RCNA Symposium kicks off 2019 convention today in Calgary

Collectors are heading into Cowtown this morning for the first half of the two-day, eight-speaker 2019 RCNA Symposium, which kicks off this year’s Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) Convention in Calgary.

Hosted by the Calgary Numismatic Society (CNS) in Canada’s third-largest municipality, the 2019 RCNA Convention begins in earnest today with the first day of the educational symposium from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. (although two social tours were held yesterday). The talks are being held in “Plaza Room 5” of the Best Western Premier Calgary Plaza and Conference Centre on 1316-33 St. N.E., about 10 kilometres northeast of downtown Calgary.

“As the Canadian collector becomes more sophisticated the demand for numismatic education becomes stronger,” said RCNA Education Chair Scott Douglas, who’s stepping down from that role following this week’s convention.

“For everyone attending the 2019 Convention, the RCNA is proud to offer you this leading educational event. It is an opportunity to connect with people passionate about this hobby and eager to share their knowledge making your numismatic experience that much greater. Remember, knowledge is power.”

Today’s speakers include:

  • Marina Fischer, talking on “Coins of Jesus: Money and Religion in the Ancient World” at 1 p.m.;
  • Robb McPherson, talking on “Collecting Casino Collectibles – Chips, Tokens, Etc.” at 2 p.m.;
  • Eric Jensen, talking on “Exonumia – Numismatic Fringe, Revisited” at 3 p.m.; and
  • Stan Clute, talking on “Numismatic Research and Writing – Then And Now” at 4 p.m.

Tomorrow, another four speakers will have their turn at the podium:

  • Michael Souza, talking on “The Occupation of Hong Kong and the Life of a Veteran” at 1 p.m.;
  • Lisa Dare, talking on “Numismatics 101 – A Spouse’s Guide to Understanding and Living With a Collector” at 2 p.m.;
  • Barrie Renwick, talking on “R. Tait McKenzie, His Life and His Art” at 3 p.m.; and
  • Neil Probert, talking on “Organized Numismatics in Calgary” at 4 p.m.

CCN is in Calgary for the entire 2019 RCNA Convention and will be publishing live coverage on social media plus full reviews in the print edition of CCN after the event. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for non-stop numismatic news.

The reverse of this year’s RCNA Convention medal was designed by James Williston, of the Calgary Numismatic Society, which is hosting this year’s gathering. It depicts an Albertosaurus, which roamed present-day Alberta about 70 million years ago.


Later tonight, from 7 p.m.-10 p.m., the RCNA President and CNS Host Club Welcome Reception will be held in Suite 1223 of the hotel.

The nearly 50-dealer bourse will be open tomorrow through July 20 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. each day.

“We have dealers coming from all across Canada,” said RCNA Executive Secretary Paul Johnson, who added the last RCNA Convention held in Calgary was in 2012.

“There will be dealers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, and there are a number of western dealers – some that don’t normally travel to the eastern shows – so people coming west will see dealers they don’t normally see.”

Along with farming exhibitions, rodeos and oil and gas, Calgary’s history is steeped in numismatics. In fact, from May 10-July 20, the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries is hosting a numismatic exhibition entitled, “Money and Calgary: The City’s History of Numismatics.”

Also, tomorrow from 5:45 p.m.-9 p.m., the Canadian Association for Numismatic Education (CAFNE) will host its annual reception at the Nickle Galleries, where the CNS’ archives plus the “Money and Calgary” exhibit will be on display.

“We’ve been working with the Calgary club and the Nickle museum, and we’ll have two buses take people from the convention to the museum that night,” said Johnson.

Also meeting over the next four days are more than 10 numismatic societies, including:

On July 20, from 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m., CCN will also host a “Meet the Trends Editor” session in Plaza Room 5.

Also on July 20, from 10:30 a.m.-noon, the RCNA will host its annual general meeting.

Later that evening, from 7 p.m.-10 p.m., the RCNA Banquet will be held to present this year’s major numismatic awards. The keynote speaker is Calgarian and long-time collector Greg Ingram, who will highlight the evolution of the Hudson’s Bay Company fur trade and its use of tokens. The author and co-author of four books on pre-Confederation tokens, with more books on the way, Ingram is also a member of the CNS.

Pre-purchased tickets are required to attend the banquet.


The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC), of Queébec, is hosting this year’s RCNA Auction, but “under a somewhat different platform,” according to auctioneer Marc Verret.

“The RCNA Auction in Calgary comes with some particular challenges that will require us to run the auction as an Internet sale from our offices here in Québec city,” he said, adding all of the nearly 2,000 lots will be available for viewing at the hotel in Calgary from July 18-20.

Participants will be able to view lots in the auction room, where they can enter bids with staff in person or online on one of five computers that will be available to accommodate bidders who wish to bid from Calgary. Phone and email bids will also be accepted.

“Staff will be on hand to assist with online bidding,” Verret added.

For more information or to view the lots in the RCNA Auction, visit auctions.canadiancoinsandpapermoney.com/auction/81/public-rcna-auction-july-2019.

For more information about the upcoming convention, visit rcna.ca/2019/index.php.

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