While anticipating fewer entries after coming off its 100-frame 75th-anniversary event last year, the North Toronto Stamp Club (NTSC) will once again host its annual exhibition in conjunction with the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show this spring.
The exhibition, which will be displayed during the two-day show on March 23-24, will feature competitive exhibits by members of the NTSC and other clubs as well as several court-of-honour exhibits that previously won medals at the national level.
“We are still seeking exhibits,” said NTSC Exhibition Committee Co-Chair John Wilson on Jan. 11, “and there’s no entry fee for exhibitors.”
“We’ll accept any exhibits between one and 12 frames, but the length is not very material to us; we will use them if they’re entered.”
Organizers are expecting between 60 and 80 frames this spring – down from nearly 100 frames last year, but “typical of what we’d normally get,” said Wilson, who’s also the club’s immediate past-president.
Entries can be one-page exhibits, which must contain three philatelic elements, a story and a title.
“These are judged independently, one page at at time.”
Eight-page “studies” will also be accepted, albeit not for medal-level judging; however, trained national-level judges will evaluate these entries and help exhibitors explore avenues to progress their exhibits.
One-frame exhibits – 16 pages – will also be accepted.
“What’s best suited to a one-frame exhibit is typically that which can be covered in one frame,” said Wilson. “Many people beginning to study an issue or a philatelic phenomenon will do one frame to begin the process, which is then refined as more material becomes available and more knowledge is gained about exhibiting.”
In regards to the court of honour, Wilson couldn’t offer specific details yet but said it’ll be worth seeing for philatelists of all stripes.
“I can promise you there will be national gold medal exhibits that have not been seen in the Toronto area. We’re going to have some pretty good stuff.”
For its upcoming exhibition, the NTSC and Greater Toronto Area Philatelic Alliance (GTAPA) will once again issue a “one-frame challenge” to all Greater Toronto Area clubs, which are invited to submit three single-frame exhibits for the judges’ consideration.
Each individual club can decide how their three single frames will be represented.
The award, which is held by the winning club for the following year, is a sculpture of a stamp collector in metal. It was donated to the GTAPA by philatelist Garfield Portch, who’s a Fellow of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) and an activemember of the West Toronto Stamp Club (WTSC).
“Each club selects three single-frame entries from individual members that are then marked, and the aggregate mark determines which club will take away Garfield Portch’s award.”
“This is a really fun thing.”
Established in 1938, the NTSC (RPSC Chapter #5) is celebrating its 81st anniversary this year. For the past 76 years, the club has also held a popular exhibition.
“We’re on our way to the next milestone, and we have every intention of coming back year after year,” said Wilson, who’s a frequent exhibitor and nationally accredited philatelic judge.
“Exhibiting is a really important part of stamp collecting because we’re able to see things we might never be able to acquire, and the exhibitor has deeply studied and organized their material and found out what material might be needed to go forward.”
What may first appear to be “uninteresting material” can bring exhibitors a “tremendous amount of pleasure,” Wilson added.
“Some great, staggering exhibits use material that doesn’t look like much, but some of it is staggeringly rare, and comes down to the exhibitor’s appreciation for research and the beauty of objects – and the history of objects – that passed through the mail.”
These stories, Wilson said, are worth knowing.
“Anyone who comes to this exhibition will learn about local, national and international history. The exhibitors will cover all kinds of material – from pre-stamp to last month – because stamp collecting is not a prescribed hobby; you may collect any way you want.”
Exhibitors and judges are encouraged to meet with show-goers at the frames on Sunday, the show’s closing day.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into making an exhibit, and I commend the people that do it,” said Wilson.
For more information about the 76th Annual NTSC Exhibition, visit sites.google.com/site/northtorontostampclub/exhibits.