World Stamps

2015 installment of Canadian Photography arrives April 8

Mar 20, 2015, 2 AM

Canada Post will continue its series of commemorative stamps honoring Canadian photography April 8 with seven designs of stamps in booklets, souvenir sheets and international-rate postal cards.

Five designs will be issued as nondenominated permanent stamps to indefinitely pay Canada’s basic domestic letter rate, currently 85¢.

These five 36-millimeter- by 30mm stamps are being issued in a self-adhesive booklet of 10, a symmetrical arrangement of two stamps in each of the five designs with serpentine die cuts between them.

The permanent-rate 2015 Canadian Photography stamps reproduce the following photographs: Shoeshine Stand, shot by Nina Raginsky in Vancouver, B.C., in 1974 when she was working as a street-portrait photographer; Angels, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, taken by Sam Tata in Montreal in 1962; Friends and Family and Trips, In front of Simpsons, by Conrad Poirier, taken in 1936 in Montreal;  Southam Sisters, Montreal by Harold Mortimer-Lamb, photographed circa 1915-19; and Larry Towell image of Isaac’s First Swim, Lambton County, Ontario, Canada 1996.

Separate designs will be featured on a $1.20 stamp covering Canada’s current letter rate to the United States, and a $2.50 stamp paying Canada’s current international letter rate.

The $1.20 and $2.50 stamps will be sold in separate self-adhesive booklets of six identical designs.

The $1.20 stamp shows a photograph of renowned Canadian painter Alex Colville on the Tantramar Marshes near Sackville, New Brunswick, taken by Geoffrey James, circa 1970.

The $2.50 stamp reproduces the color image of a woman’s lips titled La Voie Lactee (“The Milky Way”) by Genevieve Cadieux, whose work “explores topics of identity, gender and the human body.”

Two souvenir sheets with moisture-activated adhesive will be issued.

As in the 2013 and 2014 sets in the Canadian Photography series, one souvenir sheet contains three permanent stamps in a vertical column headed by the $1.20 stamp, while in the second souvenir sheet  the other two permanent stamps flank the $2.50 stamp.

In addition, Canada Post will issue seven nondenominated ($2.50) international-rate postal cards, one for each design in this year’s issue.

Each card has a precancel that resembles the shuttered aperture of a camera.

According to Canada Post, all stamps were printed by offset lithography by Canadian Bank Note, and have PVA gum.  

The printing quantities of the stamps are 2.2 million permanent stamps in 220,000 booklets of 10, 840,000 for each of the two international rate booklets of six, 130,000 each of the two different souvenir sheets. There are 5,000 sets of the postal cards.

An $8.50 booklet of 10 permanent stamps is Canada Post item 413976111. The booklet of six $1.20 stamps is item 413977111, and the booklet of six $2.50 stamps is item 413978111.

The souvenir sheet of three is item 403976145 at $4.20, and the souvenir sheet of four is item 403978145 at $3.75. Priced at $15, the set of seven international postal cards is item 262431.

Canada Post will offer 11,000 official first-day covers for each of the two souvenir sheets with shuttered aperture postmarks of Montreal, Quebec, a city associated with the careers of many of this year’s honorees. Priced at $9.95, the FDCs are item number 403978144.

Canada Post products are available at from its online shop.

Stamps and FDCs will be available by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre, Canada Post Corp., 75 St. Ninian St., Antigonish, NS B2G 2R8, Canada; or by telephone from the United States and Canada at 800-565-4362, and from other countries at 902-863-6550.

Canada’s stamps and stamp products are also available from many new-issue stamp dealers, and from Canada Post’s agent in the United States: Interpost, Box 420, Hewlett, NY 11557.

The 2015 Canadian Photography stamps are the middle installment in a short series that began in 2013 with seven stamps (Scott 2626-2634).

The series will last five years, with the two final sets planned for 2016 and 2017.

In all, 35 prominent Canadian photographers, or seven per year,  will be honored. All items in the series to date have been designed by Stephane Huot of Montreal.

According to Canada Post, “The images in the series were chosen by leading curators and gallery owners to showcase the best Canadian photography from the past 150 years.”

Collectors with a longer perspective know that the first such issue was a 1989 se-tenant block of four 38¢ stamps (Scott 1240a), commemorating 150 years of Canadian photography.

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These four stamps display the work and likenesses of four pioneering 19th-century Canadian cameramen: William Notman, Alexander Henderson, Jules-Ernest Livernois and W. Hanson Boorne.   

More recently, a 2008 Art Canada issue (Scott 2270-2273) hailed the pre-eminent Canadian photographer, Yousuf Karsh. A young Armenian-born immigrant to Quebec in 1924, Karsh became the best-known Canadian photographer of the 20th century, a brilliant portraitist who immortalized many of the best-known men and women of the age.

A self-portrait of Karsh appears on the 52¢ letter-rate value in that 2008 issue (Scott 2270). It is shown nearby, alongside an essay and the issued 1¢ denomination for the first set of Canadian definitives to honor Queen Elizabeth II, based on one of Karsh’s memorable photographs and issued in 1953 (Scott 325-329, 331-333).

Today — 62 years later — Karsh’s iconic images live on in Canadian stamps. The design on the 2015 $2.50 Nelson Mandela sheet was adapted from “a photograph taken by Yousuf Karsh on Mandela’s first visit to Canada in 1990, just four months after [Mandela’s] release from prison.”

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