By Jesse Robitaille
The annual convention of the Canadian Association of Numismatic Dealers (CAND) is set to return to Hamilton this January, but – for the first time in decades – it will be without its auction.
Opening the year in numismatics, the 2020 CAND Convention will be held Jan. 25-26 at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel on 116 King St. W. The bourse will be open on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. with $4 admission and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. with free admission. A $75 “early bird” admission, which begins Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. and runs for the duration of the show, is also available.
“It’s the first major show of the year, and it’s the one that kicks everything off,” said show co-ordinator Tom Kennedy, who has been organizing the show for about 12 years.
Aside from the show’s popular venue – “dealers all love the easy access,” Kennedy added – the convention is also known for its comprehensive bourse and camaraderie among collectors.
“You can see some of the dealers you don’t normally see because they come from all over – the states, the west coast, the east coast – and they have a great selection. It’s also a good way to meet some friends again because the fellowship is strong at these shows,” he said, adding “most dealers will spend time together” in Canada compared to the U.S., where it “doesn’t happen as much.”
The London, Ont.-based auction house was the official auctioneer of the CAND show for nearly two decades before owner Wendy Hoare announced her retirement in late 2019.
“It was quite surprising when we received word she was going to retire,” said Kennedy. “But we aren’t holding it against her because she’s done so much for the hobby and was our secretary-treasurer for about 15 years.”
Wendy Hoare added it was “always great doing the auctions there as everything was set-up well; the security was second to none, which made everything run smoothly. Being the first Canadian show of the year, it was well attended even when it was bad weather.”
Also CAND’s webmaster for several years, she was responsible for setting up the association’s first website.
“It was a pleasure working with the varying members of the executive and the dealer control committee over the years. It was the one time of the year I could be assured of meeting up and socializing with the CAND dealers who came from Canada and the U.S. to attend.”
While organizers are planning to bring back an auction for next year’s convention – in 2021 – there was too little time to plan a successful sale for this year, said Kennedy, who’s a past president and Fellow of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association.
“Because of the timing, we weren’t able to tender it out and put on a decent auction. It would’ve been too last minute.”
More details may be announced by CAND officials at the convention – perhaps during the group’s annual general meeting – but what’s certain is a tender will be issued in 2020 and then the executive will decide on a new auctioneer.
Another highlight of the CAND Convention is its youth-focused “kids table,” which offers discounted material plus free gift bags for young collectors aged 16 and under.
“It’s named in honour of one of our biggest kids’ supporters, Terry McHugh, who passed away several years ago,” said Kennedy, of the Terry McHugh Memorial Table.
“His grandson brings the table and material is donated from most, if not all, dealers and has reduced pricing – but it’s only for kids.”
McHugh was also a former CAND Convention organizer.
FORMED IN 1975
On Jan. 24, 1973, a group of coin dealers met to discuss “the concept of an organization which would police its members to protect those who bought from its members,” according to a story published by CCN in January 1980 (Vol. 17 #17).
Almost two years later to the day, CAND was incorporated as a non-profit organization.
“The choice was obvious,” reads another story published by CCN in September 1980 (Vol. 18 #9). “Police the hobby, before collectors revolted.”
Its first presidents were Earl Davis, who held the position in 1975-76, and then Bill Cross, who served for two terms.
By 1980, CAND’s membership numbered about 50 dealers – the same number of dealer-members it boasts today – at a time when there were only upwards of 120 professional dealers in Canada, according to Al Bliman, then CAND executive secretary.
For more information about CAND, visit cand.org.