responded are not members of a coin club.

We probed further, of course, by asking “why not” join a coin club. Of the 366 that said no, a whopping 291 shared a variety of enlightening reasons.  The most common answer was “no local clubs” followed  by “time commitment” and thirdly, “no interest” in joining.

Many of the respondents shared they live in small towns and/or remote areas where the closest club is up to three hours away. So, what other options do they have?

Perhaps one opportunity would be creating an online Canadian numismatic club. I realize it’s not the same as direct face-to-face interaction with others members, but the growth of general online forums continues to increase year after year.  There used to be a “virtual” club called “Everycountry Collectors Group”. Based on information I read about the club, which was dated 2011, the club held a monthly “online voice chat” (on Friday evenings – the first mistake). It also held an annual meeting in Chicago during the World’s Fair of Money. The club’s website address is no longer active and Google searches for further details on the club were unsuccessful.

The biggest challenge in creating an online club is developing an interactive website. This had me thinking about how we – Canadian Coin News – can help. We already have an interactive, updated website, including a community forum, and it would not be difficult to add live video feeds etc. And, of course, we have the vehicles to promote the virtual club.

So, in the interest of growing the hobby, we would be willing to make this a reality but we would need volunteer help such as moderators. If you are interested in helping us build and develop an online Canadian numismatic club, email me at mwalsh@trajan.ca.

Meanwhile, another interesting comment that came out of our survey is the fact some respondents are unsure of how to join or find a club. On the homepage of our website –
canadiancoinnews.com – under the heading “Collecting” (located at the top of the page), click on “Coin Clubs”. Here, we list clubs by province, when and where they meet, and their contact information. (If your club is not listed, it’s easy – and free – to add it to our website. Just click on “Submit a Club”. Fill out the information, and we will list it.)

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