2021 RCNA Convention cancelled, virtual program planned

For the second consecutive year, the annual convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) is cancelled due to COVID-19.

Planned for July 20-25 in Ottawa, this year’s in-person convention was cancelled in late February, when the RCNA’s executive committee met to make a decision in light of the ongoing pandemic. Unlike last year, however, organizers are now planning a virtual program – much like their coin-collecting counterparts in the Ontario Numismatic Association (ONA). Planning should be completed by the end of March, according to RCNA Executive Secretary Paul Johnson.

Like the ONA Convention, which will also be held virtually this April (“First virtual ONA Convention open to everyone,” CCN Vol. 58 #25), the RCNA’s annual show will move some of its program, including its annual general meeting, club and society meetings and educational symposium, to a Zoom-based format.

The decision was confirmed on March 5, about a week before Ontario’s hospital association and its COVID-19 science advisory table said the province entered a “third wave” of the pandemic. The so-called “variants of concern” – expected to account for the majority of Canada’s COVID-19 cases by the end of March – are “essentially out of control,” Anthony Dale, CEO of the Ontario Hospital Association, told the Globe & Mail in mid-March.

“It seems pretty self-evident that we’re in the early stages of the third wave.”

While Ontario launched its much-anticipated vaccine-booking system on March 15, Canada’s vaccine rollout is lagging behind other countries. As of mid-March, Canada is behind about 50 other countries in regards to fully vaccinating its citizens.

Public health officials expect a critical mass of Canadians to be vaccinated by September, opening the door to a “return to normal,” including in-person coin shows and other public events.

UPCOMING RCNA CONVENTIONS

Last year’s RCNA Convention, slated for Halifax on July 21-25, 2020, was also cancelled due to the pandemic – a first in the RCNA’s nearly 70-year history. It would have been the RCNA’s 67th annual convention since its first outing in 1954. Next year, the 2022 RCNA Convention will be held in Ottawa – at the same venue and on the same dates, July 20-25 – as this year’s cancelled in-person convention. Halifax will host the 2023 RCNA Convention. As of mid-March, nothing is in place for the 2024 convention. Before this year’s cancellation, several clubs, including the Manitoba Coin Club, had placed bids to host the 2024 convention.

MEDALS & SAMPLE COINS

Continuing another annual tradition stretching back to the first convention in 1954, the RCNA will once again issue a series of convention medals this year.

A more recent tradition, the RCNA’s convention-branded “PCGS Sample” coins, will also be available to collectors for this year’s virtual event.

A full story on the 2021 RCNA Convention cancellation was published in CCN Vol. 59 #1.

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