By Jesse Robitaille
Published for the past 59 years, CCN has reached its 60th volume with the latest issue, dated April 12.
On June 3, 1963, Wisconsinite Chet Krause – soon to be a renowned coin collecting icon – launched one of his first endeavours, Canada Coin News. While Krause lived in Iola, Wisc., the publication’s first editor was a Torontonian, Cale Jarvis, who later wrote an award-winning numismatic column for the Globe & Mail.
In his opening editorial of Canada Coin News, Jarvis said the publication would strive “to be all things” to Canadian numismatics – a mission it continues to uphold today.
While the magazine was originally typeset and printed in Wisconsin, its writers resided in Canada. Krause believed it needed to operate in its true domain to thrive, so the publication – now called Canadian Coin News – moved north to Canada just a few months after the first issue was printed.
By the time the sixth issue of CCN hit the newsstands in August 1963, all of the company’s printing, typesetting and office spaces were relocated to Toronto, then a city of about 675,000 people (roughly half the size of Montréal at that time). From that point, the magazine was published biweekly by Krause Publications, and Jarvis assumed the role of resident publisher while Krause stepped back into a consultant role.
Within a few years, with Canadian numismatics in a slowdown, Jarvis would decide to add two collectible categories – stamps and antiques – to the magazine’s mix.
1966: COIN, STAMP
& ANTIQUE NEWS
By the mid-1960s, readers’ requests for other non-numismatic content became a mountain – and one Jarvis couldn’t ignore.
On Aug. 20, 1966, CCN became Coin, Stamp & Antique News.
Almost two years later after the magazine’s rebranding, Jarvis announced the publication was sold to Offset Make-Up, a Mississauga, Ont.-based printing and production facility he described as “ultra-modern.” Offset’s president Don Thomas became the magazine’s new publisher, and Gordon Froggatt – another accomplished journalist – assumed the role of editor.
This combination of special-interest content created to high journalistic standards remains the publication’s cornerstone through the present day.
Born in Scotland in 1937, Froggatt immigrated to Toronto in 1958 and later joined the Globe & Mail. Since Froggatt’s 1994 death, a memorial award named in his honour is handed out annually by the Ryerson School of Journalism to the student “deemed to have shown the most promising newsroom leadership.”
Jarvis continued to write his “Cale’s Comments” column in Coin, Stamp & Antique News until March 1970, when he retired.
That August, Coin, Stamp & Antique News hit a record 88 pages with what was then an impressive four-colour cover.
Near the beginning of that decade, long-time columnist Stanley Clute, who still writes two regular columns for CCN, also became a regular contributor.
1976-77: THE SPLIT
& ANOTHER SALE
By 1976, interest in Canadian philately grew so much that Thomas decided to split his content into two separate publications.
June 19, 1976, marked the final issue of Coin, Stamp & Antique News, which was then split into CCN, which continued to feature a small section named “Canadian Antique News,” and Canadian Stamp News.
Thomas continued as both publications’ publisher while Diane Amacher took on the role of CSN editor.
Within a year, Thomas sold both CCN and CSN to McLaren Publications (now McLaren Press Graphics), a new commercial printing firm led by Brampton, Ont.’s Scott McLaren.
Just months later, in August 1977, Thomas suddenly died from anaphylactic shock after a swarm of hornets attacked him in his backyard. For many years after his unexpected death, the Donald B. Thomas Memorial Foundation awarded grants to junior philatelists and numismatists in Canada.
Described by Thomas as an “eager and aggressive young man,” McLaren began as both publications’ publisher with the issue dated March 1, 1977.
A decade later, in February 1987, McLaren sold both publications to …