53rd annual ONA Convention a ‘great success’

The 53rd annual ONA Convention was in Niagara Falls this past weekend for the first time in more than three decades.

Hundreds of numismatists from all over the province and from elsewhere in Canada and across the world took over the Niagara Falls’ Crowne Plaza hotel on April 17-19.

“We had people come from as far away as Calgary, and there were people here from Windsor, Ottawa, and Northern Ontario – so all corners of the province,” said Robb McPherson, president of the ONA. “It was a great success.”

Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates said he was overjoyed the ONA brought its membership and passion back to the city, adding a lot has changed since 1981, the last time the annual convention was in town. 

Things began Friday afternoon with three educational symposiums – one by Vanessa Collins, a senior analyst with the Bank of Canada; another by Bernhard Wilde, an award-winning exhibitor; and another by Scott Douglas, the ONA’s education chair.

“This hobby can tell you so many things and you can learn so much from it,” said Douglas, “and it’s not learning-learning – it is fun learning.”

The bourse floor, which held more than 30 dealers, opened to registrants and pass holders on Friday and to the public on Saturday morning.

Matthew Bowen, a Royal Canadian Mint engraver, was on-hand Saturday to answer questions and do signings.

Jeffrey Hoare Auctions’ numismatic and military sale No. 117 also took place Saturday afternoon. The highlight of the auction was lot 150, a general service medal (1793-1814) in Very Fine condition. The medal had a Fort Detroit clasp and the words “BLACK WAYAWEMENT, WARRIOR” inscribed on it. With a pre-auction estimate of $12,000, the medal realized $31,000 (not including buyer’s premium).

McPherson’s wife, Lisa, ran the Coin Kids junior table and auction, the latter of which saw 17 spirited participants bidding on more than 50 lots.

“The auction and sales table gives youth an affordable if not free way to get into the hobby and stay in the hobby.”

The convention’s annual banquet and awards ceremony took place Saturday night in the Rainbow Salon overlooking the Falls.

Todd Hume won the Bruce Razsmann Award; Jeff Fournier, Steve Woodland and Judy Blackman each won Fellow of the ONA awards; and Henry Nienhuis won the Award of Merit, the ONA’s highest honour.

Watch for extensive coverage of the ONA Convention in the next issue of Canadian Coin News.

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