Press Release




                    125 YEARS OLD

Ottawa September 21, 2016. The Ottawa Philatelic Society – Société Philatélique d’Ottawa (OPS) - was established in October 1891 by John Reginald Hooper. It was the first branch of the Canadian Philatelic Society which was founded in 1887. The charter membership list of the OPS contains forty-one names of which sixteen are of Francophone origin. This is a reflection of the bilingual and bicultural nature of Ottawa that existed at the time and continues today. OPS is the oldest stamp club in Canada.


The “club” as it is affectionately known, has enjoyed great prosperity throughout the years. It did, of course, see a period of decline during the Great War and World War II. Meetings were first held in the Russell Hotel; followed by a long stint at the Chateau Laurier Hotel; University of Ottawa; and finally finding a good home at the Hintonburg Community Centre (HCC). In 1926, the club was formalized with a well-written constitution and by-laws that survive to this day, albeit with amendments.

A high point in its history was from the end of World War II through to the end of the 1950’s when philately was generally booming everywhere. All went well with large memberships and huge turnouts at successful weekly meetings. It had visits from all the luminaries of philately at that time, including Robson Lowe and Alfred Lichtenstein who made frequent visits to Ottawa and the OPS. The 1960’s and 1970’s saw a gradual decline in membership. However, this was reversed during the 1980’s. Club membership between 1980 and 2000 enjoyed a stable position and figures show that there were always 40 to 50 members on the books. It was not a large club but formed a very good base for future expansion. A revitalized program and recruiting campaign at the turn of the century saw enrolment in the OPS jump to 100 members at one time. The club currently boasts upwards of 85 members.

Membership has consistently covered the Ottawa tapestry of Senators, Members of Parliament, senior civil servants, teachers, nurses, doctors, students, retirees, high technology workers, white collar workers, blue collar workers and the club thrives on their diverse interests.

Members continue to write monographs for journals throughout the philatelic world on most aspects of the hobby and a number have published books on various topics. The OPS has one of the best philatelic libraries in Canada and the club provides multi up-to-date catalogues and many periodicals and specialty books that members may borrow on a weekly basis.                                                    

Today’s club is not only the oldest but one of the the largest stamp club in Canada; however, unlike most stamp clubs that come together once or twice a month, the OPS meets weekly from September to July. The weekly program and meetings held in spacious and bright surroundings at the HCC are what keeps the OPS active. US and Canada specialty study groups, guest speakers, floor auctions, single – four – eight and one frame exhibits, regular dealer nights and celebrations of Halloween – Christmas and the OPS itself, round out the philatelic year. In addition, the club, each month, focuses on special philatelic areas of collecting and interest. New and well established collectors get to learn the basics and be reminded that it’s not just all about buying and selling or filling holes in an album. It is as one member put it “fun too.”

The OPS is a proud sponsor of ORAPEX, a national stamp show and MINIEX, both held in Ottawa. OPS members, who exhibit consistently, get a share of the medals and prizes. It also staffs and supports the ORAPEX Youth Booth, offering free stamps, prizes and advice to young stamp collectors. They also promote stamp collecting by cooperating with Canada Post Corporation’s Head Office and Chris Green Stamps, Ottawa’s only stamp store.

The Ottawa Philatelic Society has been a success for well over a century.

This success is based on four aims that date back one hundred and twenty five years:

·         To promote the enjoyment and study of philately and postal history in all aspects;

·     To cultivate friendship and fraternity among philatelists, postal historians and others interested in philatelic matters;

·     To assist the members of the society in acquiring and disposing of stamps and other philatelic and postal history material; and

·     To encourage ethical practices in every aspect of philately and the study of postal history.


To celebrate the 125 anniversary, OPS has released a souvenir booklet, specially designed covers and stamps, and a dinner on October 20 for members and guests.


For more information, please contact Ray Villeneuve, OPS President, via email at

125 Années de Rencontres Philatéliques à Ottawa

La Société philatélique d’Ottawa fut établi en 1891 en tant que premier chapitre de la Canadian Philatelic Society, elle-même fondée en 1887.

Fondée en 1891 par John Reginald Hooper, fondateur de la Société philatélique du Canada (aujourd'hui la Société royale de philatélie du Canada), la SPO débuta avec quarante et un membres dont seize francophones. Aujourd'hui elle compte près de cent membres de tous âges et de tous milieux. La Société reflète toujours le caractère bilingue et biculturel de nos origines ainsi que celui de notre ville. Elle offre à ses membres une grande sélection de services et de privilèges.

 Le but de la SPO est de promouvoir l’intérêt, le plaisir et l'étude de tous les aspects de la philatélie et de l'histoire postale. Nous offrons à nos membres, qu’ils soient collectionneurs de timbres, philatélistes, historiens postaux, etc., l’opportunité de se réunir dans un climat d’amitié et de fraternité pour acheter, vendre, échanger et montrer timbres, enveloppes, cartes postales et toute autre chose touchant à la philatélie. Nous encourageons nos membres à exposer leurs timbres au club et dans les expositions ouvertes au public. Nos membres sont aussi une excellente source de conseils sur tous les sujets philatéliques. La SPO a une des meilleures collections de livres philatéliques au Canada offrant des catalogues, des périodiques, et des ouvrages spécialisés que peuvent emprunter les membres pour une période définie. Nos efforts dans tous les aspects de la philatélie et de l'histoire postale suivent un code de conduite exigeant et professionnel.

 La SPO se réunit une fois par semaine, de septembre jusqu'au mois de juin, avec un programme riche en activités. Au-delà du trafic continuel de matériel philatélique (timbres-postes, enveloppes, cartes postales), nous y trouvons des conférenciers, ventes aux enchères, quiz, soirées des négociants, expositions compétitives (d'une, quatre, ou huit pages), séances d'information, et toute une gamme d'activités permettant l'approfondissement et l'enrichissement de l’expertise philatélique. La société encourage aussi les groupes d’étude de sujets thématiques.

 La SPO parraine avec le Club de philatélie du RA le MINIEX, exposition philatélique régionale et vente aux enchères, ainsi que l’ORAPEX, convention annuelle et exposition nationale d’Ottawa où l’on peut retrouver le Coin des jeunes qui offre gratuitement timbres, conseils, et prix aux jeunes collectionneurs.