World Stamps

On the menu for April 17: five Sweet Canada stamps

Apr 16, 2019, 12 PM

By Denise McCarty

Canada Post showcases five delicious traditional desserts on a new set of stamps called Sweet Canada.

The five self-adhesive stamps in the April 17 Sweet Canada issue are shaped like the desserts they show. For example, two pie-shaped stamps depict Saskatoon berry pie and Quebec’s sugar pie, respectively.

A skillet-shaped stamp shows blueberry grunt. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines grunt as "a dessert made by dropping biscuit dough on top of boiling berries and steaming."

The April-June issue of Details, Canada Post’s magazine for collectors, says blueberry grunt "gets the name from the sound it makes as the blueberries bubble and steam under a dumpling topping."

A hexagonal stamp shows British Columbia’s Nanaimo bar, and a butter tart of Ontario is featured inside an irregular circle.

The Sweet Canada issue includes a booklet of 10 (two of each stamp) and a souvenir sheet of the five different stamps.

Both the booklet pane and the souvenir sheet are designed to resemble recipe cards, complete with a few splashes of maple syrup and traces of other ingredients on them.

On the recipe box pictured on the booklet cover, well-used recipe cards for sugar pie, butter tart and Nanaimo bar are partially pulled out.

All five stamps are nondenominated, paying the basic domestic letter rate (currently 90¢). Canada Post calls these permanent stamps, and they are identified with the letter "P" inside a symbolic maple leaf.

Subplot Design Inc. designed the stamps, using illustrations by Mary Ellen Johnson.

Canada Post said in its new-issue announcement in Details: "Working with designers Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Vancouver’s Subplot Design Inc., illustrator Mary Ellen Johnson began her assignment in the kitchen, baking the five delectable desserts chosen for the stamps, photographing them, and then creating oil paintings of each. Subplot reinforced the culinary concept with a recipe card-inspired design that shows a truly satisfying slice of creativity."

The back of the souvenir sheet, which like the front has a recipe-card theme, includes a sentence (in English and French) about each dessert:

"Sinfully rich, European-influenced tarte au sucre (sugar pie), the jewel of Quebec patisseries.

"The Ontario-based butter tart, which has inspired some upper-crust cooking competitions.

"The delicious pie made from Saskatoon berries, full of antioxidants and local history.

"The creamy, chocolate-topped bar that makes the Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo a sweet for tourists.

"The traditional east-coast blueberry grunt — the juicy fruit-filled dessert you can hear cooking."

Canadian Bank Note printed the stamps by six-color lithography. A total of 200,000 booklets of 10 were printed, and 80,000 souvenir sheets of five.

Each stamp is a different size: 34.40 millimeters by 30.49mm Sugar Pie; 31.95mm by 29.44mm Butter Tart; 40.93mm by 30.94mm Saskatoon Berry Pie; 35.11mm by 32.04mm Nanaimo Bar; and 43.06mm by 27.93mm Blueberry Grunt.

Canada Post’s official first-day cover bears the souvenir sheet and first-day cancels from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Nanaimo, British Columbia.

The Canada Post ordering numbers are 414113111 for the booklet of 10, 404113145 for the souvenir sheet, and 404113144 for the FDC.

The Sweet Canada stamps and FDCs are available online from Canada Post at, and 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 products also are available from many new-issue stamp dealers, and from Canada Post’s agent in the United States: Interpost, Box 400, Hewlett, NY 11557.

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