The 53rd annual ONA Convention kicked off earlier this afternoon at Niagara Falls’ Crowne Plaza hotel.
The bourse floor opened for registrants and pass holders today at 4 p.m.; however, the convention opens to the public tomorrow (Saturday) at 10 a.m.
With more than 30 dealers attending this year’s outing, the show is packed with interesting coins, tokens and banknotes from around Canada and the world, said Robb McPherson, event organizer.
“Today was great, and we’re hoping for even more tomorrow,” said McPherson. “Tomorrow is the big day.”
Earlier today, a roomful of attendees enjoyed presentations on security features on Canadian banknotes as well as the numismatics of both the Niagara River Banks and the city of Niagara Falls, Ont.
“There’s a lot more to the hobby than collecting coins,” said Scott Douglas, ONA education chair. “The hobby can tell you so many things and you can learn so much from it, and it’s not learning-learning – it is fun learning.”
Lot viewing for Jeffrey Hoare Auctions’ numismatic and military auction No. 117 took place between 4 and 7 p.m. The auction is tomorrow between 12:30 and 7 p.m.
The convention continues on Saturday, when the bourse and exhibit floors open to the public at 10 a.m. Daily admission is $5, and children under 17 years old are free.
Matthew Bowen, a Mint engraver from St. Eugene, Ont., will be answering questions and doing signings tomorrow starting at 11:30 a.m.
“He’s the engraver of the Brock coin, which was struck for the War of 1812 – so it ties in with the Niagara Falls area,” said McPherson.
Bowen has worked on both Canadian and foreign numismatic and circulation coins, Canadian bullion and the Mint’s Geographical Society Medals.
Robb’s wife, Lisa, will be running the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association-sponsored (RCNA) “coin kids” junior table tomorrow. She said there is also a coin kids auction, sponsored by the RCNA and Trajan Publishing, tomorrow between 1 and 4 p.m.
“The kids will get free stuff from the coin kid’s auction, and not only do they keep what they bid on, but they get goodie bags,” she said.
This year’s culminating event is the ONA’s annual banquet and president’s reception, which runs Saturday night between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. This year’s master of ceremonies is former Canadian Coin News editor Bret Evans, who is also president of the RCNA. This year’s banquet speaker is Sherman Zavitz, a Niagara historian.
See the next issue of Canadian Coin News for in-depth event coverage on today’s symposiums as well as tomorrow’s auction, banquet and president’s reception.