World Stamps

Stamps for a cause: Canadian kids benefit from new semipostals

Sep 25, 2016, 10 AM
The stylized birds on this new pair of Canadian permanent-rate + 10¢ semipostal stamps represent the idea that to soar successfully, young ones often can use a helping hand.

By Fred Baumann

On Sept. 26, two new fundraising stamps take flight in Canada Post’s Community Foundation series of semipostal stamps. 

The self-adhesive, nondenominated permanent “P” stamps pay Canada’s basic domestic letter rate, currently 85¢, with a 10¢ surcharge added to support a charity, indicated on the stamp by “+ 10” following the “P.” 

A $1 donation from each 10-stamp booklet sold goes to the Canada Post Community Foundation, funding a wide range of programs to benefit Canadian children and youth. 

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Funds raised through semipostal stamp sales, along with donations from Canada Post customers and employees, allowed the foundation to grant $6 million to 369 community projects since 2012. 

Canada Post first issued semipostal stamps in 1974-76, when a dozen helped fund the 21st Olympic Games in Montreal, Quebec (Scott B1-B12). Two decades later, Canadian charity stamps returned in 1996 with a 45¢+ 5¢ stamp to support literacy (B13). 

A dozen years later, semipostal stamps with the “P+10¢” designation were introduced. From 2008 to 2011, these semipostals raised money for the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health (B14-B18), followed ever since by the Canada Post Community Foundation (B19-B22).

This year’s stamps, illustrated by Canadian art director and designer Andrew Lewis, depict simple, stylized brave little birds preparing to fly with a little help from their friends.

One stamp shows a bird on a blue background, and the other pictures a bird on a green background. In the publicity image supplied by Canada Post, the “2016” year date is clearly visible on each stamp: on the blue-background stamp, it is resting above the bird’s left foot; and on the green-background stamp, it is perched on the tip of its tail.

Canada Post reported that the birds represent “positivity, playfulness, energy, and hope,” adding that they are a “metaphor for children who may need a little help in order for their dreams to take flight.”

Five of each stamp design, configured as se-tenant (side-by-side) pairs as shown, are included in the booklet of 10, currently priced at $9.50.

Lowe-Martin printed the stamps by seven-color offset lithography on Tullis Russell paper in a quantity of  1.5 million stamps (150,000 booklets). The stamps are square, 32 millimeters by 32mm.

Canada Post has created two official first-day covers, one showing a brave little bird in the air (for the blue-background stamp), the other a whimsical flock of birds awaiting their turns (for the green stamp). A total of 8,000 of each of the two FDCs will be made available, both with an Ottawa, Ontario, first-day pictorial cancel showing a bird nesting on a heart. 

Canada Post order numbers are 414020111 for the 10-stamp booklet, and 414020131 (blue) and 414021131 (green) for the two FDCs.

Canada Post products are available online. Stamps and FDCs are available by mail order from Canada Post Customer Service, Box 90022, 2701 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON K1V 1J8 Canada; or by telephone from the United States or Canada at 800-565-4362, and from other countries at 902-863-6550.

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