Israel’s June Issues (Israel 2017)

From Israel Post:

Love is in the air with our June issue…romantic songs and, as it has been known to happen, romantic meetings between Jewish athletes at the Maccabiah!

We have selected 12 romantic Israeli Love Songs, reminding us of those special moments, and presented in a beautiful special stamp sheet with the inner design in gold foil.  Excerpts from the lyrics appear on the stamps in Hebrew. (Translation can be found in our accompanying information leaflet).

The 20th Maccabiah sports event is celebrated this month with a commemorative stamp. Jewish athletes will come from all over the world to compete in 40 different sports. This is not just a sporting event but a celebration of the never-ending relationship of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

Our historical WW1 Centenary series continues with General Allenby Entering Jerusalem 1917 and tells the story of how General Allenby entered the Old City of Jerusalem, after it was captured by the British, on foot out of respect for the city that is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. This moment ended 400 hundred years of Turkish rule in Jerusalem.

Cycling is a great way to get around busy cities, without the worry of parking. It’s also a fun, trendy sport so the focus of this month’s Road Safety ATM label is “Ride Safely”.

20th Maccabiah (Israel 2017)

[press release]
The 20th Maccabiah
Faster, Higher, Stronger

When the opening whistle was sounded on March 28th 1932, no one could have anticipated that the 20th Maccabiah would take place in the State of Israel 85 years later, with 10,000 participating athletes from 80 countries, competing in 40 different sports categories, and accompanied by over 20,000 delegates and family members.

The 390 Jewish athletes from 17 countries who competed in the first Maccabiah, organized by Maccabi World Union, could not have guessed that today the Maccabiah would be the third largest sporting competition event in the world. They could not have imagined that the best Jewish athletes in the world – including world champions and Olympic medalists – would take part in this Zionist project.

However, there is one thing that has not changed in the past 85 years: the underlying connection between Israel and the Diaspora Jews, and the central role Israel plays in Jewish identity. The Maccabiah has never been just a mere sporting event, but also a celebration of the Jewish people, the never-ending relationship of the Jewish people with Eretz Israel and the State of Israel. That is why the Maccabiah is the only international sporting event that always takes place in the same place: Israel.

This year, the 20th Maccabiah will mark 50 years of the unification of Jerusalem, the beating heart of Israel. The opening ceremony, which will take place in the Teddy stadium in Jerusalem, will salute the greatest symbols of Jewish identity through the ages.

The 20th Maccabiah stamp also celebrates and combines historical elements with the latest fashions. Colorful new graphical elements are intertwined with historical pictures of the Maccabiah. In this way, the design language combines the old and the new, and creates one consistent graphical design that emphasizes the sporting spirit, the importance of the State of Israel, the social aspects of the Maccabiah, simplicity and the Israeli spirit.

The 20th Maccabiah: 80 countries, One heart.

The stamp and First Day Cover feature athletes from different sports.

Israeli Music – Love Songs (Israel 2017)

[press release]
Israeli Music – Love Songs

The people of Israel love to sing songs of love: love for God, love for their homeland, love for the world, love between a man and a woman. Some of the most beautiful poetic verses about love are found in the biblical Song of Songs. The Levites sang songs of love for God in the Temple. Through good and bad, throughout the world, during the Holocaust and the subsequent revival of the Jews, in war and in peace, the Jewish people have never stopped singing love songs.

The Israel Philatelic Service has selected 12 romantic love songs from a wide range of genres and times, songs that remind everyone of wonderful moments.

Atur Mitzchech Zahav Shachor (Your Forehead is Decorated in Gold & Black)
Lyrics: Avraham Chalfi, Melody: Yoni Rechter
Written in the 1950’s and set to music by Yoni Rechter in 1977. This very popular song was performed by Arik Einstein, accompanied by young singers Yehudit Ravitz and Corinne Allal.

Brit Olam (Universal Covenant)
Lyrics: Ehud Manor, Melody: Matti Caspi
Ehud Manor dedicated this song to his wife, singer Ofra Fuchs. He later gave it to his friend, composer and singer Matti Caspi, who added the words to the soundtrack he was composing for the film Hagiga BaSnuker (1975). Thus this magical love song was born. Matti named his firstborn daughter Brit.

Lechol Echad Yesh (Everyone Has)
Lyrics and Melody: Uzi Chitman
One of the last hits by late songwriter Uzi Chitman, who wrote this love song in 2000 for his wife Aya when their son Yoav was drafted into an IDF combat unit. It expresses life and partnership coming full circle. Some interpret the song as one of love for Eretz Israel. It was performed as a duet by Shlomi Shabat and Lior Narkis and has become a popular wedding song.

Zemer Nogeh (Melancholy Song)
Lyrics: Rachel, Melody: Mordechai Zaira, Shmuel Kraus, Zohar Levy, Yosef Moustaki
This poem was written by poetess Rachel in the late 1920’s. It was set to music several different times, but became especially well known when Rona Ramon sent it to her husband Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, who died in the Columbia space shuttle.

Hayu Leilot (There were Nights)
Lyrics: Yaakov Orland, Melody: Mordechai Zeira
This song was commissioned by the Kol Haruchot Theater in 1939. The songwriters met in the “Waiters Club” in Tel Aviv and completed it in the wee hours of the night, when it was first performed by the club’s waiters. Since then, the song has been sung by many singers, but it was the first song performed by Esther Ofarim as a soloist and from there she went on to be a star.

Slichot (Forgiveness)
Lyrics: Leah Goldberg, Melody: Oded Lerer
This poem appeared in Leah Goldberg’s book Shibolet Yeroket Ha’Ayin (Green-eyed Spike) in 1938. It was set to music by Oded Lerer in 1977 and sung by Yehudit Ravitz at the annual Song Festival.

Haperach Begani (The Flower in my Garden)
Lyrics and Melody: Avihu Medina
This song, which is considered to be a milestone in Eastern music, was written by Avihu Medina based on an experience of unrequited love in his youth. The song was written for the Eastern music festival “Lamenatze’ach Shir Mizmor” in 1982, where it was performed by Zohar Argov.

Kshe’or Dolek Bechalonech (When the Light is on in your Window)
Lyrics: Amos Ettinger, Melody: Alexander Argov
This song was written in 1964 for the Gesher Hayarkon trio. Ettinger wrote: “I love fairytales and the ones I don’t know, I make up… As long as I continue to believe that the light is on so that you can write your letters to me – I will keep waiting…”.

Tapuchim Ut’marim (Apples and Dates)
Lyrics: Eitan Glass, Melody: Rami Kleinstein
According to the lyricist: “In 1994, I was driving and listening to the tune from the film “Never on Sunday” and it reminded me of the bright light of Athens reflecting the colors from Mt. Lycabettus into the sea… the lyrics and the story for the song came to me in an instant, matched with a melody by Greek composer Hatzidakis. I pulled over and wrote down the lyrics. Later on, Rami Kleinstein set them to music”.

Rosa Rosa
Lyrics: Haim Hefer, Melody: Dubi Seltzer
Haim Hefer wrote this song for Yehoram Gaon, star of the 1973 film Kazablan, directed by Menahem Golan. The play Kazablan, written by Yigal Mossinson, was first performed in 1954 by the Cameri Theater, starring Yosef Yadin and Haya Hararit. In 1966 the play was turned into a musical starring Yehoram Gaon.

Pgisha Le’Ein Ketz (A Meeting to Eternity)
Lyrics: Natan Alterman, Melody: Naomi Shemer
This poem was published in Alterman’s book “Kochavim Bachutz” in 1938. Naomi Shemer set it to music and gave it to the “Shlosharim” trio in 1969. Since then it has been performed by many talented singers.

Hachnisini Tachat Knafech (Take Me Under Your Wing)
Lyrics: H.N. Bialik, Melody: Alexander Krane, Shmuel Alman, Paul Ben Haim, Menachen Avidom, Nurit Hirsch, Miki Gavrielov, folk tune
This poem was written by poet H.N. Bialik in 1905 in Odessa, for his beloved Ira Jan or for his wife Mania, or possibly for both… The words were set to music by numerous composers, including Paul Ben Haim, Nurit Hirsch, Miki Gavrielov and more, and it has been performed by many singers.

Nava Bodek Achiron, Series Editor

World War I: Allenby Enters Jerusalem (Israel 2017)

[press release]
WWI in Eretz Israel Centenary – General Allenby Entering Jerusalem (1917)

When WWI broke out in August 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers (Germany and Austria) against the Allied Countries (Britain, France and Russia). The Great War, as it was called at the time, lasted for more than four years and fundamentally changed world history, including the status of Eretz Israel.

After two failed attacks initiated by the Ottoman military in 1915 and 1916 against the British army in an effort to conquer the Suez Canal, the British decided to go on the offensive. In 1916, British forces made their way across the Sinai desert and in early 1917 they were poised at the southern border of Eretz Israel, facing Turkish forces holding the line from Gaza to Beer Sheba.

In March and April 1917, the British army attacked the Turks in Gaza. Two large offensives were thwarted, despite the use of advanced weapons such as tanks and poison gas for the first time in Eretz Israel, resulting in massive casualties and progress was halted for many months. The British regrouped and General Edmund Allenby took over as commander of the force. Additional troops were brought in to strengthen the Eretz Israel front and the war plans were reexamined.

In late October 1917, the British surprised the Turkish forces by attacking the city of Beer Sheba and succeeded in breaking through the front line. British forces pressed on quickly, fighting intensely against the retreating Turks as they tried to establish numerous new lines of defense. By early December the southern coast had been conquered and the British reached the gates of Jerusalem.

After a day of battle on the outskirts of the city, the Turkish commander decided to retreat from Jerusalem so as to avoid possible harm to the holy city in an anticipated British attack. On the morning of December 9, 1917 a delegation of eminent Jerusalemites left the city and went westward, waving a white flag in order to surrender to the British forces. At first the delegation came across a pair of cooks who were out searching for fresh ingredients for their commander’s breakfast, and then they met two sergeants. A number of ceremonies were held during the course of the day, including one in which the Mayor of Jerusalem surrendered to several British officers.

When General Allenby found out that Jerusalem had been captured, he called for a ceremony that he would lead the following morning, December 11, 1917. Allenby entered the Old City on foot out of respect for the city that is holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims and the official ceremony of the surrender of Jerusalem took place on the steps of David’s Tower. Thus ended 400 hundred years of Turkish rule in Jerusalem.

Description of the Stamp and FDC
The stamp features one of the two British sergeants (Library of Congress) who met the Mayor of Jerusalem at the entrance to the city, against the background of a photo of General Allenby entering the Old City through the Jaffa Gate (National Library of Israel). The tab features the emblem of the London Regiment St. Pancras 19th Battalion, to which the sergeant belonged.

The First Day Cover features a photo of the monument built by the British, on the spot where the Mayor of Jerusalem first encountered the British soldiers, which today is in the heart of the Romema neighborhood in Jerusalem. The monument is dedicated to the memory of the casualties of the British 60th Division. In the background is a British map depicting troop deployment during the campaign to capture Jerusalem (National Library of Jerusalem).

Production of the WWI in Eretz Israel Centenary stamp series is aided by The Society for the Heritage of World War I in Israel, which researches the events of the war, publishes books on the subject and hosts conferences and tours for members of the society and the general public.


Canada 150: Trans-Canada Highway

[press release]
8,000 kilometres of connection: the Trans-Canada Highway celebrated in fifth stamp marking Canada 150
Country music star Dean Brody, on tour, unveils stamp honouring one of Canada’s great achievements of last 50 years

REGINA – Country music star Dean Brody, while on tour, unveiled a stamp today that captures the Trans-Canada Highway, the 8,000-kilometre ribbon of adventures, dreams and memories – and a key economic artery for Canadian business.

Brody, winner of multiple Juno Awards and more than a dozen Canadian Country Music Awards, took a few hours away from his cross-country arena tour – which is largely following the Trans-Canada – to unveil the stamp at the home of Brandt Group of Companies, located alongside the iconic highway. Headquartered in Regina with operations across the country, Brandt is an international success story that depends heavily on the Trans-Canada for its business.

The Trans-Canada Highway stamp is the fifth of 10 stamps being issued by Canada Post to celebrate Canada 150. The stamps mark unforgettable moments in Canada since our country’s centennial in 1967.

Brody has travelled thousands of kilometres on the Trans-Canada Highway, chasing his dream and touring – as he is now, from Ontario to British Columbia. The highway, and the people and places he’s encountered along it, have inspired some of his music and songwriting.

Trans-Canada connects our country
The Trans-Canada runs through all 10 provinces – from St. John’s, N.L. to Victoria, B.C. It is one of the longest national road systems on the planet, and links to roads that lead to Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Construction started in 1950 and the highway officially opened in 1962 – but it was not completed until 1971. Today, the Trans-Canada has multiple routes that connect almost every major city in Canada, and links to roads heading into the United States.

Distinguished by its white-on-green maple-leaf markers, the highway holds a special place in the hearts of those who’ve travelled it – by car, bicycle or on foot, or at the wheel of a transport truck – and even more so for those who’ve ventured along its entire length. It has fed our desire for adventure and fuelled our fascination with the open road, inviting family or buddy road trips for generations of Canadians.

A highway of dreams and possibilities
Its endless lonely stretches are legendary; its stunning vistas are unforgettable. To know this highway well is to have hard-earned respect for Canada’s weather and Canada’s immensity – and to appreciate the friendliness of its people. From singers and bands to job-seekers, junior hockey teams and students heading off to college or university, countless Canadians have taken this highway to their dreams.

A vital economic link for Canadians
Communities and Canadians also rely on the Trans-Canada for their livelihoods every day. A perfect example is the Brandt Group of Companies, which hosted Canada Post’s Trans-Canada stamp launch at one of its facilities alongside the highway. Brandt employs nearly 2,000 people across Canada and the U.S., servicing markets in over 20 countries and six continents. It relies heavily on the Trans-Canada for its agricultural, construction and railway equipment business.

Five more Canada 150 stamps to come
Each stamp in the set has been unveiled by a distinguished Canadian individual or group related to the moment being celebrated. The location of each stamp launch also directly relates to the moment being commemorated. The stamp celebrating Expo 67 was unveiled in Montréal by Habitat 67 architect Moshe Safdie on April 27, while the stamp honouring the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was unveiled on Parliament Hill on May 3. The third stamp, which pays tribute to the Canadarm and Canadian innovation, was unveiled by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen at a recorded event at a Toronto school and released online May 4.

The fourth stamp, commemorating the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act – which made marriage equality the law in Canada – was unveiled in Toronto on May 9 in partnership with The 519, an organization that supports the LGBTQ community. The next stamp in the Canada 150 set will be unveiled in St. John’s on May 25.

The remaining stamps will be revealed individually at cities across the country, the last of them on June 1.

About the stamp
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut PermanentTM domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm x 40 mm and is printed in 6 colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in a booklet of 10 (4 million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (80,000 panes). Official First Day Covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in OTTAWA ON, are available in a pack of 10 (10,000 packs). The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.

Recovered Jenny Invert Sells For $295,000

The Inverted Jenny stamp stolen in 1955 and returned to its owner during World Stamp Show-New York 2016 a year ago sold May 11 for $295,000 — $250,000 plus an 18% buyer’s premium.

Position 76 was part of the “McCoy Block” of four stamps stolen during the American Philatelic Society convention exhibition in Richmond in 1955. Two of the stamps were recovered in the early 1980s. One is still missing.

The block of four was owned by Ethel Stewart McCoy and on loan to the APS when it was stolen. Shortly before her death in 1980, she donated ownership rights to the stamps to the American Philatelic Research Library, which shares facilities with the APS.

The boards of the two organizations decided last fall to sell the stamp recovered in 2016. The auction was conducted by the Robert A. Siegel firm. Bids were received by telephone, Internet and live bidding. The winning bid came in over the phone.

Bidding started opened at $120,000 and closed about 90 seconds later.

The 2018 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values an undamaged, very fine copy of the stamp, C3A, at $450,000. This one, however, was repeforated on two sides (top and left), in an attempted to hide its identity. The presale estimate for Position 76 was $150,000-$200,000, well below the final price. No doubt its notoriety added to the value.

The Siegel firm produced a 48-page catalogue for this one item’s sale, which can be downloaded here or ordered as a printed book. Written by auctioneer Scott Trepel and Ken Lawrence, provides a history of the original 1918 discovery of the 100 error stamps, the 1955 theft of the McCoy block, and the return of three of the four stamps.

The APRL still owns Position 65, and has been displaying it at shows for years since its recovery in 1982.

Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Canada Post’s Formula One stamps honour five legends who together have won 17 FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA races
Sir Jackie Stewart and Joann Villeneuve help to unveil stamps MONTRÉAL, May 15, 2017 – Less than a month before the next race in Montréal, the legendary Sir Jackie Stewart and the first lady of Canadian racing, Joann Villeneuve, helped to unveil stamps featuring five famous drivers who won the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA. The F1™ in Canada stamps celebrate 50 years of the race in this country by honouring five winning drivers, one for each decade of F1 in Canada: Sir Jackie Stewart (Scotland), Gilles Villeneuve (Canada), Ayrton Senna (Brazil), Michael Schumacher (Germany) and Lewis Hamilton (England).

Five famous Canadian Grand Prix winners
The five are national heroes in their homelands and legends internationally. As a group, they have won 220 Grand Prix races – 17 of them in Canada – taken 216 poles, 399 podiums, and 16 World Championships.

Between 1994 and 2004, Schumacher won an unrivalled seven FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA races. Hamilton, who is still racing, has won five. He hopes to make it six at the 38th Grand Prix on Île Notre-Dame on June 11. Stewart and Senna both won two Canadian races – Stewart at Mosport in 1971 and 1972 and Senna in Montréal in 1988 and 1990. Gilles Villeneuve recorded his first Grand Prix victory at the island track that now bears his name and remains the only Canadian to win an F1 race in Canada.

F1 enthusiasts welcome Villeneuve, Stewart
About 150 guests at 1700 La Poste, an art space built in a former post office, watched Ms. Villeneuve unveil a stamp of her late husband before Stewart unveiled his own stamp.

The stamps feature head-and-shoulder images of the drivers. The cover of a booklet of 10 depicts an F1 car rocketing past a grandstand, with the Montréal Biosphère looming in the background. The set and related products are available at

The first FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA was at the Mosport track near Toronto in 1967, which hosted many great drivers until 1977, including Stewart, Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt and Jody Scheckter. It was also run at Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Quebec. The race later moved to a course on Île Notre-Dame in Montréal. After his death in 1982, the track was named Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in his honour.

Sir Jackie Stewart
– Stewart was the man to beat in the first decade of the Canadian Grand Prix. He raced F1 from 1965 to 1973. In nine years of racing, he won 27 races, took 43 podiums, 17 poles and three World Championships. He raced in Canada’s first Formula 1 race at Mosport in 1967, where he also had the last F1 race of his career in 1973. His one-man safety crusade revolutionized safety in the sport, while his communication skills made it more popular. He set new standards of professionalism for drivers and helped Formula One® realize its commercial potential. In 2001 he was knighted for his services to motor sport.

Gilles Villeneuve – This flamboyantly aggressive driver with amazing control represents the second decade of the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA. He raced F1® for McLaren and Ferrari from 1977 to 1982, winning six races, taking 13 podiums and two poles in a career that lasted little more than four seasons. He won the FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DU CANADA at the inaugural race on Île Notre-Dame, about an hour from where he grew up in Berthierville. About 70,000 fans were bundled in blankets and tuques on that frigid October day in 1978, when Villeneuve became a national hero. On May 8, 1982, aged 32, Villeneuve was killed in a crash while qualifying for the FORMULA 1 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX. He was among the first inducted to the Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993.

Ayrton Senna – A fierce and fearless driver with spectacular raw talent and terrifying determination represents the third decade of Grand Prix racing in Canada. He dominated F1 from the mid-1980s until his fatal accident in Italy in 1994, aged 34. He raced F1 from 1984 to 1994. In 161 starts, he logged 41 wins, 80 podiums, 65 poles and three World Championships. For many fans in Brazil, his homeland and all over the world, he was the purest driver to compete in F1.

Michael Schumacher – Representing the fourth decade is the most successful driver in the sport’s history. Schumacher raced F1 from 1991 to 2006 and 2010 to 2012. In 308 races, he registered 91 wins, took 155 podiums, 68 poles and a record seven World Championships. He won his first World Championship in 1994 and his second in 1995. After breaking his leg in 1999, he mounted a comeback that saw him win five consecutive World Championships from 2000 to 2004. He retired at the end of 2006 but returned to race from 2010 to 2012.

Lewis Hamilton – In Italy, they call him “Il Phenomeno” – the Phenomenon. In terms of raw ability, few drivers compare to the man who represents the fifth decade. Hamilton won four races in his rookie season in 2007 and finished on the podium in the first nine races of his brilliant, ongoing career. In his 193 starts, the three-time World Champion has recorded 55 wins, 108 podiums and 64 poles. Hamilton has finished in the top five in points in each of his 10 years in F1. He won the World Championship in 2008 and back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.

About the stamps
Designed by Paprika and printed by Colour Innovations, the stamps measure 24 mm by 30 mm and are available in booklets of 10, a pane of five stamps (160 mm x 200 mm) and as an uncut press sheet (358 mm x 608 mm). Official First Day Covers are cancelled in Montréal and are available as a set of five with a commemorative folder. A limited edition framed pane of stamps is also available along with limited edition framed enlargements of each stamp. Jackie Stewart signed 500 Official First Day Covers, which are only included with his framed enlargement.
About Formula 1®
Formula 1® racing, which began in 1950, is the world’s most prestigious motor racing competition and is the world’s most popular annual sporting series. In 2016 it was watched by 400 million unique television viewers from over 200 territories. The 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship™ runs from March to November and spans 20 races in 20 countries across five continents. Formula One World Championship Limited is part of Formula 1, and holds the exclusive commercial rights to the FIA Formula One World Championship™.

Media advisory
Canada Post brings you up to speed in celebrating the first 50 years of the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada

MONTRÉAL, May 11, 2017 /CNW/ – Legendary drivers harnessing awesome power at incredible speed with skill, daring and courage: that’s how Formula 1 auto races thrill fans in Montréal, in Canada and around the world.

On Monday, May 15, Canada Post and Octane Racing Group Inc. will bring together five decades from the world of F1 racing to unveil a set of stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada.


Unveiling of a set of stamps commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada


Monday, May 15, 4:30 p.m.


1700 La Poste
1700, rue Notre-Dame Ouest, Montréalbr>
(corner of rue Notre-Dame and rue Richmond)

Canada 150: Marriage Equality

[press release]
Canada Post and The 519 unveil stamp commemorating the road to marriage equality
Stamp is the fourth in a set of 10 that will showcase historic moments from the last 50 years in celebration of Canada 150

TORONTO, May 9, 2017 – At an event today in downtown Toronto, Canada Post unveiled a stamp commemorating the 2005 passage of the Civil Marriage Act, which made marriage equality the law throughout Canada. Grassroots activists, government officials and community members attended the unveiling, catching the first glimpse of the new stamp, which features the iconic rainbow symbol. The unveiling was held at and in partnership with The 519, a City of Toronto agency committed to the health, happiness and full participation of LGBTQ communities.

The marriage equality stamp is the fourth in a set of 10 that Canada Post is issuing to celebrate Canada’s 150th year since Confederation. Collectively the stamps highlight historic moments that have taken place in our nation over the past 50 years. Canada Post’s stamp advisory committee, which includes historians, collectors and artists, selected these 10 milestones that together have helped shape the story of Canada.

The road to the legislation
Twelve years ago, on February 1, 2005, the Civil Marriage Act was introduced in Parliament as Bill C-38. After it was passed in the House of Commons and then in the Senate, the bill received Royal Assent on July 20, 2005, and marriage equality officially became the law. But the road to achieving marriage equality in Canada began long before 2005. For decades, LGBTQ activists and supporters from coast to coast to coast had fought for the rights of their communities, including the right to marry. In the late 1990s, the community began to achieve significant victories.

For instance, in 1996, the federal government passed Bill C-33 adding sexual orientation to the Canadian Human Rights Act; three years later, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that same-sex couples should have the same benefits and obligations as opposite-sex common-law couples from social programs that they contribute to. A year later, Parliament passed Bill C-23 that made the Court ruling law.

Marriage equality debate takes centre stage
In early 2001, the battle for the right to marry took centre stage, after Reverend Brent Hawkes married two same-sex couples in a ceremony in Toronto. When the City refused to issue marriage licenses for these unions, it set off a series of heated court battles and public debate. The legal challenges culminated on June 10, 2003, when the Ontario Court of Appeal upheld a lower court ruling that prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying was a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Within hours of the decision, Michael Leshner and Michael Stark were married in Toronto, the first same-sex couple to wed after the legislation. Similar court battles were also taking place in provinces across the country, and more provincial courts issued rulings legalizing marriage equality: B.C. in July 2003, followed by Quebec, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia in 2004. Finally, on July 20, 2005, the government of Canada passed the federal legislation that legalized marriage equality across the country, making Canada the fourth country in the world and the first outside of Europe to grant same-sex couples the right to marry the one they loved.

Today, with support continuing to grow across the globe, more than 20 countries have legalized same‑sex marriage on the national level. To hear more from LGBTQ community members and activists about this fight for equality, please visit To learn more about the work of The 519, please visit

The next stamp in the Canada 150 set will be unveiled in Regina on May 16. The remaining stamps will be revealed individually at cities across the country, the last of them on June 1.

About the stamps
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut PermanentTM domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm x 40 mm and is printed in 6 colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in a booklet of 10 (4 million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (80,000 panes). Official First Day Covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in OTTAWA ON, are available in a pack of 10 (10,000 packs). The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.


[press release]
Celebrating the Right to Equal Marriage and Continuing the Work for LGBTQ2S Human Rights
The 519 celebrates The Civil Marriage Act 2005 with the launch of Canada Post’s new commemorative stamp.

TORONTO, May 9, 2017 /CNW/ – The 519 is excited to be partnering with Canada Post for an event that will highlight the struggles for marriage equality in Canada, and celebrate this important moment in the country’s history. In this event, as part of the Canada 150 celebrations, Canada Post is releasing a new stamp to commemorate the hard-fought right of equal marriage in Canada.

During the struggle for equal marriage in Canada, The 519 served our communities by providing free, accommodating non-judgemental space where individuals, organizations, activists, and non-profit groups were able to meet, organize and work towards the goal of equal marriage. Many of our members and staff were an active part of the movement and we are proud to have been part of that journey and legacy.

Today, more than ever, The 519 continues to provide space for change through a number of important programs and services to meet the emerging needs of the LGBTQ2S communities. Today that space also reflects our leadership in building the capacity of public and private organizations and institutions to create inclusive spaces of their own. We also continue to work towards finding systemic solutions that address the social and economic barriers faced by the LGBTQ2S communities.

The fight for equal marriage that culminated in the Civil Marriage Act in 2005 represents the struggle and hard work of those who were at the forefront, but that time in history also stands for the power of working together and creating meaningful dialogue between the people, civil society, government and the courts. The 519 continues to believe in that power of conversation and is working even harder today to create a world where matters of equality and freedom are discussed and resolved with openness and love.
To know about our programs and services, our activities during Pride Toronto, or to learn more about our capacity building initiatives for organizations, media or general public, please contact us.

About The 519:
The 519 is a City of Toronto agency and a registered charity committed to the health, happiness and full participation of the LGBTQ communities in Toronto and beyond. We have an innovative model of Service, Space and Leadership and through our programs, services, and capacity building initiatives – we strive to make a real difference in people’s lives while working to promote inclusion, understanding and respect.

Canada 150th: Canadarm (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen unveils Canadarm stamp at Toronto school
Stamp is third in a set of 10 that captures unforgettable moments of the last 50 years as country celebrates Canada 150

TORONTO, May 4, 2017 – Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen was at a Toronto school to unveil a stamp with an image of Canada’s most famous robotics accomplishment – the Canadarm. The stamp commemorates Canada’s achievements in space, science, technology and innovation.

Hansen was on-site at Glen Ames Senior Public School on April 28 to unveil the stamp and meet with Grade 7 and 8 students from the school’s robotics club as they prepare to travel to California to compete in an international robotics competition. Students competing were tasked to design, build and program a robot made entirely of Lego to solve a real-world problem. The team came up with the PetPortion – a robot that manages a pet’s weight by automatically giving it the proper amount of food based on its weight and level of daily exercise.

Hansen also addressed the entire school and encouraged the next generation of Canadian innovators to pursue education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Hansen features in video, unveils third stamp for Canada 150
The Canadarm stamp is the third in a set of 10 to be issued which mark Canada 150. Each stamp celebrates a significant and unforgettable moment in the life of this country since its centennial in 1967.

The 10 moments and achievements, which have become pillars of Canada’s collective memory, were selected by Canada Post’s stamp advisory committee, which includes historians, archivists, graphic designers and philatelists. A video featuring Hansen and a magazine article about the Canadarm are on

Canadarm showcased Canada’s expertise in space and robotics
The Canadarm’s first mission was aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia on November 13, 1981. It manoeuvred astronauts, satellites and cargo over 30 years before it retired when the Space Shuttle program ended in 2011. The Canadarm launched Canada’s close partnership with NASA on human space flight. Eight Canadian astronauts have flown in space, participating in 16 missions aboard either a space shuttle or on the International Space Station: Roberta Bondar, Marc Garneau, Chris Hadfield, Steve MacLean, Julie Payette, Robert Thirsk, Bjarni Tryggvason and Dave Williams.

Currently Canada has two active astronauts: David Saint-Jacques and Jeremy Hansen, and two additional astronauts are expected to be announced this summer.

The Canadarm was instrumental in establishing Canada’s reputation for robotics innovation and led to a new generation of Canadian robotics on the International Space Station (ISS). It will inspire future generations of Canadian scientists and engineers as they develop new technologies that make the world a better, easier and safer place.

Each stamp in the set has been unveiled by a distinguished Canadian individual or group related to the moment being celebrated. The setting for each stamp launch also directly relates to the moment being commemorated. The stamp that celebrates Expo 67 was unveiled in Montréal by Habitat 67 architect Moshe Safdie on April 27 and the stamp about the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was unveiled on Parliament Hill on May 3. The next stamp in the Canada 150 set will be revealed in Toronto on Tuesday, May 9. The others will be unveiled individually at cities across the country, the last of them on June 1.

About the stamp
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut Permanent domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm X 40 mm and is printed in 6 colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in a booklet of 10 (4 million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (80,000 panes). Official First Day Covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in OTTAWA ON, are available in a pack of 10 (10,000 packs). The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.

Canada 150: Charter of Rights & Freedoms (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Charter of Rights and Freedoms, patriation of Constitution are commemorated in new stamp issued by Canada Post
Stamp is second in a set of 10 that marks unforgettable moments of the last 50 years, as part of Canada 150 celebrations

OTTAWA, May 3, 2017 – Only a peaceful nation achieves full independence with the stroke of a pen, thousands of citizens erupting in cheers and a band striking up a fanfare – which is how Canada brought its Constitution home.

That achievement is commemorated in a new stamp that Canada Post unveiled today on Parliament Hill, together with the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada.

Full constitutional independence in a historic ceremony
On a wet and windy April 17, 1982, on the steps of Parliament Hill, before a sea of onlookers under umbrellas and waving Canadian flags, Queen Elizabeth II signed the Proclamation of the Constitution Act, 1982. Our Constitution was finally ours alone: Canada now had full autonomy to amend it without involving the British Parliament. As well, we would live under a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that guarantees the fundamental protections and liberties we all enjoy.

Today, 35 years later, Canadians still rank the Charter as our most important national symbol, says Statistics Canada. For all these reasons, Canada Post – the nation’s storyteller because of its iconic national stamp program – is proudly commemorating the Constitution and Charter with a special stamp. [Photo, left to right: Steven MacKinnon, Member of Parliament for Gatineau, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services & Procurement; Deepak Chopra, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Post; The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada. Photo by Canada Post/Denis Drever.]

A range of rights worth cherishing
Under the Charter, Canadians have the right to freedom of speech, religion, thought and expression, as well as freedom of the press, of mobility, of association and of assembly, among others. The Charter also enshrines citizens’ rights to vote, to run for office, to a fair trial, to security and privacy, as well as important linguistic rights. The Charter also confers equality upon every individual in Canada – regardless of race, religion, national or ethnic origin, colour, sex, age or physical or mental disability. Governments must not discriminate on these grounds in laws or programs.

A video featuring former prime minister Jean Chrétien, who led the negotiations toward the patriation of the Constitution and the creation of the Charter; former Supreme Court justice Michel Bastarache; and Linda Cardinal, full professor and Research Chair on Francophonie and Public Policy, University of Ottawa; is on

This stamp is the second to be issued in a set of 10 that marks Canada 150 by celebrating unforgettable moments in the last 50 years of the country. They are the first stamps in Canada Post’s history to be issued in the shape of our iconic national symbol, the maple leaf. The first stamp, celebrating Expo 67, was unveiled in Montréal on April 27 by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie, who designed the famous Habitat 67 complex depicted on the stamp.

About the stamp
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut Permanent domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm X 40 mm and is printed in 6 colours plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in a booklet of 10 (4 million stamps). A gummed pane of 10 stamps, with circle perforations 4.5 cm in diameter, is also available (80,000 panes). Official First Day Covers, one for each stamp design and each cancelled in OTTAWA ON, are available in a pack of 10 (10,000 packs). The stamp issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger of Subplot Design Inc. in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.

The third of 10 Canada 150 stamps to be unveiled online
By lauding Canadian innovation and technology, Canada Post continues to tell compelling celebratory stories for Canada 150

TORONTO – Canada Post will continue to celebrate Canada 150 by unveiling the third of 10 special commemorative stamps, this one with special guest Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen (details below).

Each of the 10 stamps to be unveiled separately over the next five weeks tells an exceptional story about a Canadian achievement, milestone or unforgettable moment from the past 50 years (since Canada’s centennial in 1967). These multimedia events will be Canada Post at its best as the country’s storyteller, a role anchored in its iconic national stamp program.

These moments of great significance were chosen by Canada Post’s independent Stamp Advisory Committee – 12 members of the public who are experts in their field, including historians, archivists, philatelists, graphic designers and others.

The Event:

An online stamp reveal commemorating one of Canada’s proudest and most celebratory moments with special guest Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen and the students of Glen Ames Senior Public School in Toronto.

WHAT: Unveiling the third of 10 stamps that will highlight unforgettable moments of Canada’s past 50 years, in honour of Canada 150.

WHEN: Thursday, May 4, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Online only. A video unveiling the third stamp will be posted on the Canada Post Magazine at