Canada Christmas 2016: Madonna and Harder

[press release]
Canada Post’s Christmas stamps capture the season in playful and traditional images can_xmasrolfbkltOTTAWA – Canada Post’s Christmas stamps ring in the holiday season with three mirthful images from one of Canada’s most prolific stamp designers and a classic Renaissance rendering of Mary and the baby Jesus. Holiday well-wishers can add special cheer to their cards and letters with a secular or a sacred image.

Filled with billowy snowflakes in a navy blue sky, Rolf Harder’s images appear to be taken from an enchanted forest, occupied only by Santa Claus, a single Christmas tree and a dove carrying an olive branch. The renowned designer, who died in 2013, produced more than 60 works for Canada Post. His work has been added to the permanent collections of the Musée national des Beaux-arts du Québec and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

can_xmasartThe fourth stamp depicts the Virgin and Child, which was painted around 1460 by a highly esteemed painter from Florence, Italy, known only as the Master of the Castello Nativity. This rare painting uses gold and tempera, a pigment common until the advent of oil paint, whose many layers create intense colours. Virgin and Child is part of a generous donation of paintings made by Michal and Renata Hornstein to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

About the stamps:
Master of the Castello Nativity:
Designed by Louise Méthé, this PermanentTM domestic stamp measures 26.25 mm by 32.25 mm and was printed by Canadian Bank Note using six colours, including a special gold ink. Virgin and Child was photographed by Brian Merrett and the image was made available courtesy of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The stamp is available in booklets of 12 with a single-stamp Official First Day Cover cancelled in Montréal. can_xmasartfdcRolf Harder Christmas stamps: Designed by Hélène L’Heureux, the Christmas stamps were developed from Rolf Harder’s original illustrations under the art direction of his daughter, Vivi Harder. They are available in domestic booklets of 12 Permanent stamps, and single-sided booklets of six U.S. and international-rate stamps. They are also available in souvenir sheets of three Permanent, U.S. and international stamps. Printed by Canadian Bank Note using six colours, they measure 22 mm by 24 mm. can_xmasrolffdc

NHL’s Great Forwards (Canada 2016)

[press release]
NHL Great Canadian Forward stamps celebrate hockey’s legendary goal-scorers and storied leaders
Hockey heroes in NHL collection contributed to Canada’s national story

can_forwardsTORONTO – On the eve of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 semi-finals, and less than three weeks before the start of the 2016-17 NHL® Season, Canada Post today unveiled the fourth issue in its five-year NHL stamp series.

The 2016 NHL® Great Canadian Forwards stamps highlight some of the greatest goal-scorers ever to play in the NHL: Phil Esposito (Boston Bruins), Guy Lafleur (Montreal Canadiens), Darryl Sittler (Toronto Maple Leafs), Mark Messier (Edmonton Oilers), Steve Yzerman (Detroit Red Wings), and Sidney Crosby (Pittsburgh Penguins).

“This talented group of star forwards has contributed to our national story beyond the goals they’ve scored and the trophies they’ve won,” says Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra. “They are heroes for what they stand for. They are men of honour and character and represent the best of who we are as Canadians.” can_forwards-ofdcThe six legends hail from five provinces. As a group, they played in more than 8,300 NHL games and scored more than 3,800 goals and more than 5,700 assists – more than a point per game (regular season and playoffs). Between them, they have won 18 Stanley Cup® Championships.

“This year’s collection represents a special group of players; each one a marquee player whose impact was felt by those on the ice, behind the bench, in the stands, and at home,” says NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. “The NHL is proud to congratulate this year’s elite class of honourees.”

Avi Dunkelman and Joe Gault of Toronto designed the six-stamp Canadian issue, which features head-and-shoulder images of the players in uniform. Souvenir sheets in this series resemble hockey cards and feature full images of the players in action. The back of the stamps complete the hockey-card experience, offering career statistics that tell part of the players’ professional story. They are only available in a pack of six, like hockey cards.

All players participated the unveiling ceremony in the Esso Great Hall, home of the Stanley Cup®. The lineup:

can_espositoPhil Esposito played for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, scoring 1,590 points in 1,282 regular-season games over an 18-season NHL career. Esposito helped lead the Bruins to two Stanley Cup® Championships (1970 and 1972) and Team Canada to victory in the 1972 Summit Series. A 10-time All-Star, Esposito was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1984 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1989. The Bruins retired his No. 7 jersey in 1987.

can_lafleurGuy Lafleur played for the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Quebec Nordiques, scoring 560 goals and 793 assists for a total of 1,353 regular-season points over a 17-season NHL career. He reached a milestone 1,000 points in just 720 games, faster than any other NHL player before him. He won five Stanley Cup® Championships as a player with the Canadiens and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1996. The Canadiens retired his No. 10 in 1985.

can_sittlerDarryl Sittler played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Philadelphia Flyers and Detroit Red Wings, scoring 484 goals and 637 assists for 1,121 regular season points over his 15-season NHL career. He became the first Leaf to score 100 points in a season and also made history by scoring 10 points in a game against the Bruins on February 7, 1976, an NHL record that still stands. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989. The Leafs honoured his No. 27 jersey on February 8, 2003, 27 years plus a day after his historic scoring feat against the Bruins.

can_messierMark Messier played 25 seasons in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks. He is one of the game’s highest scorers, ranking second among all-time points leaders with 1,887. He scored 694 goals and 1,193 assists in 1,756 regular-season games and holds the record for most NHL games played, including playoffs – 1,992. He won five Stanley Cup® Championships with the Oilers and another with the Rangers. A 15-time All-Star, Messier is the only player to captain two different franchises to Stanley Cup® titles. The Rangers retired his No. 11 in 2006 and the Oilers in 2007. Messier was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2007 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

can_yzermanSteve Yzerman was a nine-time All-Star who played in 1,514 regular-season NHL games and another 196 playoff contests over 22 seasons – all of them with the Detroit Red Wings. He scored 692 goals and 1,063 assists for 1,755 career points. He was named team captain at age 21 and became the longest-serving captain in the history of the NHL – 19 seasons. He led the Wings to three Stanley Cup® Championships (1997, 1998, 2002). In 2007, his No. 19 was retired and lifted to the rafters of Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.

can_crosbySidney Crosby has played his entire NHL career to date with the reigning Stanley Cup® Champion Pittsburgh Penguins. Drafted first overall in 2005, at age 18 he became the youngest NHL player to notch more than 100 points. Named captain two years after entering the NHL, he was the youngest captain ever to win the Stanley Cup® championship in 2009 at age 21. He won the Stanley Cup® Championship a second time last spring. He has played 707 regular-season games to date, scoring 338 goals and 600 assists for 938 points. He is also a two-time Olympic gold medal winner (2010 and 2014) and captured gold with Team Canada at the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship.

The 2016 NHL® Great Canadian Forwards series is the fourth of a five-year collection of NHL stamps leading up to the NHL’s 100th anniversary in 2017. The issue builds on the NHL Team Jersey stamps released in 2013, the Original Six™ Defenceman stamps released in 2014 and the NHL® Great Canadian Goalies stamps last year. The series and all related products are available online at

About the NHL Great Canadian Forwards stamps
can_forwards_bkltcvrAvailable in a mixed booklet of six, containing all of this year’s lineup, the stamps measure 40 mm x 32 mm with simulated perforations, and are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper with seven-colour lithography. The booklet front features a tightly cropped action shot of Lafleur and Sittler. Oversized-rate hockey-card-size souvenir sheets are available in a pack of six, as well. Each includes a chance to win: one in 40 packs has a signed and authenticated souvenir sheet. Related products: A gummed mini-pane collectors’ item featuring all six players. The mini-pane features embossed, foiled logos of the team each player was best known for. The Official First Day Covers – one for each player – will be cancelled in the birthplaces of the player: Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (Esposito); Thurso, Que. (Lafleur); Kitchener, Ont. (Sittler); Edmonton, Alta. (Messier); Cranbrook, B.C. (Yzerman); and Cole Harbour, N.S. (Crosby). Limited edition signed and numbered framed prints are available for each player.

The official first day covers for all six players is above. Here are the ones for each player:can_esposito_ofdccan_lafleur_ofdccan_sittler_ofdccan_messier_ofdccan_yzerman_ofdccan_crosby_ofdc

can_sittler_ssHere are the fronts and backs of the hockey-card-size souvenir sheets for each player: can_crosby_sscan_lafleur_sscan_messier_sscan_yzerman_sscan_esposito_ssAnd the mini-pane for the issue: can_forwards_minipane

Canada Haunted For The Third Time (Canada 2016)

[press release]
They’re back! Haunted Canada stamps return with more spine-tingling tales haunted3souvOTTAWA, SEPT. 8, 2016 /CNW/ – Don’t give up the ghosts – another fright-filled adventure is yours to enjoy in Canada Post’s latest collection of five Haunted Canada stamps. [The stamps were issued September 8th. —VSC]

Pity the grief-stricken ghost bride of Montmorency Falls. Beware the marsh-dwelling spirit who transforms from a beautiful woman into a foul-smelling hag. Lament the tolling of the bell that foretells the loss of four women at sea. Above all, brace for more hair-raising fun.

The stamp set is the last in a three-year series that brings regionally renowned ghost stories to a broader Canadian audience. Illustrator Sam Weber cast the five stamps in otherworldly hues befitting the eerie tales:

bell-island-hagThe Bell Island Hag – Bell Island, N.L. The spirit, it is said, dwells in the marshes near Dobbin’s Garden and appears to a lone person, overpowering him or her with her stench. As she covers her victim with her cowl, she always hisses the same words: “No one came to help me when I died in that swamp. No one will help you. Now taste what I tasted and smell what I smelled as my life was taken from me.” The victim is found hours later, unconscious and reeking of death.

dungarvon-whooperThe Dungarvon Whooper – Renous, N.B. Lumberjacks returned from work one day to discover their young cook dead and his money belt missing – apparently the work of the camp boss. The cook was quickly buried as a snowstorm blew in, and in the night, terrifying whoops and wails issued from his shallow grave. The lumberjacks fled in terror, never to return. To this day, Miramichi residents claim to hear the cook’s mournful cries, despite the efforts of a priest to quiet the grave years after the suspected murder.

lady-in-whiteThe Lady in White – Montmorency Falls, Que. Hidden in the roar of Montmorency Falls are the cries of La Dame blanche (the Lady in White) calling out for her lost love. It was at the falls that Mathilde Robin’s fiancé, Louis Tessier, had courted her. Little did the betrothed couple know that Louis was soon to perish in battle during the Seven Years’ War. Overwhelmed with grief at the news of this death, Mathilde donned her wedding gown and tossed herself into the raging cataract.

phantom-bell-ringersThe Phantom Bell Ringers of the Kirk of St. James – Charlottetown In the early morning of October 7, 1853, a sea captain was mystified to hear what sounded like the clanging of a ship’s bell coming from the town centre. He made his way to the Kirk of St. James, where he and the church keeper spied four women, one peering down from the belfry. The two men pursued the women up to the tower but found nothing except the bell, still vibrating. Later that day, the Fairy Queen mail steamer sank in stormy seas, with seven lives lost, including four women – three were members of the congregation of the Kirk of St. James.

winter-garden-theatreThe Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre – Toronto Staff and patrons have witnessed all manner of apparitions and otherworldly events in the restored theatre centre. A woman dressed in Edwardian dress has reportedly appeared in the lobby, while the hand-operated elevators have been seen stopping of their own accord at various floors. And be careful where you sit – the seats in the Winter Garden Theatre have flipped down and back up, as if unseen audience members had sat down and got up again. Or so they say.

About the stamps
haunted3fdcThe stamps measure 32 mm x 32 mm and are available in booklets of 10. They were designed by Lionel Gadoury and printed by Colour Innovations in five colours with a holographic foil. The issue also includes a souvenir sheet of five stamps measuring 127 mm x 73 mm, an Official First Day Cover (above) cancelled in Renous, N.B., and an uncut press sheet (below) measuring 650 mm x 480 mm. There are also five postage-paid postcards (available individually or as a set of five) and a Haunted Canada gift set of coin and stamps. haunted3press

Birds of Canada (Canada 2016)

From Canada Post’s Details magazine
can_birds01Issue date: July 12, 2016

“I’m a collector, illustrator, artist and designer. These projects bring all of those elements together.
— Keith Martin, illustrator

can_birds05Hatched by designer Kosta Tsetsekas and illustrator Keith Martin, these stamps are the first in a three-year series celebrating Canada’s avian citizens. Our first flock includes five official birds: the Atlantic puffin (Newfoundland and Labrabor), the great horned owl (Alberta), the common raven (Yukon), the rock ptarmigan (Nunavut) and the sharp-tailed grouse (Saskatchewan).
To help create the series, Martin learned about his feathered can_birds04subjects. He explains that, “You ultimately have to understand the physicality of these creatures.”

Martin’s illustrations focus on the most striking traits of each bird: the cartoon-like colouring of the patterns, colours and textures that come together to create the character and warmth of these birds.”

can_birds03Forced to pick a favourite, Martin chose the puffin. “When it’s flying, it’s like a missile,” he says, “but when it lands, it always looks like it’s doing it for the first time. I wanted to reflect that quirkiness in my illustration.”

With two more years of Canadian birds waiting in the wings, Tsetsekas is equally keen to see the next issues soar. “Before a single image was finalized, Keith and I worked together to plan can_birds02each bird in the 15-stamp series,” he smiles. “So, naturally, we’re eager to see them take flight.”

Dinos of Canada (Canada 2016)

Scott Catalogue has assigned the following numbers:

2923 Souvenir Sheet of 5
2924 Troodon inequalis
2925 Dimetrodon borealis
2926 Comox Valley elasmosaur
2927 Cypretherium coarctatum
2928 Acrotholus audeti

[press release]
Predator or prey? There’s more than meets the eye in Dinos of Canada stamp sequel can_5dinosOTTAWA, May 26, 2016 /CNW/ – The mystery about the prehistoric creatures depicted in Canada Post’s exciting new Dinos of Canada stamp series is whether they are the hunters or the hunted.

can_dinos05The series, unveiled today, depicts five beasts from Canada’s geological past as reflections in the eyes of their prey or the predators stalking them. They are vividly illustrated by Sergey Krasovskiy, one of the world’s top paleo-artists.

The stamp design team at Vancouver’s Subplot Design Inc., led by Roy White, created an interesting storyline for the stamps with each eye as its unique frame. The stamps inspire the imagination without having to depict an entire scene.

The repeating eye motif comes roaring back on the uncut press sheet as the eye of a hungry tyrannosaur and as the frame for a single stamp among seven other souvenir sheets.

The creatures’ fossils were found across Canada and represent vastly different geological times. The animals were chosen with the help of the Canadian Museum of Nature, which assisted in the development of the 2015 series. They are:

  • can_dinos05Acrotholus audeti – This small dinosaur possessed a skull bearing a 10-centimeter thick dome of solid bone over the eyes. The bipedal herbivore may have used the dome to butt heads with other members of its species. It inhabited the then coastal lowlands of Alberta about 85 million years ago.
  • can_dinos02Comox Valley elasmosaur (this fossil has not yet been given a scientific name) – The vicious marine reptile had a neck nearly seven metres long that helped it hunt its prey 83 million years ago. It was discovered in 1988 by a father and his 12-year-old daughter prospecting for fossils in the Comox Valley.
  • can_dinos04Cypretherium coarctatum – One of a group of mammals commonly known as “terminator pigs,” this fearsome beast had a long, narrow snout with menacing pointed teeth at the front. It lived on the ancient floodplains of Saskatchewan 35 million years ago.
  • Dimetrodon borealis – Heralded upon its discovery as can_dinos03Canada’s first dinosaur, paleontologists later came to realize it was a mammal-like reptile. Its fearsome jaws were filled with serrated teeth and it likely used a sail on its back for display. It lived in what is now Prince Edward Island about 270 million years ago in, when it was hot and dry and located near the Equator.
  • can_dinos01Troodon inequalis – The bird-like dinosaur was similar to the carnivorous Velociraptor of Jurassic Park movie fame. It had the largest brain of any dinosaur in relation to its body size and was a resident of Alberta’s coastal lowlands about 75 million years ago.

About the stamps
The four-colour stamps measure 40 mm x 40 mm. They are available in booklets of 10 permanent stamps printed by Lowe-Martin. The uncut press sheet measures 480 mm by 650 mm and features an enlargement of a tyrannosaur, whose eye is the frame for a single stamp among seven other souvenir sheets. Each souvenir sheet measures 159 mm by 105 mm and consists of five stamps. The cancel image on the Official First Day Cover features dinosaur tracks. The cancel site is Courtenay, B.C., where the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre is home to the Comox Valley elasmosaur.

Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary (Canada 2016)

Scott Catalogue has assigned the following numbers to this issue:

cantrek_bkltcvr2911a USS Enterprise (sheet)
2911b Klingon Battle Cruiser (sheet)
2912a Captain James T. Kirk (sheet)
2912b Klingon Commander Kor (sheet)
2912c Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (sheet)
2912d Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery “Scott” Scott (sheet)
2912e Commander Spock (sheet)
2913 USS Enterprise (coil)
2914 Klingon Battle Cruiser (coil)
2915 USS Enterprise (booklet)
2916 Klingon Battle Cruiser (booklet)
2917 Captain James T. Kirk (booklet)
2918 Klingon Commander Kor (booklet)
2919 Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy (booklet)
2920 Lt. Cmdr. Montgomery “Scott” Scott (booklet)
2921 Commander Spock (booklet)
2922 Souvenir Sheet of two

From Canada Post:

Star Trek™ 50th anniversary collection ready to warp into the hands of fans and collectors
Stamp issue highlights Canadian contributions to classic sci-fi TV show

cantrek_bkltcvrOTTAWA, CANADA, PLANET EARTH, Stardate May 5, 2016 /CNW/ – Stamp collectors and fans of Star Trek will long for a working transporter on May 5, 2016. That way they could beam themselves to the nearest post office and be among the first to take home their favourites from the multi-stamp and collectible issue that pays homage to the original television series.

cantrek_sheet2Under license by CBS Consumer Products, the collections includes five stamps depicting cast members from Star Trek: The Original Series. The U.S.S. Enterprise and a Klingon D7-class battle cruiser blast their way onto the coil stamps, while two special-effect lenticular stamps allow for continuous reruns of classic scenes. Along with a prestige booklet, official first day covers, souvenir sheets, uncut press sheets, panes, and booklets, fans will discover a galaxy of memorabilia, including postcards and stamp dispensers.

cantrek_sheet1Four limited-edition items add to the fleet of collectibles: a framed print signed by William Shatner, a framed stamp pane cancelled with a gold-ink postmark of the Enterprise’s trusty shuttlecraft, a lenticular enlargement, and a lenticular uncut press sheet which is a first for any postal administration.

Three of the five characters – Captain James T. Kirk, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, and Klingon Commander Kor – were played by homegrown actors William Shatner, James Doohan and John Colicos, who hailed from Montréal, Vancouver and Toronto, respectively. Spock too, can claim a connection to Canada via Vulcan, Alberta, which shares its name with his home planet. Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy rounds out the issue.

About the stamps
The Star Trek stamps featuring five characters from Star Trek: The Original Series measure 45 mm x 30 mm and are available in a booklet of 10 Permanent™ domestic rate stamps. They are also available in mixed rates in a prestige booklet and a souvenir sheet of five stamps. Two additional Permanent™ domestic rate stamps featuring the U.S.S. Enterprise and the Klingon battle cruiser measure 24 mm x 20 mm and are available in a souvenir sheet of two stamps, a coil of 50 stamps, a prestige booklet, and strips of four and 10 stamps. The high-value ($5) lenticular stamps measure 46 mm x 34 mm and are available in a souvenir sheet of two stamps. The stamps were printed by Lowe-Martin and the lenticular by Outer Aspect based on designs by Kosta Tsetsekas of Signal Design Group. Official First Day Covers featuring the various stamps were cancelled in Montréal, Vancouver, Toronto, and Vulcan, Alta. To download images of the stamps or to purchase philatelic products, please visit

The Official Canada Post FDCs: cantrek_kirkfdccantrek_spockfdccantrek_mccoyfdccantrek_scottyfdccantrek_korfdccantrek_lenticularfdccantrek_klingonfdccantrek_entfdcFive picture postcards: cantrek_tribblescardcantrek_actioncardcantrek_forevercardcantrek_mirrorcardcantrek_amokcard
Earlier updates:

Canada Post will issue “several” stamps for the 50th anniversary of the television show “Star Trek.” CPC tells The Virtual Stamp Club that the designs will be unveiled over the next four weeks in places with a tie-in to “Trek.” The two stamps shown here were unveiled at the home of the ultimate Star Trek fan: She has decorated her home in Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, Quebec, to emulate the Starship Enterprise. Click here to see a video on the announcement of the first two designs at Line Rainville’s home.

The next unveiling will be held Friday night, April 8th, in Vulcan, Alberta, at 7:30 pm local (Mountain) time. [see below]

cantrek_kirkCanada Post spokesman Phil Legault said that the postal agency’s interest is, of course, on the Canadian aspects of the series: Captain James T. Kirk was played by William Shatner, a Montreal native, and picture in one of the stamps (shown on the right). Legault would “neither confirm nor deny” that another stamp might feature “Scotty,” the engineering chief who was played by Vancouver native James Doohan.

The stamps will be issue sometime this spring, but should be available for sale at World Stamp Expo-NY 2016; it does not appear they will be issued at the show.

cantrek_spock“Canada Post had a special little surprise for star gazers tonight at the Vulcan Trek Station,” the postal agency’s Phil Legault tells The Virtual Stamp Club. “They were the first to publicly see the “Spock” stamp, the third to be released this week celebrating Star Trek’s 50th anniversary. The Mayor of Vulcan, Tom Grant, Town Councillors and members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada were also on hand.” Spock-buststamp

There will be more Star Trek stamps.

Updated April 18th: “There haven’t been any more “sightings” since Spock in Vulcan on April 8,” Legault told VSC. “Expect more in the coming weeks and the full series in May.”

Updated April 22nd: As expected, Canada Post is including the other Canadian actor featured in the Original Series: James “Scotty” Doohan. cantrek_scottyThe stamp was “unveiled” by Chris Doohan, James’ son, in downtown Toronto: ChrisDoohan

Updated April 26th: This morning, Canada Post was joined by The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame (CMHF) and Cloud DX, a leading competitor in the digital healthcare market (based in Kitchener), to unveil the Dr. “Bones” McCoy stamp in the 50th anniversary of Star Trek™ series. This took place at the CMHF location in London. (More after the illustration.) cantrek_mccoyCanada Post is working on a special project to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek™ this year. The full line-up of stamps and collectibles will be available in early May, but a number of “stamp sightings” have already been seen across Canada in social media – check them out here

The presenters today included Jim Phillips, Director of Stamps Services at Canada Post, Lissa Foster, Executive Director of the CMHF, and Dr. Sonny Kohli, Cloud DX co-founder and project lead for their Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE project. They were joined by 24 Grade 8 students from London’s Chippewa Public School, who are on-site taking part in “Museum School” all week.

Cloud DX is one of seven finalists (and the only Canadian company) in the running to win the $10 million Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE, a global competition to revolutionize digital healthcare. The winning team will develop a Tricorder device that will accurately diagnose 13 health conditions (12 diseases and the absence of conditions) and capture five real-time health vital signs, independent of a health care worker or facility, and in a way that provides a compelling consumer experience.

Updated April 28th: From Canada Post:

Tonight, during the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo panel on Conversational Klingon, presenter Joseph W. Windsor’s discussion was interrupted when the latest 50th Anniversary Star Trek™ stamps materialized in front of the audience.cantrek_klingonWindsor, a University of Calgary PhD student in linguistics and expert in the Star Trek Klingon language, and more than 175 enthusiasts got the first look at the Klingon Commander Kor and Klingon D7-class battle cruiser stamps (attached here) with a photo from tonight. cantrek_korThese are the sixth and seventh stamps “sighted” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and Canada’s connection to the series this year. Kor, one of the most powerful enemies, was played by Toronto-native John Colicos. The first five stamps include the U.S.S. Enterprise itself and crew members Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, and Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy.

Check out the summary here of the stamp sightings from Montréal to Calgary –

The Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo continues through the weekend and a special presentation is planned for Friday afternoon. We hope to see you there.

Finally, keep an eye out next Thursday (May 5) when the remaining stamps and product for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek™ series is launched.

Updated April 29th: From Canada Post:

“This afternoon at the beginning of William Shatner’s appearance at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, Canada Post made a special delivery to the Canadian actor.

cantrek_shatner“Flanked by two delivery agents carrying the special parcel, Siân cantrek_kirkfdcM. Matthews, Chairperson of Canada Post’s Board of Directors and who resides in nearby De Winton, Alta., presented Mr. Shatner with a framed memento of his stamp, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek™ – and Canada’s connection to the series.”

And on the easel, is that what the Kirk/Shatner OFDC will look like?

Hydrangeas (Canada 2016)

[press release]
Flower series blooms again with set of hydrangea stamps
Endless Summer and Annabelle latest in stamp series that has featured a garden of philatelic delights

hyd_strip4OTTAWA, March 1, 2016 /CNW/ – With spring just around the corner, Canada Post continues its perennially popular flower series with two new stamps featuring the billowy and showy hydrangea cultivars beloved by Canadian gardeners. A celebration of beauty to come, these beautiful blossoms continue a long tradition of flower stamps often sought after by gardeners, plant enthusiasts and brides.

Endless Summer, a cultivar of bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), is shown on the stamp with pink blossoms, while Annabelle, a cultivar of smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens), sports large, snow-white flower heads.

With approximately 23 species and hundreds of named cultivars – and new ones being introduced – the genus Hydrangea boasts widespread appeal. The name merges the Greek word hydro, meaning water, and angeion, meaning vessel or jug, to evoke the spherical shape of the open flower head. Mostly native to southern and eastern Asia – with other species calling North and South America home – many cultivars draw the eyes of Canadian gardeners. Part of the growing interest in hydrangeas lies in the plant’s relatively few needs to thrive: it requires adequate moisture and grows best with some shade.

hyd_souvThe stamps illustrate yet another attractive quality of hydrangeas. While white is a common colour, some species develop flowers of different colours, depending on the pH of the soil. Acidic soil creates blue flowers, neutral soil creates cream-coloured blossoms, and alkaline soil produces purple or pink, as exemplified by the stamp image of Endless Summer.

Inspired by traditional botanical drawings, the stamps feature high-contrast tones, sumptuous colours, and realistic details. The coil of 50, ideal for mailing large volumes, alternates between the two flowers, while the Official First Day Cover offers a unique perspective on the blossoms with a pattern that is reminiscent of traditional 1940s wallpaper.

About the Stamps
hyd_coilThe stamps measure 26 mm x 32 mm and are available together in booklets of 10 stamps and coils of 50 stamps. They were printed by Canadian Bank Note Company and use lithography in six colours. The souvenir sheet of both stamps measures 120 mm x 84 mm. The Official First Day Cover bears the cancellation site of Sunny Corner, NB. Designed by Benny Corrigan, with art directed by Karen Satok and David Sacha of Toronto’s Sputnik Design Partners Inc., the stamps were illustrated by Montréal artist Marie-Élaine Cusson.

hyd_pcOne postcard is illustrated with a close-up image of two species of hydrangea. The white flower featured on the stamp is the cultivar Annabelle, a selection of smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea aborescens). Native to the United States, Annabelle is one of the most cold hardy hydrangeas. The pink flower on the second stamp is Endless Summer, a cultivar of bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). Native to eastern Asia, this species will also produce blue or lavender flowers, depending on soil acidity or alkalinity.

hyd_pc2The other postcard features two selections of hydrangea, aligned in an alternating pattern of diagonal lines. The pink flower featured on the stamp is Endless Summer, a cultivar of bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). Native to eastern Asia, this species will also produce blue or lavender flowers, depending on soil acidity or alkalinity. Endless Summer is unique among hydrangeas in that it flowers on both old and new growth. On the second stamp is the snow-white flower of Annabelle, a cultivar of smooth hydrangea (Hydrangea aborescens). Annabelle, native to the United States, is one of the most cold hardy hydrangeas.hyd_fdc

To purchase philatelic products or for more information, please visit

Women’s Suffrage (Canada 2016)

[press release]
New stamp marks centennial of women’s suffrage in Canada

can_suffrageOTTAWA, March 8, 2016 /CNW/ – Canada Post today issued a new stamp that pays tribute to the women who fought and won the right to vote 100 years ago in this country. While the suffrage movement began to form nearly four decades earlier, the struggle to secure the vote did not significantly advance until the First World War, when women worked in hospitals, factories and offices, and often raised families alone, spurring demands for equality. In 1916, women in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta became the first in Canada to win the right to cast provincial ballots.

Designed by Winnipeg-based Tétro, the commemorative stamp is illustrated in the black and gold colours that symbolized the North American movement and incorporates the Venus symbol of femininity as the letters “O” and “T” in the word Vote. Vertical text in English and French at the right highlights the women’s suffrage theme and indicates the dates of its centennial.

can_suff_fdcThe Official First Day Cover features one of the most important figures of the women’s suffrage movement, Nellie McClung. Her portrait is set over an image of the 1915 petition to the Government of Manitoba that helped secure full political rights for women in that province. At the bottom is a black and gold banner reading “Votes for Women,” one of several artifacts currently on display in a women’s suffrage exhibit atWinnipeg’s Manitoba Museum.

can_suff_bklt2After Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, women gained their voting rights in British Columbia and Ontario in 1917, Nova Scotia in 1918, New Brunswick and Yukon in 1919, Prince Edward Island in 1922, Newfoundland in 1925 (before it became a Canadian province), Quebec in 1940 and the Northwest Territories in 1951. However, it wasn’t until 1960 when all Canadians, including Inuit and First Nations, were eligible to vote regardless of race or ethnicity.

About the Stamp
The stamp measures 26 mm x 32 mm and is available in a booklet of 10 stamps. The Official First Day Cover bears the cancellation site ofWinnipeg (Manitoba). Designed by Tétro, the stamp was printed by Lowe-Martin. To purchase philatelic products or for more information, please visit

World War I Black Unit (Canada 2016)

[press release]
Stamp honours Black Canadian unit in First World War
Battalion’s men volunteered and served in face of prejudice

can_wwiunitOTTAWA, Feb. 1, 2016 /CNW/ – With their country going to war in 1914, Black Canadians stepped forward to join the fight but many were turned away because of racial prejudice. By persevering, they finally won the right to serve overseas, with hundreds of them joining a new, predominantly black unit.

Today, 100 years after the No. 2 Construction Battalion was formed, Canada Post is honouring its determined soldiers on a new stamp that marks Black History Month.

The stamp uses archival photographs in the foreground to depict the faces of some members of the unit, who represent their comrades. Below, against a backdrop of tall conifers, members of a forestry crew move in silhouette, their tools on their shoulders. The men felled trees in a mountainous region of France, then milled the timbers into lumber that supported the walls of trenches, built encampments and repaired the railway lines and roads that supplied the front.

They worked 10 hours a day, six days a week, using hand tools. Living and working conditions were harsh. They endured some segregation: their sleeping quarters were separate from those of white soldiers, as was the hospital wing where they received medical treatment, but they ate meals with white comrades. While most never saw combat, some died from pneumonia or other diseases.

“The Battalion’s creation is a story of persistence in the face of adversity,” says The Honourable Judy Foote, Minister of Public Services and Procurements, responsible for Canada Post Corporation. “They helped to pave the way for later generations of Black men and women to enjoy equal status in our army, navy and air force.”

“Their determination to serve and their contribution to the war effort were an important step on the journey to racial equality in this country,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO, Canada Post. “We are proud to highlight this little-known aspect of Canadians’ participation in that epic conflict.”

When the First World War broke out in August 1914, military recruiting offices were flooded with men eager to serve in a war that many thought would be over by Christmas. But Black Canadians who tried to enlist needed permission from the local regiment’s commanding officer. It was rarely granted.

By 1916, Canada had been at war for two years and began to face a growing manpower shortage. Black Canadians had continued to pressure the government to allow them to serve. In response, the No. 2 Construction Battalion was formed to recruit Black Canadians from across the country. Hundreds joined up, primarily from Nova Scotia, but also many others from Ontario, New Brunswick, Western Canada, and Quebec, as well as more than 160 recruits from the United States. They sailed overseas in the spring of 1917.

All of its officers, including the colonel who commanded the unit, were white – except one. The Reverend William White, the son of former slaves from Virginia, was a distinguished graduate of Acadia University and an influential pastor who spoke out against segregation in Nova Scotia. As the unit’s chaplain, he was given the rank of Honorary Captain, becoming one of the Army’s very few Black officers.

About the stamp
can_wwiunitThe No. 2 Construction Battalion stamp measures 32 mm x 32 mm and uses lithography in six colours. Lowe-Martin has printed the stamps, which are available in booklets of 10. The booklet’s cover and a first day of issue special envelope feature the unit’s badge. The stamps were illustrated by Dennis Budgen, use a photograph from the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia and were designed by Lara Minja (Lime Design of Victoria). The Official First Day Cover will be cancelled in Pictou, N.S., site of the Battalion’s first headquarters.

To purchase philatelic products, please visit

Queen Elizabeth II (Canada 2016)

can_fashionqueen[press release]
New stamp features British fashion photographer’s celebrated portrait capturing Queen’s ‘very kind eyes’
OTTAWA, Jan. 11, 2016 /CNW/ – A black-and-white portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II taken by legendary British fashion photographer David Bailey adorns the latest in a long line of Canadian stamps honouring The Queen.

The photo, taken at Buckingham Palace in 2014 to mark The Queen’s 88th birthday, shows Her Majesty in a dress chosen by Angela Kelly, her personal assistant and senior dresser. The Queen is wearing pearls and smiling easily. In his portrait, Bailey successfully homed in on what he described as The Queen’s “very kind eyes” and “mischievous glint.”

Queen Elizabeth II has been immortalized by many of the greatest photographers in the 20th and 21st centuries. She has been featured on more than 60 stamps issued by Canada Post.

Also issued today are five definitive stamps featuring Canadian UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The stamps feature images of Old Town Lunenburg, Nova Scotia; SGang Gwaay, British Columbia; the Rideau Canal in Ontario; the Landscape of Grand Pré, Nova Scotia; and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta. Canadian World Heritage sites are designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

About the Queen Elizabeth II stamp
Designed by Steven Slipp of Wolfville N.S., the stamp measures 20.25 mm x 23.25 mm and has simulated perforation. The stamp is printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using four-colour lithography. It is pressure sensitive and the Official First Day Cover is cancelled in Victoria, BC. The stamp, booklets of 10, and the OFDC are available at post offices across the country and at

About the Canadian UNESCO sites stamps
This series brings these lush landscapes to Canada in permanent stamps issued in booklets of 10 and 30. The domestic-rate stamps, measuring 24 mm by 20 mm, are also available in a souvenir sheet of five stamps, a souvenir sheet Official First Day Cover and five postage paid postcards. The OFDC will be cancelled in Ottawa, Ontario. Lara Minja, of Victoria, B.C.-based Lime Design, created the stamps. The shape of the visual frame, with one rounded corner, adds a special touch to the composition. A splash of red in the flag at the bottom contrasts with the richness of the imagery. The stamps and related products are available at post offices across the country and at – where stamp images can also be downloaded.