Canada 150: Olympics and Paralympics (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Spirit of the Games: Canada’s Paralympic and Olympic achievements honoured in final two Canada 150 stamps
Canadian athletes, our country’s success in hosting Paralympics and Olympics celebrated as all 10 Canada 150 stamps go on sale

RICHMOND, B.C. – Canadian Paralympic and Olympic greats unveiled the final two Canada 150 stamps June 1 at a special ceremony honouring Canada’s athletes and the country’s success in hosting the Paralympic and Olympic Games.

All 10 Canada 150 stamps and associated stamp products are now on sale online at canadapost.ca and in postal outlets across the country. The Canada 150 stamps being issued by Canada Post mark unforgettable moments and achievements in Canada since our country’s centennial in 1967.

Paralympic glory
Canadian Paralympic legends Arnold Boldt and Lauren Woolstencroft unveiled a stamp celebrating Canada’s achievements in the Paralympic movement and our country’s role as host of two Paralympic Games – in Toronto in 1976 and Vancouver in 2010. Boldt is a six-time Paralympian who won eight medals in high jump and long jump, including seven gold. Woolstencroft, a former para-alpine skier and the first Canadian winter Paralympian to win five gold medals at a single Games, is featured on the Paralympic stamp.

Olympic greatness
Canadian high-jump legend and Olympic silver medallist Greg Joy, along with Joannie Rochette, Olympic bronze medallist in figure skating, unveiled a separate stamp commemorating Canada’s success as a three-time host of the Olympic Games: the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal, the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. The Olympic stamp features a triumphant Alexandre Bilodeau after winning the men’s moguls event in Vancouver and capturing Canada’s first Olympic gold medal on Canadian soil.

Both the Paralympic and Olympic stamps were unveiled at a ceremony held at Canada Post’s Pacific Processing Centre in Richmond, B.C. Left to right, Canadian Paralympic legends Arnold Boldt and Lauren Woolstencroft unveiled a stamp celebrating Canada’s achievements in the Paralympic movement and Joannie Rochette, Olympic bronze medallist in figure skating, and Canadian high-jump legend and Olympic silver medallist Greg Joy unveiled a separate stamp commemorating Canada’s success as a three-time host of the Olympic Games. Photo by Flora Gordon/Canada Post.

Lasting legacies and memories
The Olympic and Paralympic Games held in Canada inspired a nation, left an indelible mark on our country, and showcased Canada to the world. They produced iconic Canadian moments and influenced generations of current, former and up-and-coming Olympians. Thousands of Canadians participated in the Olympic and Paralympic torch relays that toured through communities across Canada, allowing people of all ages and athletic abilities to have their own special Games moment.

All 10 Canada 150 stamps now on sale
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 related to the moment being commemorated. The first 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 with the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. The third stamp, which pays tribute to the Canadarm and Canadian innovation, was unveiled by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen during 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 fifth stamp, celebrating the Trans-Canada Highway, was unveiled in Regina on May 16 by Canadian country music star Dean Brody. The sixth stamp, honouring Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, was unveiled in St. John’s, N.L. on May 25 by Judith Fox, Terry’s sister. The seventh stamp, commemorating Nunavut becoming a territory, was unveiled May 30 at the legislative assembly in Iqaluit by Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna, Commissioner of Nunavut Nellie Kusugak, and George Qulaut, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. The eighth stamp, celebrating Canada’s victory in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union, was unveiled May 31 at CFB Winnipeg by Canadian hockey legends who played on the team.

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.

Canada Post’s videos on the Olympic and Paralympic Games:

Canada Post’s video on the Paralympics:

Canada 150: Summit Series Hockey (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Players from legendary 1972 Canada-USSR Summit Series unveil stamp of unforgettable goal, visit with RCAF’s 17 Wing
Stamp is eighth of 10 that revisit exceptional moments of the last 50 years, as country celebrates Canada 150

CFB WINNIPEG – Canada Post May 31st unveiled its latest Canada 150 stamp by uniting legendary players who wore this country’s flag as members of Team Canada 1972 with proud Canadians who take the Maple Leaf to the skies as members of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The players included Pat Stapleton, who chairs the board of Team Canada 1972, and Bobby Clarke, Yvan Cournoyer, Pete Mahovlich, Frank Mahovlich, Eddie Johnston, Brad Park, Wayne Cashman and Jean Ratelle. Sean Goldsworthy (representing his father Bill Goldsworthy) and John Ferguson Jr. (representing his father John Ferguson) also participated.

Together with Colonel Andy Cook, 17 Wing Winnipeg Commander, they unveiled a stamp celebrating the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union – chosen as one of the unforgettable moments since the country’s centennial in 1967. It is the eighth of 10 such moments being celebrated in stamps to mark Canada 150. (Photo below by John Kristalovich/Canada Post)

No other hockey series – before or since – galvanized Canada like it did, or changed the game of hockey to the same extent. The eight-game series – which included a 4-4 tie played in Winnipeg – was a roller-coaster ride that the entire country took together, from cocky confidence to despair, to a hard-fought, dying-seconds victory.

The series assembled our best National Hockey League players, and for the first time, a national team was named Team Canada. They were pitted against the Soviet Union’s national team, who had been world and Olympic champions nine times in the previous 10 years. Fans and media expected a low-key, lopsided victory for Canada – eight games, eight wins. By the end of the second period in Game One, the out-of-shape and badly outplayed Canadian players realized they were in “a dogfight” for hockey supremacy. After playing four games in Canada, Team Canada had one win, one tie and two losses – and was booed by the fans during the game in Vancouver. That triggered a famous post-game speech by team captain Phil Esposito scolding the country on national television.

When they arrived in Moscow for the final four games, Team Canada and the 3,000 fans who made the trip found themselves in another kind of contest: one without referees. At the height of the Cold War, Soviet surveillance and suspicious activities, such as repeated phone calls to their hotel rooms in the middle of the night, injected a spy-novel atmosphere. The Canadians saw it all as an orchestrated attempt to throw them off their game, a reflection of off-ice politics interfering with on-ice play.

Nonetheless, the plucky Canadians rallied. They won the last three games in Moscow – each one capped by a game-winning goal from winger Paul Henderson, including the Game 8 series winner depicted on the stamp. After the series of the century, hockey would never be the same: before long, international players joined – and excelled in – professional hockey in North America.

The next and final stamps in the Canada 150 set will be revealed in Vancouver on Thursday, June 1, the same day all the stamps and related products go on sale. The unveilings began with architect Moshe Safdie unveiling an Expo 67 stamp; the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada, unveiling a Constitution stamp; astronaut Jeremy Hansen unveiling a Canadarm stamp; a marriage equality stamp with members of The 519, a City of Toronto agency committed to the health, happiness and full participation of LGBTQ communities; a Trans-Canada Highway stamp with country music star Dean Brody; a stamp commemorating Terry Fox’s 1980 Marathon of Hope, unveiled with his sister Judith Fox; and a stamp celebrating the creation of Nunavut, unveiled at the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut with Premier Peter Taptuna and Commissioner of Nunavut Nellie Kusugak.

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.

About Team Canada 1972 and 28-8
In 2014, Team Canada 1972 launched this initiative, which promotes the power of teamwork and acknowledges the team effort throughout the Summit Series – all 28,800 seconds of it.

About 17 Wing Winnipeg
17 Wing is comprised of squadrons, training schools and command elements. The six aviation schools co-located at CFB Winnipeg are second to none in the world. 17 Wing is a composite formation conducting and supporting flying operations and a variety of training and command functions. It also supports 113 units stretching from Thunder Bay, Ont., to the Saskatchewan/Alberta border and from the 49th Parallel to the high Arctic.

Canada Post’s video about the stamp subject:

Trump’s Visit to Israel (Israel 2017)

On Sunday, May 28th, Israel Post issued a My Own Stamp souvenir sheet commemorating U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to Israel. It consists of 9 Israeli flag postage stamps with the USA flag and official photos of the visit.

“This is a limited and numbered item and only 1499 sheets were produced. Supply is on a first-come first-serve basis,” said a spokeswoman for Israel Post.

The sheet is priced at NIS 34 (34 shekels), which is approximately US$9.59. It can be ordered direct from Israel Post (click the link), from Israel Post’s various agencies such as the Israel Philatelic Agency NA (172 Empire Blvd., Third Floor, Brooklyn, N Y 11225) or stamp dealers.

Indigenous Leaders/Legends (Australia 2017)

[press release]
Indigenous leaders honoured as Australia Post Australian Legends[These stamps were issued May 29th]

Three of Australia’s distinguished Indigenous leaders are being honoured as the 2017 Australia Post Australian Legends, with recipients appearing on commemorative stamps.T hree of Australia’s distinguished Indigenous leaders are being honoured as the 2017 Australia Post Australian Legends, with recipients appearing on commemorative stamps.

Honouring the work of Prof. Thomas Edwin Calma, Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue and Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu, the award recognises the lifelong advocacy and leadership the Legends have achieved for their communities.

Professor Thomas Edwin “Tom” Calma AO
An Aboriginal elder of the Kungarakan people and member of the Iwaidja tribal group, Tom is the first Indigenous man to hold the position of Chancellor of any Australian university – a title he took in 2014 when appointed the sixth Chancellor at the University of Canberra. From 2004 to 2010, Tom was the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, and also served as Race Discrimination Commissioner for most of that time. Tom is co-chair of Reconciliation Australia and a director of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre. In 2013, he was named ACT Australian of the Year, and in 2012 made an Officer of the Order of Australia in recognition of his work as an inspirational advocate for human rights, social justice and distinguished service to the Indigenous community.

Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue AC CBE
Of Irish and Yankunytjatjara descent, Lowitja is a member of the Stolen Generation. After years of petitioning, Lowitja became the first Aboriginal woman to be accepted into nursing training in South Australia, and finally graduated in 1954. Lowitja continued her active involvement with Indigenous issues by joining the Aboriginal Advancement League to agitate for the rights of Aboriginal people to enter professions and take up apprenticeships. She joined the federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs following the 1967 referendum and for seven years she was the most senior Aboriginal person in public office. Lowitja’s contribution to her community has been recognised with an Order of Australia (1976), Commander of the Order of the British Empire (1983), Australian of the Year award (1985), and a Companion of the Order of Australia (1999). Lowitja is the first and only Aboriginal Australian to address the UN General Assembly.

Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM
A leader and land rights activist, Galarrwuy first came to prominence in 1970 when he acted as an interpreter for the first litigation on traditional land rights in Australia. The case was instrumental to the passing of the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act in 1976. Galarrwuy’s work has focused on advocacy for traditional land owners to set terms for the mining of Aboriginal land in a way that allows the communities to achieve self-determination and economic independence. In 1978, Galarrwuy was named Australian of the Year, and in 1985 was made a Member of the Order of Australia. In 1997, the National Trust named Galarrwuy an “Australian Living National Treasure”.

Since 1997, the Australia Post Australian Legends Awards has commemorated exceptional people who have made lifetime contributions to the nation’s identity and character.

In years past, Australia Post has awarded Australians who have contributed significantly to their area of expertise, including cricketer Sir Donald Bradman; artist Arthur Boyd; haematologist Donald Metcalf; actress Cate Blanchett; chef Maggie Beer; Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith; and tennis player Patrick Rafter.

Ahmed Fahour, Managing Director & Group CEO, Australia Post, said this year’s award recognises the leadership and advocacy the three recipients have demonstrated over the course of their lives to improve conditions for Indigenous Australians and to bring opportunities to their communities.

“We are pleased to recognise the hard work and unfailing effort our recipients have demonstrated for the betterment of their communities. Our recipients have overcome immense challenges as they have strived for equal representation and agency to ensure a better future for generations to come.

“Australia Post aligns itself as an equal opportunity employer, offering support and genuine pathways into meaningful employment through school-based and adult traineeships and internships for our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members.

“Australia Post also recognises that 2017 marks the 50th year since the 1967 referendum, when Australians voted overwhelmingly to amend the constitution and provide rights to our First Peoples, so it is fitting that we can honour this occasion with our Australian Legends philatelic issue,” Mr Fahour said.

The Legends Award criteria honours inspirational living Australians who exemplify tenacity, imagination, perseverance, devotion, integrity and compassion.

The 2017 Legends will each feature on a $1 stamp. The products accompanying the stamp issue are a maxicard set, a stamp pack, a booklet of 20 x $1 stamps and a first day cover.

Prof. Thomas Edwin Calma said about receiving the award:

“Advocates like myself never seek the spotlight for the work we do, and while I am acknowledged in the stamp, many who have walked with me share this honour. I am proud, humbled and appreciate that my lifetime work and the achievements of Indigenous advocates and our colleagues are celebrated in such a meaningful way. I hope that occasions like this highlight what is achievable in a lifetime and will encourage greater advocacy for equality. Together we can affect change.”

Australia Post’s Ahmed Fahour and Prof. Calma, photo courtesy of Janusz Molinski.

Dr Lowitja O’Donoghue said about receiving the award: “Our work towards equality never stops, and I appreciate that our wider community recognises the changes we have instigated and continue to strive for even today, 50 years from the 1967 Australian Referendum.”

Dr Galarrwuy Yunupingu said about receiving the award: “Advocacy has never been more important for our Indigenous communities, and I’m grateful that our work to address inequality is being recognised and celebrated across the country.”

The stamps and associated products are available at participating Australia Post retail outlets, via mail order on 1800 331 794 and online at www.auspost.com.au/stamps from 29 May 2017 while stocks last.

Canada 150: Nunavut (Canada 2017)

[press release]
“Our land”: Nunavut becoming a territory celebrated in seventh stamp marking Canada 150
Territory created in 1999 following largest Aboriginal land claims settlement in Canadian history

IQALUIT, NUNAVUT – Nunavut’s Premier, its Commissioner and the Speaker of the legislative assembly unveiled a stamp May 30th that commemorates the creation of the territory of Nunavut in 1999 and celebrates the people who call it home.

Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna, Commissioner of Nunavut Nellie Kusugak, and George Qulaut, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut unveiled the stamp at the legislature in Iqaluit, the capital of Canada’s newest and largest territory. The Nunavut stamp is the seventh 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.

The Nunavut stamp features an image of Leah Ejangiaq Kines, photographed by her spouse Clare Kines, both of whom are residents of Arctic Bay, Nunavut.

The creation of Nunavut was the first major change to Canada’s map since Newfoundland and Labrador joined Confederation in 1949, and came about from the largest Aboriginal land claims settlement in Canadian history. The territory encompasses about one-fifth of Canada’s land mass and is home to fewer than 40,000 people, most of them Inuit.

Nunavut means “our land” in the Inuit language of Inuktitut.

The journey to becoming a territory
Beginning in the late 1960s, and continuing through the 1970s, a sustained effort took hold among Inuit groups to negotiate land claims with the federal government and secure their own territory. Negotiations intensified in the 1980s and ultimately led to the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement with the federal government and Government of the Northwest Territories, which laid the foundation for the creation of the territory of Nunavut on April 1, 1999.

The new territory was carved out of the central and eastern portion of the Northwest Territories and is now the largest province or territory in Canada, encompassing around 1.9 million square kilometres.

Three 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 first 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 with the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. The third stamp, which pays tribute to the Canadarm and Canadian innovation, was unveiled by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen during 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 fifth stamp, celebrating the Trans-Canada Highway, was unveiled in Regina on May 16 by Canadian country music star Dean Brody. The sixth stamp, honouring Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope, was unveiled in St. John’s, N.L. on May 25 by Judith Fox, Terry’s sister. The next stamp in the Canada 150 set will be unveiled in Winnipeg on May 31.

The last of the stamps will be unveiled 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.

Canada Post’s video on Nunavut:

Canada 150: Marathon of Hope (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Hope, courage, hero: Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope celebrated in sixth stamp marking Canada 150
Terry Fox’s sister unveils stamp honouring Canadian icon and one of Canada’s unforgettable moments of last 50 years

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Terry Fox’s sister Judith Fox unveiled a stamp today honouring her brother’s remarkable Marathon of Hope in 1980, which inspired Canadians, captivated a country, and launched a lasting legacy across Canada and around the world.

Judith Fox unveiled the stamp at a ceremony at City Hall in St. John’s, N.L., not far from Mile 0 – the spot where the Marathon of Hope began on April 12, 1980 when Terry Fox dipped his artificial right leg into the Atlantic Ocean. Children from Roncalli Elementary in St. John’s also participated in today’s ceremony and proudly displayed posters explaining how Fox has inspired them to believe they can achieve whatever goals they have in life.

Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope is one of the most identifiable and cherished events in Canadian history. It remains an enduring symbol of courage, selflessness and hope.

Fox was only 18 years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his right leg amputated. Three years later, Fox launched his Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. He ran close to a marathon a day (approximately 42 kilometres) for 143 days, raising millions of dollars during the run and immediately afterward. Fox ran a total of 5,373 kilometres – more than halfway across Canada – before having to stop his Marathon of Hope near Thunder Bay, Ont. on Sept. 1, 1980 because cancer had spread to his lungs.

Fox’s lasting legacy continues to inspire Canadians
Fox continues to be a hero to generations of Canadians who honour his legacy by participating in the annual Terry Fox Run at locations around the world. The Terry Fox Foundation, which organizes the runs, has raised more than $700 million worldwide for cancer research, while the Terry Fox Research Institute is helping to improve health outcomes for cancer patients everywhere. Fox’s determination and amazing achievement have also changed public perceptions of people with physical disabilities.

The Marathon of Hope is the sixth 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.

Four 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 first 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 with the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada. The third stamp, which pays tribute to the Canadarm and Canadian innovation, was unveiled by Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen during 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 fifth stamp, celebrating the Trans-Canada Highway, was unveiled in Regina on May 16 by Canadian country music superstar Dean Brody. The next stamp in the Canada 150 set will be unveiled in Iqaluit on May 30.

The remaining stamps 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 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.

Canada Plans Diwali, Hanukkah Stamps (Canada 2017)

In the press release for the Eid stamp in May was this announcement:

Canada Post has issued annual Christmas stamps since 1964. In recent years, one Christmas stamp has depicted a sacred image reflecting the Christian faith, and another reflects a secular holiday theme.

Earlier this year, Canada Post and India Post agreed on a historic joint stamp issue featuring two stamps marking Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. One stamp from each country will be released on the same day in the fall of 2017. Canada Post had also announced earlier that it will issue a Hanukkah stamp this year, recognizing the Jewish faith’s eight-day celebration in December, which commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the second century B.C.E.

Together the Eid, Diwali and Hanukkah stamps build on the tradition of Christmas stamps and depict our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations.

Eid (Canada 2017)

[press release]
Canada Post issues Eid stamp to recognize two festivals celebrated by Muslims in Canada and around the world
Stamp launched at events in Montréal and Richmond Hill

OTTAWA – Canada Post May 23 issued an Eid stamp that recognizes Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, two of the most important festivals celebrated by Muslims in Canada and worldwide.

The stamps were unveiled at events with members of the Muslim communities in Montréal, Que. and Richmond Hill, Ont. Montréal and the Greater Toronto Area are home to more than half of Canada’s over 1 million Muslims.

Eid al-Fitr
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the month in which Muslims fast from dawn until dusk – one of the most distinctive practices of Islam. Eid al-Fitr, or the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast, falls on the first day of the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, Shawwal (around June 26, 2017, in Canada). The stamp is being issued a month ahead of Eid al-Fitr. On the day of Eid, many Muslims congregate in mosques or in open spaces, where they will perform a special ritual prayer prescribed for Eid. People dress in their finest clothes, decorate their homes with lights, give treats to children, and visit with friends and family. Eid al-Adha
With Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, Muslims commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The festival also marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest site in Islam. It falls on the tenth day of the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar, Dhul Hijjah (around September 2, 2017, depending on when the new moon is seen).
Like Eid al-Fitr, this celebration can include special ritual prayers, lavish meals, and visits with friends and family. It also includes gift-giving and acts of charity.

Design incorporates Islamic elements
The Arabic script on the stamp reads “Eid Mubarak,” which translates to “Have a happy Eid” or “Have a blessed Eid.” It appears under a pointed arch, which symbolizes the division between sacred and worldly space in Muslim culture. The stamp’s deep blues and warm gold and yellows, as well as its geometric pattern, are seen in Islamic architecture. The new moon atop the stamp signifies the start of Eid. Photo above, the Richmond Hill (Toronto) unveiling, left to right, Dr. Hamid Slimi, Imam, Resident Scholar and Founder of Sayeda Khadija Centre; Majid Jowhari, Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill; Deepak Chopra, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canada Post. Photo Denis Drever/Canada Post

About the stamp
Designed by Doreen Colonello and Erin Enns of Entro Communications and printed by Colour Innovations, this Permanent domestic-rate stamp measures 28 mm by 35 mm, is printed in six colours plus a varnish, and is available in booklets of 10. The Official First Day Cover is cancelled in Toronto, ON. A collectible framed enlargement is also available. Photo above, the Montreal unveiling, left to right, Alexandra Mendès, Member of Parliament for Brossard-Saint-Lambert; Cheikh Mahdi Tirkawi, Imam of the Al Rawdah mosque and the Laurentian Community Centre; Anju Dhillon, Member of Parliament for Dorval-Lachine-LaSalle; Serge Pitre, Vice-President, Sales, Canada Post. Photo Canada Post

Background: Stamps for other major religions’ holy days
Canada Post has issued annual Christmas stamps since 1964. In recent years, one Christmas stamp has depicted a sacred image reflecting the Christian faith, and another reflects a secular holiday theme.

Earlier this year, Canada Post and India Post agreed on a historic joint stamp issue featuring two stamps marking Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. One stamp from each country will be released on the same day in the fall of 2017. Canada Post had also announced earlier that it will issue a Hanukkah stamp this year, recognizing the Jewish faith’s eight-day celebration in December, which commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the second century B.C.E.

Together the Eid, Diwali and Hanukkah stamps build on the tradition of Christmas stamps and depict our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations.

Red Cross 150 Years (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Stamps for the Red Cross depict 150 years of caring for people The Hague, 22 May 2017 – PostNL is issuing a new stamp sheetlet commemorating 150 years of the Red Cross. The various stamps refer to the aid organisation’s seven fundamental principles. The black and white photographs show situations in which the Red Cross provides emergency aid and show what the fundamental principles stand for.

Gijs de Vries, Director of the Red Cross, is very pleased with how well the daily work of the relief workers of the organisation celebrating its anniversary is depicted. “The Red Cross has based its work on the same seven fundamental principles for 150 years, like voluntariness, independence, impartiality, and humanity. In addition, we have always been in motion as an organisation. I love how photographs and text depict our fundamental principles on one stamp sheetlet, but that at the same time the movement is directly visible in the numbers of our anniversary and in the Red Cross.”

Warmth and personal connection
PostNL Marketing Director Ludo Voorn underlines that the designers Anne Schaufeli and Huub de Lang of studio026 have created a stamp sheetlet that very clearly depicts the Red Cross’s daily mission. “The photos on the stamp sheetlet illustrate the warmth and personal connection between the relief workers and those they help. In the stamp sheetlet, perceptive viewers will thus really discover how the Red Cross wants to prevent human suffering, protect lives and health and ensure respect for people.”

Availability
The ‘150 Years of the Red Cross in the Netherlands’ stamp sheetlet consists of six stamps marked with ‘Nederland 1’, which can be used for items weighing up to 20g destined for mail in the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 22 May at all Bruna shops and via Collectclub.nl. The stamps are valid until further notice.

Beautiful Netherlands: Stream and River Valleys (Netherlands 2017)

[press release]
Exploring five streams and rivers with stamp series

The Hague, 22 May 2017 – This year’s Beautiful Netherlands – PostNL’s annual stamp series – focuses on stream and river valleys. New stamp sheetlets will come out today on the Dommel (North Brabant) and the Geul (Southern Limburg), as well as the collection sheet from this stamp series. This collection sheet also features the previously issued stream and river valleys: the Drentsche Aa (Drenthe), the Reest (Overijssel) and the Linge (Gelderland).

Since 2005, PostNL has brought out new stamps in this series covering the local history, cultural wealth and natural beauty of the Netherlands. In recent years, stamps have featured fortified towns, ceramics, folk costumes, historic country estates and fishing villages.

Based on characteristic elements
On each stamp sheetlet of this Beautiful Netherlands series, designers Sonja Haller and Pascal Brun opted to focus on the meandering course of streams and river valleys, the cultural and historical landscape, along with a striking national monument. The stamps on the Dommel and the Geul, which came out today, feature the centuries-old Ferryhouse ’t Vaantje in Sint-Michielsgestel and a characteristic timbered house along the Geul valley.

The Netherlands at its best
“For this Beautiful Netherlands series, we wanted to make sure we had the five streams and rivers as a line on the stamps from start to finish, including on the collection sheet. That allows the twists and turns of the waters, which seem to have a mind of their own, to largely determine the look and feel of the stamp sheetlet. We also show how interesting the areas are: lots of nature, at times flat and desolate, at times forested and hilly and always with a gorgeous striking national monument. Hopefully, it will make people want to go to these stream and river valleys,” Sonja Haller says.

Availability
The five ‘Beautiful Netherlands: Stream and River Valleys’ stamps are marked ‘Nederland 1’, the denomination for items up to 20g in weight destined for mail within the Netherlands. These stamps will be available from 22 May 2017 at all Bruna shops and via Collectclub.nl. As of today, the stamp sheetlets on the Dommel and the Geul are also for sale in their respective local areas. The stamps are valid until further notice.