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PHSC Symposium 2018

Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, July 19-22 2018

Not just another stamp show!

The PHSC Symposium is back for its second great year. If you were there for PHSC Symposium 2017, you enjoyed many great postal historical events and camaraderie. One of our main goals in creating the Symposium is to foster new postal history research and to increase collaboration amongst our members. Once again, PHSC Symposium 2018 will give you a chance to interact and learn from experts and each other. The event will span four full days, from Thursday July 19 to Sunday July 22. Centered in Hamilton, Ontario, we will visit several different sites of historical interest in Hamilton and the greater Toronto and Niagara areas at which invited members will speak about a variety of postal history topics. We will also host a National-level postal history exhibition as well as a bourse with fifteen or more dealers concentrating on postal history.

The Hamilton Sheraton Hotel is located at 116 King Street West in Hamilton, and offers convenient underground parking. They are ready to take reservations at a specialized website. Additional contact information for the hotel may be found at the bottom of this page. It is of benefit to the PHSC if you make your booking directly with the hotel rather than using any of the online travel sites. See the getting there link for further travel information.

Or, don't hesitate to contact us for further information. We hope to see you there and will value your active participation! A registration form for the event, an exhibition application form and information about all events are available on the sidebar at left.

Postal History Presentations

One of the highlights of the event will be a series of 7-9 presentations by fellow members on a variety of topics in the postal history of Canada and British North America. These will take place at a variety of venues around the area in conjunction with our visits to historical sites. Details about the presentations will be included on the Schedule, available as a pdf at left.

Historical Tours

We will visit several venues in Hamilton, Niagara and the GTA. Thursday will be devoted to an exploration of historical sites in the Niagara area. After a brief visit to the Hamilton Military Museum. on the grounds of Dundurn Castle, we will continue to Niagara-on-the-Lake where we will visit Southbrook Vineyards, and enjoy a tour and a catered luncheon. We will then continue to Navy Hall, where we will have two postal history presentations as well as ample time for touring nearby Fort George, a National Historic Site. During the afternoon presentations, alternative activities are being planned for spouses/partners. In the early evening, we will enjoy a catered dinner at Navy Hall and after dinner there will be a short presentation by a local historian, on the History of the Niagara Area.

On Friday, following a presentation in the morning, we will carpool to the Royal Botanical Gardens in nearby Burlington. There, we will have a catered luncheon followed by two postal history presentations, along with ample time for touring the facilities. The day will end early in order to allow time in the evening for the setup of the Bourse and Exhibition at the Sheraton.

On Saturday evening, the Symposium awards banquet, in the form of an informal barbecue, will take place at the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology.

Registration and payment for these events is required in advance. The cost of each event includes the catered meals as well as admission to the venues. For the Niagara venues, motor coach transportation from Hamilton is included, although you may also choose to separately attend either the lunch at Southbrook Vineyards or dinner at Navy Hall. In this case, transportation is not included. All of these options may be selected on the Registration Form. Travel to all other events will be by carpooling.

Bonus Events

At this year's Symposium, there will be a number of events taking place in conjunction with the Symposium. On Wednesday July 18, the day before the Symposium begins, we will have A Day of Exploration: Toronto’s living Postal History, a walking tour of postal history sites in the downtown Toronto area, hosted by Kathy Hartley, the librarian of the Harry Sutherland Philatelic Library. Further details of the highlights of the day will appear here later, but visits to Toronto's First Post Office, the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Foundation and HSPL are planned, along with guest attendance at the evening meeting of the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada. Please note that this bonus event is limited to 20 participants. You can sign up for it on the Symposium Registration Form, but it will be on a first-come basis. There is no charge for this event, being on a pay-as-you-go basis.

On Friday evening, July 20, a regional meeting of the Royal Philatelic Society, London (RPSL) will be held at the Sheraton. The meeting will feature a talk, and is open to all interested parties. The event will be followed by a pay-as-you-go dinner at a nearby location.

On Saturday morning, July 21, the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada (PSSC) will hold a breakfast meeting featuring a postal history presentation by Dr. Ijaz A. Qureshi. Admission to this event is limited to PSSC members, and tickets must be purchased in advance, either at a Society meeting or directly from the PSSC Treasurer. Please note that this event is not included in the Symposium registration.

Postal History Exhibition

The Exhibition has National-level accreditation and will comprise approximately 120 frames. It will be open only to Postal History of Canada and British North America, including military, transportation and postal stationery postal histories. Both single frame and multi-frame exhibits will be welcomed. An Exhibit Application form is now available on the exhibiting page. The deadline for submitting this application will be June 1, 2018, and thereafter the Symposium Committee will select those exhibits that will appear in the Exhibition, at their discretion.

More information about exhibiting and the Exhibition may be found on our exhibiting page.


On Saturday and Sunday, we will have a bourse at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel with about fifteen leading postal history dealers. Each dealer is urged to concentrate on postal history wares.

Breakout Sessions

In addition to the formal postal history presentations, we anticipate scheduling a number of more informal 'breakout sessions' that will concentrate on specific postal history topics. More information will be provided here soon. If you have an idea for a breakout session and would like to volunteer to lead such, please let us know.

Hotel Accommodations

As many of the events will take place at the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, it will be most convenient for participants to find accommodation there. Reservations can be made directly at the hotel website, or by calling (905) 529-5515 or (888) 627-8161. If calling, please mention the Postal History Society of Canada group block when making your reservation. Parking is available for an extra daily fee.