Guest article by Gosens151911

Capital Trade Shows hosts several small sports card and comic book shows a year at the Nepean Sportsplex. However, they also host an annual much larger sports card and comic book show at the Ottawa Civic Centre. This is the one I attended. I will be focusing on the card show aspect and all prices I mention are in Canadian Dollars (no tax!).

The set up for this show was pretty standard with tables just lined up in an exhibition hall. About 60% of it was dedicated to sports cards, 95% of it hockey. So if you’re a hockey card collector, this is the show for you. The turnout for this event was smaller than usual, with a few of the dealers commenting that they were barely breaking even for the cost of a table, perhaps because of the economic crisis. Overall though, as a hockey card collector this was a great experience.

There were several dealers selling boxes and packs. Cheapest prices I was able to find for several boxes and packs are listed below for an idea of what you can expect to find shall you decide to attend in the future:
- OPC Premier Box – $135
- 2008-09 UD Series One Fat Pack – $5.75
- 2008-09 OPC Hobby Pack – $2
- 2008-09 Artifacts Hobby Pack – $10

There were also two dealers selling supplies (e.g. toploaders, magnetic cases) cheaper than hobby store prices. One of them also had Beckett Hockey magazines for only $10, versus $15+tax you would have to pay at a bookstore. There were a few people breaking boxes. I witnessed the opening of OPC Premier box, which yielded 3 patch cards, including a Triple Remnants with a very nice Hasek patch. I also noticed one person who opened two boxes of 2008-09 Artifacts. So if you enjoy watching people open boxes, just walk around and you will probably catch a few.

Now what most people are wondering, how were the dealers with singles. To obtain the higher end cards, you will likely have to pay over 50% book value(BV), as those who own them were mostly from actual card stores, not a private dealer. Nevertheless, there were a few who did have some at 50% of BV. With probably close to three-four dozen dealers, there were many goods to be found. Here are some of the average prices for cards I saw:
- Jonathan Toews YG – $50
- Toews, Gagner, Kane, Price Rookie Headliners – All 4 for $60
- UD Black non-autographed lettermans – $15-$25 for commons
- UD Black autographed lettermans – $25-$35 for commons
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For those with a lower budget there were a few dollar boxes with autos and game used cards. You could get them for around $3 each. A pretty good deal, as some of the boxes had a few pretty nice numbered jerseys and autographs if you looked hard enough. I also noticed for player/team collectors, quite a few dealers had the Toronto Expo priority signings cards. I was able to pick up a Brendan Bell #/75 for $20 from a dealer who also had several other priority signings. So you can expect to pay slightly more for star players.

Additionally for those who collect memorabilia, there were probably close to a dozen dealers who focused on selling autographed pucks/pictures, tickets from older games, etc. There was also a stand for getting cards graded by KSA (the Canadian grading company) on the spot. Overall, it’s a great show for any hockey fan to visit!