Hunting for collectables

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March 10, 2015 9:06 AM

Kids checking out Ray's Street Railway display, a feature attraction at this year's Border City Collectors Show at the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds on Saturday and Sunday. - Don Whiting Photo

Antiques and collectables spilled out of the Stockade Convention Centre and into the hallway as the Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds played host to what organizers are calling the “biggest (Border City Collectors Show and Sale) we’ve ever had.”

“We’ve never had to use the hall before, so that was a big increase,” said Don Whiting, president of the Border City Collectors Show and Sale.

Some of the items on display included dolls, toy trucks, currency, stamps, model trains and various antique paraphernalia. One of the highlights of the show was a model replica of a downtown Edmonton street in the 1930s, complete with a working street car. Whiting estimates that over 2,000 people attended the show over the course of March 7 and 8.

“We’re very pleased with the attendance. Saturday was extremely strong and it goes to show that there’s still, I would say an increasing interest in the field of collectables, no matter what it is,” he said. “My personal interest is antiques, but others collect the darnedest things.”

Money raised through entry fees and sponsorships will go towards local charities, including the Lloydminster Regional Health Authority, Pleasantview Bible Camp an the Barr Colony Heritage Society, which restores artifacts and historical property in town.

Whiting says reality television shows, like American Pickers and Storage Wars, have rejuvenated an interest in collecting, and bringing in a mix of new and returning exhibitors keeps the show fresh and interesting. He says the face-to-face element makes going to collectors shows preferable to searching online.

“You see who your dealing with. You’re not sending funds to some unknown,” Whiting said. “But most importantly you get to look, touch, feel, see. Is this an authentic piece, is this a reproduction? There’s nothing like going to a real antique store ... and I think people still like that in spite of all the Ebays and Kijijis.”

While the Internet can make finding collectables a matter of typing a few words into a search engine, Whiting says people are drawn to the idea of “the hunt.”

“The hunt is fun and it’s the people you get to meet in the hunt,” he said. “You might find something, you might see something you like, but it’s maybe not affordable or not quite the quality you want, but you still are involved in the hunt and meeting great people.”

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