The Kamloops Stamp Club is holding its annual Spring Stamp Show on Saturday, April 22; and club member and organizer Ingrid Van Tamelen says that the show, which attracts more than 100 people each year, is about much more than just stamps.
“There’ll be a 100-lot auction at 1 p.m.,” she says, “containing stamps, collections, albums, stock books, first day covers, covers, and more.” There will also be dealers on site, appraisals, stamps for beginners, and hourly draws.
The Kamloops Stamp Club has been going for 64 years, and currently has around two dozen members. Van Tamelen says that that’s up from the three members the club had when she and her husband Russ Kidd moved to Kamloops nine years ago. The group meets at 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Mt. Paul United Church on Laburnum Street on the north shore, and vanTamelen says they would welcome new members.
“There are no dues; we just chip in $2 each to cover the hall rental. It’s very unstructured; we don’t have a president and secretary and that sort of thing. We have workshops and lectures, and help people out.
“And you don’t have to have a knowledge of philately,” she continues. “You just have to want to learn. We’re glad to help, and encourage that interest.”
She says that there is more to stamp collecting than just stamps. “Trying to collect the whole world in stamps is impossible, so people specialize.”
Some people collect stamps on a certain theme that interests them, such as horses or art, while others might focus on stamps from Canada, or another country that interests them, or a country that their ancestors came from.
A service the club offers—at the stamp show and year-round—is assessments and appraisals of stamps; often collections that someone has inherited from a relative.
“If you have stamps you’d like assessed, or would like to know more about, we can help.” Many of the auction lots at the upcoming stamp show come from collections that people have brought in for appraisal.
“We’ve had a lot of collections, and we can help people disperse of them so they get the greatest value,” says Van Tamelen. Her husband, an appraiser, has gone through the collections and broken the items into lots in many cases. Ten per cent of the sale price goes to the stamp club, with the rest going to the seller.
Some of the funds raised go to allow the stamp club to provide a no-strings-attached bursary to a Thompson Rivers University student every year. “All we ask is that the student write to us afterward and let us know what he or she spent the money on; other than that there are no specifications.”
Van Tamelen says that there is a sign-in sheet at the stamp show, so they know where people are coming from. “We’ve been happy to welcome people from your community. Personally, driving to Ashcroft is my favourite ‘country’ drive: fun shopping places and great food.”
The Kamloops Stamp Club’s Spring Stamp Show runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sahali Centre Mall on West Columbia Street. Admission and appraisals are free. For more information, call Van Tamelen at (250) 314-1021.