Edmonton club cancels ‘Canada’s largest coin show’ amid COVID-19 outbreak

By Jesse Robitaille

Two days before the Edmonton Coin Show and Sale, billed as “Canada’s largest coin show,” was set to open its doors to the public, organizers announced the show is cancelled.

Hosted by the local Edmonton Numismatic Society (ENS), the two-day event – originally scheduled for March 14-15 – would have seen 40 dealers from across Canada visit Edmonton’s diverse collecting community.

“The show was cancelled because of the changing advisories by local health authorities, who are now understanding what the risk really is,” said show co-chair Pierre Driessen, who’s also the club’s treasurer.

Driessen said that risk centres on people aged 60 and over—a major numismatic demographic.

“That’s the target group, and that’s our median age. With the nature of our show drawing over 1,000 people throughout the weekend, we were forced to make this difficult decision out of an abundance or overabundance of caution, although I don’t think you can be too careful when it comes to people’s health.”

He also cited the “increasing number of national cancellations,” including the Juno Awards but also the postponement of the National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer seasons.

“It’s generally about people’s concerns, and we take that very seriously,” said Driessen, who added the show will not be postponed.

“No one really knows how long this outbreak will last, what the nature of it will be and how extensive it will be, so we have no horizon on what might happen next.”

All dealer deposits will be carried forward to the ENS’ fall-time show this November.

“All dealers we’ve spoken to so far are very appreciative that we’re airing on the side of caution. It’s not a decision we’re taking lightly.”

OTHER CANCELLED SHOWS

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong International Coin and Antique Watch Fair (originally scheduled for March 24-26) is cancelled, and the Eighth Hong Kong Coin Show is postponed from March until May.

The Singapore International Coin Fair (SICF) – also originally slated for this month – was postponed to Aug. 14-16.

“It is with an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our customers, partners, and staff that the SICF organizing committee has postponed the upcoming Singapore International Coin Fair due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Asia,” reads a press release issued by organizers. “This decision was made in following guidelines set forth by the Singapore Ministry of Health.”

The International Numismatic Fair “Numismata” also cancelled its March 7-8 show in Munich, Germany, last week.

Quebec has banned indoor gatherings of more than 250 people while several U.S. counties and cities are also banning similar gatherings.

As of 3:45 p.m. on March 12, COVID-19 has hit 125 countries with more than 134,000 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths worldwide.

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