Explore history firsthand at 77th Annual NTSC Exhibition

By Jesse Robitaille

For the fifth year in a row, the North Toronto Stamp Club (NTSC) will host its annual springtime exhibition at the National Postage Stamp & Coin Show.

The competitive exhibition, to be displayed during the two-day show on April 4-5, will feature competitive exhibits by members of the NTSC and other local clubs plus a handful of past award-winning exhibits in the non-competitive court of honour.

“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,” said NTSC Exhibition Committee Chair John Wilson.

“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.”

While organizers are still seeking exhibits before the mid-March closing date, they’re expecting at least 60 competitive frames. 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,” said Wilson.

Included among the possibilities are:

  • one-page exhibits, which must contain three philatelic elements, a story and a title;
  • half-frame “studies,” which feature up to eight pages and aren’t included in the medal-level judging (but will still be evaluated by national-level judges to help exhibitors explore how to continue building their exhibits);
  • one-frame exhibits, which include 16 pages; and
  • multi-frame exhibits, which can include up to 12 frames.

The wrought-iron Challenge Cup Award was produced by Laszlo Szabo, a Toronto-area artist, and donated to the Greater Toronto Area Philatelic Alliance in 2003 by Garfield Portch.


For its upcoming exhibition, the NTSC and Greater Toronto Area Philatelic Alliance (GTAPA) are once again issuing a “one-frame challenge” to all Greater Toronto Area clubs.

In previous years, the Challenge Cup was held in conjunction with the annual convention of The Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC); however, since 2017, the competition has been held at the annual NTSC Exhibition.

Local clubs are invited to submit three single-frame exhibits for the judges’ consideration. Each individual club can decide how to represent their three single frames.

“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,” said Wilson, of the Challenge Cup trophy donated to the GTAPA in 2003 by Portch, who’s a Fellow of The RPSC and an active member of the West Toronto Stamp Club.

The trophy is a wrought-iron sculpture of a stamp collector produced by Laszlo Szabo, a local artist.


Among a handful of special awards to be handed out by the NTSC this spring is the Harold Gosney Award, a “people’s choice” honour bestowed on the exhibit receiving the most votes from show-goers.

“When it comes to the NTSC exhibits, the name Harold Gosney holds the top spot,” said Wilson, who’s also the club’s historian.

A Toronto-born Second World War veteran who joined the NTSC in 1945, Gosney won the club’s Novice Award in 1948 and continued exhibiting for an unmatched 52-year streak.

“The prolific Gosney exhibited nationally and internationally and was an accredited regional and national level philatelic judge. The likes of Harold’s virtuoso exhibiting may likely never be matched again.”

Gosney died in 2000 at the age of 86. A year later, the NTSC launched his namesake award, which honours the exhibition’s “best in show” by popular vote.

Other NTSC special awards include the Charlesworth Trophy for best British North America exhibit; the Max Rosenthal Award for best postal history exhibit; the Alan Hanks Award for best thematic or topical exhibit; the Stu Sheppard Award for most creative exhibit; and the Best Novice Award.


On April 5 at noon, the chief judge and associate judges will offer exhibit feedback in a session with exhibitors.

“This is intended to be of assistance to all those who have seen the exhibit, as well as to the exhibitor,” said Wilson. “The exhibitor can of course also get additional feedback at the frames with the assigned first responding judge.”

For more information about the 77th Annual NTSC Exhibition, visit www.northtorontostampclub.ca/exhibits.

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