Free ‘Coin Kids’ auction to be held today at ONA Convention

A free “Coin Kids” auction is set to begin this afternoon as the second day of the 57th Annual Ontario Numismatic Association (ONA) Convention gets underway in Kingston.

Budding collectors are invited to bid on a range of numismatic items using play money provided by show organizers. There is no cost to participate; however, parents are asked to supervise their children – at the back of the room and without guidance – throughout the three-hour auction. In keeping with the convention’s family-friendly vision, there will also be a youth-focused sales table offering discounted material to children aged 17 and under on the bourse.

“Nothing is more important – in any hobby, really – than to get young people curious, interested and ultimately addicted,” said Lisa McPherson, national youth co-ordinator of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) and the first vice-president of the ONA.

McPherson has been hosting youth auctions since 2014 and thanked dealers and participating organizations for their ongoing support and donations.

“These shows and conventions are great ways for youth to get to know the dealers, learn about the different organizations, connect with representatives as well as enjoy the youth program offered. Repeated visits lead to relationships and perhaps some mentoring.”

Some of these young hobbyists might even turn coin or stamp collecting into a career, she added.

“I truly believe there is nothing better than hands-on experience, seeing the items in front of you, and of course, the wonderful social aspect of collecting.”


Open through April 14 at the Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre on 1550 Princess St., this year’s show venue is surrounded by the Marshland Conservation Area and only minutes away from many of the city’s attractions, including the Kingston Penitentiary, Fort Henry National Historic Site and the Bellevue House National Historic Site, which was the former home of prime minister Sir John A. Macdonald.

The bourse will be open today from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Daily admission to the show is $3, but children under the age of 17 are free.


There will also be several national numismatic organizations meeting at this year’s convention.

These include:

  • the Canadian Tire Coupon Collectors’ Club, which is meeting today in the Lisbon Room from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.;
  • the Canadian Association of Token Collectors, which is meeting today in the Ottawa Room from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.;
  • the Canadian Centennial Collectors’ Club, which is meeting today in the Toronto Room from 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m.;
  • the Canadian Association of Wooden Money Collectors, which is meeting today in the Toronto Room from 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; and
  • the Canadian Association For Numismatic Education, which is meeting tomorrow in the Windsor Room from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

Also, this morning between 7:45 a.m. and 9:15 a.m., the ONA Club Delegates Breakfast will be held in the Regal Room. This event is only open to tickets holders.

From 10:15 a.m.-noon, the ONA will host its annual general meeting and club delegates’ meeting in the Toronto Room. All official club delegates, ONA executive committee members, ONA members and guests are invited to attend.


The annual ONA Convention banquet will also be held tonight.

The pre-banquet reception will be held from 6:30 p.m.-7 p.m. in the Regal Room and is only open to ticket holders.

The banquet will run from 7 p.m.-midnight with a full-course dinner, draw prizes, award presentations and a keynote presentation from local historian Peter Gower.

Gower came to Canada in 1967 and spent his teaching career in Grey and Bruce Counties plus three years in Kenya. He retired with his wife Jean to Kingston in 2000 and has indulged there in his hobby of local history. He chaired the Kingston Municipal Heritage Committee for eight years and was president of the Kingston Historical Society from 2013-16. He has written three books, two on Kingston’s contribution to the First World War, and his most recent, Kingston in 150 Pictures, is a collection of vignettes of the city. He lives almost within sight of the show venue, and as this year’s keynote speaker, he will talk on “Kingston: People, Buildings and Events.”

The President’s Reception will follow the banquet in the same room.

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