By Fred Baumann
To mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian nationhood, distinguished Canadians will unveil 10 Sesquicentennial commemoratives celebrating the most significant moments in Canadian history during the past 50 years, in a series of maple-leaf-shaped stamps to be revealed at different first-day locales between now and June 1.
These Confederation anniversary stamps celebrating “Canada 150” will be revealed and issued during a five-week period beginning Thursday, April 27, in Montreal. Subsequent stamps will be issued May 3 in Ottawa; May 4 with a “video release online”; May 9 in Toronto; May 16 in Regina; May 25 in St. Johns, Newfoundland; May 30 in Iqaluit, capital of the territory of Nunavut; May 31 in Winnipeg; and climaxing with the final two stamps of the series to be issued in Vancouver on June 1.
Each of these venues has been “chosen to illustrate the story behind the achievement, event or milestone that the stamp commemorates,” according to Canada Post.
With the release of the final stamps June 1, “all 10 Permanent domestic-rate stamps will be available in various formats — at post offices and online, via mail order or phone. Customers can also pre-order at canadapost.ca/canada150 or by phone.”
In a video message now available online, Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra is joined by Canada Post employees from mail sorters to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, all “proudly introducing this special stamp program.”
Although Canada Post didn’t name names of the stamp-unveiling VIPs, it did hint at the identity of “the impressive Canadians … a country music star, a world-renowned architect, successful business leaders, influential community activists, legendary athletes and an astronaut.”
Little else is known about the stamps at this time, but they will be easy for postal patrons and collectors to recognize.
“This will also be the first time in Canada Post’s history that stamps will be issued in the shape of a maple leaf," Canada Post revealed. "With each stamp unveiling, videos with these notable Canadians, other key participants and archival footage will tell the story of that stamp.”
Canada Post took pains to note that considerable care went into the selection of the historic subjects of these stamps, which were “chosen by the Canada Post Stamp Advisory Committee. These 12 members of the public are experts in their particular field. They include historians, archivists, graphic designers, philatelists and others.”
Although virtually every other Canadian stamp issued this year has included text, microprinting, or fluorescent tagging with the “Canada 150” slogan, these are the first stamps issued specifically to commemorate Canada’s sesquicentennial. Linn’s will have details of all of these new issues as they are announced.