By Denise McCarty
Canada Post’s new Far and Wide definitive stamp series takes its name from lyrics in the Canadian national anthem, O Canada.
The relevant lyrics are “From far and wide, O Canada,
“We stand on guard for thee.”
The series began Jan. 15 with nine stamps in various formats: five permanent domestic-rate stamps (currently 85¢), one single-purchase $1 domestic-rate stamp, a $1.20 stamp for destinations in the United States, a $1.80 stamp for oversized mail, and a $2.50 denomination for international destinations.
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Canada Post said, “The first is a multi-year series, these stunning stamps will take you a on a journey to some of the most breathtaking locations in Canada.”
The names of the locations pictured are microprinted in different locations on each stamp. The small text on the $1.20 stamp is shown nearby.
Only one stamp in this set of nine depicts a city scene. This permanent-rate stamp features the colorful houses on Jellybean Row in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Encounter Newfoundland travel website discusses the history of the colorful houses: “It’s widely thought that the practice is traditional, harkening back to a time when houses were brightly painted to make them visible to fisherman in foggy weather … the truth is that this ‘tradition’ was begun in the late 1970s as a way to inject new life into a declining downtown. Happily, the bright idea caught on with the city’s residents, and the palette spread outwards, lending St. John’s that multi-hued aura of cheer it’s become famous for.”
Another permanent stamp depicts a scene of the old-growth forest of Douglas fir at MacMillan Provincial Park, British Columbia. According to Canada Post, the stamp shows Cathedral Grove, where “visitors can walk on trails beneath the towering trees, some of which are more than 800 years old.”
Coastal scenes are pictured on the other three permanent stamps: Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick; Prince Edward Island National Park; and Quebec’s Parc national des Iles-de-Boucherville.
Hopewell Rocks, also known as the Flowerpots, were carved over thousands of years by the wind and tides in the Bay of Fundy.
The stamp representing Prince Edward Island National Park shows the red sandstone cliffs and lighthouse at Covehead Harbour.
The fifth permanent stamp depicts Perce Rock at the Gaspe Peninsula park that bears its name in French, Rocher Perce. This natural limestone arch was named by explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1607.
Illustrated on the $1 stamp is Pisew Falls Provincial Park in Manitoba. Dropping almost 43 feet, Pisew is the province’s second highest waterfall.
The $1.20 stamp shows Point Pelee National Park. Located on the southernmost point of the Canadian mainland, this park is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island website describes the park as “a tiny sanctuary supporting a mosaic of habitats from jungle-like forest to lush wetlands to open savannah.”
Established Aug. 22, 2012, Naats’ihch’oh National Park Reserve, in the Northwest Territories, is featured on the $1.80 stamp. The design depicts a canoeist dwarfed by the mountain for which the park is named, Naats’ihch’oh.
The Parks Canada website says, “Near the Yukon-Northwest Territories border, the park is in the traditional lands of the Shuhtaot’ine (Mountain Dene), and home to grizzly bear, Dall’s sheep, mountain goats, and woodland caribou.”
The $2.50 stamp pictures the aurora borealis (northern lights) at Arctic Bay on Baffin Island, Nunavut.
Located on the northwest corner of the island and surrounded by hills, this community also is known by its Inuktitut name, Ikpiarjuk, meaning “the pocket.”
Stamp designer Stephane Huot designed these definitive-sized stamps, which measure 24 millimeters by 20mm each, using photographs from different sources.
Huot is quoted in Canada Post’s January Details bulletin for collectors, “Since the stamps in this series are so tiny, our objective was to keep the design as simple as possible — so as not to detract from the Visual impact of these incredible photographs.”
Lowe-Martin printed the stamps by lithography in booklets, coils and a souvenir sheet.
The souvenir sheet (Canada Post product number 411233145) contains all nine stamps se-tenant (side-by-side). It was pictured in the Jan. 1 issue of Linn’s, page 16. Measuring 150mm by 75mm, it was printed in a quantity of 80,000.
Canada Post’s first-day cover for this Far and Wide issue bears the souvenir sheet (411233144); a Leamington, Ontario, pictorial cancellation; and an illustration of Hopewell Rocks. Canada Post created 7,000 of these FDCs.
The five permanent stamps were produced in booklets of 10 (111233), booklets of 30 (111234), and coils of 100 (101398).
The $1 stamp was printed in coils of 50 (401403117). According to Canada Post, this coil stamp measures 26mm by 22mm.
The other three denominated stamps were printed separately in booklets of six ($1.20, 111235; $1.80, 111236; and $2.50, 111237) and coils of 50 ($1.20, 101400; $1.80, 101401; and $2.50, 101402).
Canada Post also is selling the stamps in smaller quantities.
In addition, each stamp design is featured on nondenominated picture postal cards paying the international rate for any destination in the world. The cards sell for $2.50 individually, or $19.95 for the set of nine (262480).
The new Far and Wide stamps and related items are available here. 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.