By Jesse Robitaille
After a 16-year absence from “la belle province,” the annual convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) is slated to return to Québec this summer.
On July 18-23, the RCNA’s annual extravaganza will be hosted in Boucherville, Qué., which is just east of Montréal on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. Organized by l’Association des Numismates et des Philatélistes de Boucherville (ANPB), the convention will be held at Hôtel Mortagne on 1228 Nobel St. in Boucherville. The ANPB previously organized the RCNA’s annual convention in Montréal in 1992 and 1996.
In 2015, Boucherville topped 209 other cities and towns in Canada to win the title of “Canada’s Best Place To Live,” bestowed by MoneySense magazine. “Boucherville was the dark horse,” MoneySense managing editor Mark Brown told CBC in 2015, adding the small suburban town is Canada’s “best kept secret.”
“There are two reasons that sort of jump out at me,” said RCNA President Henry Nienhuis about why people should attend the big show. “One is education, or knowledge. You can’t really learn too much about the subject.”
It’s an extension of the old numismatic adage, “Buy the book before you buy the coin.”
“At the convention,” Nienhuis said, “you can actually talk to people who own the coin and get good feedback. There’s a huge social value, which leads me into item number two.”
‘KNOWLEDGE IS KING’
Nienhuis said this social aspect is something that shouldn’t be overlooked by collectors.
“You can meet likeminded people and discuss with people you likely wouldn’t have the opportunity to discuss with except at events like the RCNA Convention. Knowledge is king.”
The bourse and exhibit hall will be open to the public on July 21 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; July 22 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; July 23 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. In addition to more than 60 dealer tables, the convention will also boast an extensive auction, a vast offering of competitive exhibits, an educational symposium and a variety of meetings, presentations and social gatherings throughout the six-day event.
“Every year, we have such great exhibits,” Nienhuis said. “It’s a very popular part of the convention, both for those who are exhibiting and those who view the exhibits and who might try exhibiting next year.”
DAY TOURS WITH A NUMISMATIC TWIST
Although the bourse doesn’t open to the public until July 21, this year’s event begins July 18 with an all-day tour of Old Montréal.
“As part of our initiative to try and make the convention more of a destination-type affair, we’ve been trying to put together better tours,” said Nienhuis, who added the July 18 tour will include visits to the Chateau Ramezay Museum; the head office of the Bank of Montréal Museum and Archives; and the Notre Dame Basilica.
The following day, a tour of Boucherville will be held from 9:30 a.m.-noon.
“This tour will include a stopover at the Louis Hippolyte Lafontaine house,” said Nienhuis, who added Lafontaine was elected as the second premier of Canada East in 1842, at the age of 34.
“He is also featured on the convention medal along with his homestead that will be part of that tour on Wednesday.”
Each main registration kit includes one copper convention medal; however, they are being sold separately for $20 each. Silver versions of this year’s convention medal are also available for $60.
On July 20, another all-day tour, this of St-Constant and Chambly. Fort Chambly – a National Historic Site – was built by the French in 1711.
“I’ve never seen it so I’m quite interested in looking at it,” said Nienhuis.
On July 21 – the day the bourse opens to the public – the final two tours will be held. The first tour will be a trip to Brassard’s DIX30 shopping mall, and the final tour will be the RCNA’s popular dinner and boat cruise, which is expected to sell out fast.
Registration for the convention’s tours is open until June 30. For more information, visit rcna.ca/2017/tour-descriptions.php.
CANADA 150 MEDAL SETS FOR SALE
This year marks four important and relevant anniversaries: the 350th anniversary of the founding of Boucherville; the 300th anniversary of the death of Pierre Boucher (1622-1717), who was the settler of Boucherville and governor of New France from 1654-57 and 1662-67; the 50th anniversary of the ANPB; and of course, the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.
In honour of Canada’s sesquicentennial, the RCNA co-ordinated an initiative with more than two dozen local clubs to issue commemorative medals.
“The RCNA will be selling sets of these medals at the convention,” said Nienhuis, who added some details, such as pricing, are still being determined. “There will be 50 sets of medals featuring the official Canada 150 logo on one side and each individual club logo on the reverse. It’s going to be quite the collectible item to get a hold of.”
MEETINGS, EVENTS & A BOOK LAUNCH
More than a dozen society meetings are also scheduled during the upcoming convention.
On July 20 from 6:30 p.m.- 8 p.m., the Canadian Association for Numismatic Education (CAFNE) will host a reception and donation drive.
“There will be a silent auction of donated material,” said Nienhuis, who added CAFNE is a registered charity and can issue tax receipts. “All donations are welcome.”
On July 21 at 10:30 a.m., the official launch of a book by Harvey Richer will be held. Richer is also slated to take part in the convention’s two-day educational symposium, where he will lead a presentation on the topic of his book, Newfoundland’s gold coins.
The book launch will be followed by the Canadian Paper Money Society (CPMS) annual luncheon and meeting at noon and a Canadian Errors and Varieties Numismatic Association (CEVNA) meeting at 4 p.m.
On July 22 from 8 a.m.-10 a.m., CCN will host the annual “Meet the Trends Editor” session in the hotel’s Pierre Boucher room. Michael Findlay, who recently returned to CCN as its Trends Editor, will be present to answer any questions readers may have regarding the essential Trends section.
That day at 10:30 a.m., the RCNA will hold its annual general meeting. All RCNA members are encouraged to attend for a review of the president’s report, the financial report and other important matters.
“There will be ballots going out to all members. The ballots will be included in the June issue of the CN Journal,” said Nienhuis, who added there are two areas being contested: Montreal and suburbs, and the Western U.S.
Later that day, there will also be meetings held by the Canadian Association of Token Collectors (CATC) at 1 p.m.; the Canadian Tire Coupon Collectors Club (CTCCC) at 2 p.m.; the Canadian Association for Numismatic Editors and Writers at 2:30 p.m.; and the Canadian Centennial Collectors Club (CCCC) at 3 p.m.
For a full schedule of events, visit rcna.ca/2017/2017-rcna-convention-schedule-events-en.pdf.
Convention attendees are asked to use code 5153 when making hotel reservations by email at email@example.com or toll free at 1-877-655-9966.
For more information, visit rcna.ca/2017.