57th Annual ONA Convention opens this Friday in Kingston

The doors to the 57th annual convention of the Ontario Numismatic Association (ONA) are set to open this Friday in Kingston.

Organizers are hoping to rejuvenate the yearly gathering with a new location after three consecutive years at the same venue across the province in Kitchener. This year’s convention – to be held April 12-14 – marks only the second time the ONA’s annual gathering has been held in Kingston, which last played host to the association in 2010.

“It’s been nine years, and the mandate of the ONA is to service the province of Ontario, so we needed to move around,” said convention co-chair Robb McPherson, who’s also the ONA’s treasurer and past president.

“The dealers and the ONA’s members were ready for a change, so we listened. But we expect everyone to fulfill their end of the deal and come out to the show this April.”

A more convenient location for members living in eastern Ontario, Kingston will also serve as a hopeful host city for members who are “looking for a change,” said co-chair Lisa McPherson, who’s also the ONA’s first vice-president.

“We have people that come to every convention – it doesn’t matter where it is – and a lot of that is for the camaraderie. Sitting down and discussing your hobby in person – and physically showing people your pocket pieces – is always fun.”

FOUR-SPEAKER SYMPOSIUM

Among the show’s highlights is its highly touted educational symposium, which is organized by ONA President Scott Douglas, who’s also the association’s education chair.

“It is my hope that everyone will attend what is sure to be an informative look at our world of numismatics,” said Douglas, who added the symposium will kick off on Friday – opening day – at 1 p.m.

“From education we gain knowledge. With knowledge we gain wisdom.”

The symposium’s four speakers include:

  • Chris Boyer, a Fellow of the ONA, who will give a presentation on the numismatics of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at 1 p.m.;
  • Steve Woodland, also a Fellow of the ONA, who will give a presentation on Canadian numismatist and token specialist Ludger Gravel at 2 p.m.;
  • Robert Frisch, who will give a presentation on polymer banknotes at 3 p.m.; and
  • Boyd Laanstra, a senior analyst with the Bank of Canada’s visual content currency department, who will highlight the design process for Canada’s recently released vertical $10 note at 4 p.m.

CONVENING SOCIETIES, YOUTH PROGRAM

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

These include:

In keeping with the show’s family-friendly vision, there will also be a youth table set up on the bourse.

A “Coin Kids” auction will also be held on April 13 at 1 p.m., when budding collectors are invited to bid on a range of numismatic items using play money provided by organizers. There is no cost to participate; however, parents are asked to accompany their children throughout the three-hour auction.

2019 CONVENTION MEDAL

The design for this year’s convention medal was chosen by the organizing committee from a concept submitted by Michael Platt, who’s a member of the Kingston Numismatic Association.

The medal features Kingston City Hall circa 1867.

After the city’s original town hall was destroyed by fire in 1840, architect George Browne was commissioned by mayor John Counter to design a new building reflecting the city’s status as the provincial capital.

The new city hall was completed in November 1844 – six months after the seat of government was moved to Montréal – and is today designated as a National Historic Site.

“This building, one of the most ambitious examples of nineteenth century Canadian municipal architecture, was completed in 1844 at a cost of almost £20,000,” reads a plaque erected at 216 Ontario St., the site of Kingston City Hall. “It housed the municipal offices, the council chambers, and the town market, and also contained shops, other offices, and a saloon.”

Silver and brass versions of the 2019 convention medal are in shorter supply this year with a mintage of 30 and 25 pieces, respectively. The copper version will have a mintage of 80 pieces.

2019 SHOW DETAILS

This year’s ONA Convention will be held at the Ambassador Hotel and Conference Centre on 1550 Princess St. Daily admission is $3 (or $15 for the three-day “early admission” floor pass) while children under the age of 17 are free.

The bourse will be open on Friday from noon-6 p.m.; on Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and on Sunday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Surrounded by the Marshland Conservation Area, the hotel is 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.

“Kingston is an exciting and historical place, and I know it will leave a favourable impression on everyone,” said Douglas.

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