Promoters of the Summit Show aim to make a splash across North America with their upcoming sports card and memorabilia event on the NHL's opening weekend.
Eastern Canada has its Toronto Expo.
Garret Morrison would like to put his half of Canada on the major show map.
The long-time collector is one of three partners in a promotion group that is bringing a new three-day event to Edmonton, Alberta. The Summit Sports Collectibles Show takes place October 2-4 at the Northlands AgriCom.
"We are looking to make the Summit Show the finest and most unique sports collectibles show in Western Canada," Morrison told Sports Collectors Daily.
Morrison, his wife Sarah and Operations Manager David Martell, another veteran collector and dealer, have been planning the show for months, sending out glossy brochures, lining up autograph guests, memorabilia displays and landing a few large American sports memorabilia companies like PSA and MeiGray to its current list of over 100 table holders. Morrison says local media have promised coverage before and during the show.
"We are thrilled with the response thus far. We've received such positive feedback from collectors, vendors and exhibitors whom have been starved for a very well promoted, high caliber show out here in Western Canada," Morrison said. "Edmonton has a very strong sports market and 'oil country' is one of the world's most vibrant economies. We were hearing the desire for a well promoted show of large stature so we stepped up to the plate. Everyone seems very enthusiastic and intrigued."
The show will take place during the first weekend of the NHL's regular season, and the hometown Oilers will take on the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place on Saturday night.
Among the show's autograph guests are former Oilers' great Paul Coffey, fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler, Baseball Hall of Famer and Canadian legend Fergie Jenkins, former Toronto Blue Jay Kelly Gruber and others. Members of the CFL's Edmonton Eskimos will also sign autographs. PSA will provide autograph authentication free of charge for Coffey and Sittler. The company will also grade cards at the show.
Among the biggest attractions, however, will be several world class collections of NHL memorabilia, autographs and sports cards that will be on display including the hockey 'holy grail', a 1923 William Paterson v145-1 Bert Corbeau. "The Broderick Collection will be on display at the PSA/DNA booth which includes over a hundred custom made signature cut cards with the autographs of Georges Vezina, Cyclone Taylor, Hobey Baker, Joe Malone and others," Morrison said.
The Summit group is also bringing some unique features to the event that they hope will draw collectors from the US and across Canada including a large rest area on the show floor, a show-and-tell booth where collectors can show off items which will be photographed and displayed on the Summit web site, a silent auction with proceeds going to charity, door prize giveaways and opportunities for game-used collectors to pre-order jerseys from NHL stars through MeiGray.
The Edmonton economy is one reason the promoters believe American dealers should consider making the trip north. "The Summit will be an excellent opportunity for dealers to greatly increase their client base, let alone obtain great items themselves to bring back down with them. Americans interested in participating can find comfort in knowing that our event in registered with Canada Customs to ease possible border hassle. We also have a show broker in place to make the round trip an easier one yet."
While the hockey market is always strong in Canada, Morrison says there will be plenty of interest in other sports cards and memorabilia from attendees. "You would be surprised at what you can find in this part of Canada. This is a very strong sports market, with enthusiasts for all of the major sports. This could stem from Edmonton having such a long history in hockey, baseball and football. Though they don't rival the amount of hockey collectors, there are quite a few baseball, golf, racing, boxing, football, and basketball collectors and there will be cards and collectibles from all of these sports on hand."
Tickets for the show are $10 per day or $20 for a weekend pass--less for kids. Dealer booths run $350-400 for the weekend. Morrison says booth space is still available. Additional show info is available on the show's web site.
"Our goal is to make this an event that any vendor would be proud to be apart of and we strongly believe that it will be with what we have in place."