There’s a lot of excitement and fellowship taking place at the first in-person convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) since 2019.
For the eighth time in its 72-year history, the RCNA is holdings it annual gathering in Ottawa, which played host to past conventions in 2016, 2008, 2000, 1976, 1967, 1958 and 1955. The association was forced to cancel its in-person conventions in both 2020 and 2021, although a virtual event was held last year.
Despite an ongoing pandemic, economic inflation and widespread travel woes, the response from RCNA members to this year’s convention has been “overwhelming,” according to RCNA President Steve Woodland, who also chaired the event’s organizing committee. The five-day show drew nearly 150 registrants – “more than any recent convention,” Woodland said – and they came from most corners of Canada and parts of the United States. It comes after a cancelled convention in 2020 and a condensed, online-only event last year.
“The attendees I’ve spoken with have been delighted with the convention,” Woodland told CCN on July 20, the show’s opening day. “People are really excited to get back together for the first time in three years and see all their friends and associate collectors to talk and trade. The hotel lobby has been filled with people meeting old friends, and we just had 45 people at an early-bird dinner, which is more than we’ve ever had.”
This year’s show has been helped along by the local Ottawa Numismatic Society (ONS), whose officials chose the venue, negotiated the contract and is providing volunteers for the convention weekend.
The 2022 RCNA Convention officially opened on Wednesday at the Delta Ottawa City Centre on 101 Lyon St. N., just a block from the Bank of Canada and another short walk to Parliament Hill and the Royal Canadian Mint.
“This is one of the hotel’s first big functions since the pandemic, so they’re excited to make it a successful event,” said Woodland, who added the city’s light-rail transit service now connects to the venue.
“We have a beautiful city, we have lots to show off and we’re very proud of our city. We’re also proud of our numismatic history, which goes back to the 1890s.”
The original “Société numismatique d’Ottawa,” which formed in 1892, became the second money collecting organization in Canada after the “Société Numismatique de Montréal,” which was launched 30 years earlier.
Last year marked the 75th anniversary of the modern ONS, which first gathered in the nation’s capital in 1946.
Ottawa is also where the RCNA’s forerunner, the Canadian Numismatic Association, was launched in 1950.
“We’re a bilingual community, so a lot of what we do at this convention will be offered in both official languages,” said Woodland, who anticipates many attendees from French-speaking Québec.
TOURS & MORE
Following the convention’s opening ceremony this Friday at 9:45 a.m., the bourse will open to the public with about 70 dealer tables.
Throughout the week, show-goers will also be treated to the RCNA’s annual educational symposium with at least nine speakers; a four-hour coin-grading workshop; a book fair with at least half a dozen authors; plus several club meetings and social tours.
Two Mint tours slated for July 21 – free for all registrants – are expected to pique collectors’ interests. A tour of the Bank of Canada Tourism Museum was held Wednesday evening, and the Royal Canadian Mint and CAFNE (Canadian Association for Numismatic Education Association) will be hosting receptions this evening.
To view the full convention lineup, click here.