There are seventeen active stamp clubs that we know of within the boundaries of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Each club is unique with its specific agenda, but all share some common elements such as regular meetings with special programs, speakers, slide shows, auctions, opportunities to trade stamps and fine folks to share their knowledge of philately.
The Need to Organize
Recognizing the present status of philately within the GTA (an area with a population of more than 5 million people), the Greater Toronto Area Philatelic Alliance (GTAPA) emerged in January 2002 to form an “Alliance” to affiliate, but not replace, all stamp clubs in the area. It has become the fourth “federation” affiliated with the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) operating in Canada. The Alliance joins the North-West Federation (Alberta, BC, and the Northwest US), the Grand River Valley Stamp Association (Southwestern Ontario) and the Federation quebecoise de philatelie (Quebec) as coordinating bodies for stamp clubs in their geographic area.
The Issues Needing to be Addressed
Alliance members felt that philately in the GTA, lacks a master plan indicating the current status and direction of organized philately.
Despite the fact that a large number of exhibitors are concentrated in the GTA, we have not seen a national or an organized philatelic exhibition in the GTA since 1994. It is not known who does what and what events are happening and there seems little collaboration amongst the CSDA, Canada Post, the RPSC and other organizations that have an interest in philately.
We attend so-called stamp shows but these are actually stamp marketplaces, lacking philatelic exhibits, speakers to talk about the hobby and workshops and seminars for collectors.
There is no organized program to attract youth, newcomers and mature adults returning to the hobby.
GTAPA clubs are committed to achieve a common goal: to promote and stimulate the art of philately to all ages for enjoyment, education and fellowship. We are partners who really believe that we work best when we work together.
Specifically, the Alliance shall:
- Promote philately at all levels
- Develop an exchange of experience and knowledge among its affiliated members and partners
- Support affiliated members in terms of organizing philatelic events
- Organize and stage higher level philatelic exhibitions in the GTA
In the first year of operation the Alliance:
- Welcomed eight clubs to the organization
- Formed a Board of Directors and wrote and approved a constitution.
- Created a quarterly multi-page journal called PhilaJournal.
- Selected, through a design contest, a corporate seal (also a logo).
- Promoted philately with its presence at shows and club meetings.
- Formed a liaison with the RPSC and Canada Post.
- Formed a partnership with the CSDA to rejuvenate STAMPEX.
- Formed a collaborative relationship with the GRVPA.
- Attained a central meeting place at the Vincent G. Greene Foundation.
- Achieved wide recognition by the RPSC, journalists and the philatelic press in Canada and the USA.