By Jesse Robitaille
The January 2021 convention of the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers (CAND) has been cancelled due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
The annual harbinger of Canadian coin shows, the CAND Convention is held each January in Hamilton, Ont., where dozens of dealers from Canada and the United States gather for a two-day bourse and auction. But as the pandemic’s “second wave” began in early October – and with the Canada-U.S. border closed for the foreseeable future – organizers were forced to put the brakes on next year’s show, which was slated for Jan. 30-13, 2021.
“We certainly didn’t want to take this action, but we had to make this decision sooner, rather than later, before the cancellation of our contract, without penalty, was in jeopardy,” said CAND President Michael Findlay.
The announcement – emailed to CAND’s dealer members in mid-October – came about two weeks after the Ontario government implemented stricter public health measures as the province set a COVID-19 case record.
“With the current restrictions in and around the Toronto area of 10 people, with the prospect of this being in force for another month or more, it is only a matter of time before other large population centres, like Hamilton, Kitchener and London, become affected by the same limitations,” said Findlay, who also cited additional travel restrictions for travellers from the Maritimes and United States.
“Will these still be in force in January? It could be very likely,” added Findlay. “That would mean that our Maritime Canadian participants would have to quarantine for two weeks, once they arrived home again. They would probably not attend.”
BORDER CLOSURE IMPACTS CAND DEALERS
On Oct. 14, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested the Canada-U.S. border would remain closed until COVID-19 cases dropped south of the border.
“We have committed to keeping Canadians safe and we keep extending the border closures because the States is not in a place where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders,” Trudeau said in an interview on 680 CJOB, a Winnipeg radio station. “We will continue to make sure that Canadian safety is top of mind when we move forward. We see the cases in the United States and elsewhere around the world, and we need to continue to keep these border controls in place.”
Since March, both the Canadian and U.S. governments have renewed the border closure on a monthly basis.
“Will our borders be open in January? Quite possibly not,” said Findlay. “For these reasons, the executive and our bourse chairman, Tom Kennedy, decided it was best to get out ahead of this issue and make the decision three months in advance.”
Findlay called it a “painful decision,” albeit a “necessary” one.
“We have all embraced the online world of numismatics; it seems like it will dominate our actions for months to come. We will have to be patient, but I know all of us look forward to seeing each other in person at a live coin show in the near future.”
With the convention’s cancellation, CAND’s annual general meeting (AGM) – usually held at the show in January – will instead be held virtually sometime in 2021. More details about the 2021 AGM will be announced soon.