Canada: In Flanders Fields (2015)

[press release]
Enduring elegy by Canadian combat surgeon featured in new stamp
John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields was written 100 years ago to honour both one close friend and countless war dead

can_flandersOttawa (Ont.) – Canada Post will issue a stamp to mark the 100th anniversary of the poignant poem that made the poppy an international symbol of wartime sacrifices and has been recited in ceremonies for a century.

On May 3, 1915, in the First World War’s Second Battle of Ypres, Canadian combat surgeon John McCrae was grief-stricken at the death of a friend and comrade, and overwhelmed by the sheer carnage and death around him. He wrote In Flanders Fields to express his sorrow and commemorate Lt. Alexis Helmer and the thousands of other soldiers dying in that conflict.

can_flandersbkltIn Flanders Fields was first published 100 years ago, in December 1915, in England’s Punch magazine. It became perhaps the most popular poem from the First World War and inspired the choice of the poppy as a symbol of the sacrifices made in that and subsequent wars. To this day, the poem is recited at Remembrance Day services in Canada and around the world. It and its French-language adaptation, Au Champ d’honneur, are engraved on marble plaques in the Memorial Chamber inside the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill.

“Both John McCrae and his poem are national treasures,” says the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and responsible for Canada Post. “The poem has become an emotional touchstone as a means of remembering the sacrifices of those who served so that we may be free.”

can_flandersfdc“Our stamps reveal what is of value to Canadians – including what bonds us from one generation to another. This poem is written indelibly on our hearts in a way that helps us honour those who gave their lives in the service of this country,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO, Canada Post.

Designed by Janice Carter and Tejashri Kapure of q30, the stamp is based on iconic imagery drawn from the lines of the poem, with images of crosses “row on row,” of singing larks and of the fragile red poppy, which appears with the permission of the Royal Canadian Legion. A five-stamp mini pane features the poem in the author’s handwriting – in a version that varies slightly from that made famous by Punch.

can_flanderspaneLt. Col. McCrae was himself was an indirect casualty of war; he died on January 28, 1918, of pneumonia and meningitis. In 1968, 50 years after his death, the Post Office Department (now Canada Post) issued a stamp that paid him tribute.

About the stamps
The pressure sensitive stamps available in booklets of 10 measure 40 mm x 32 mm (vertical), while the five-stamp mini pane (water-activated gum) has 13 + perforations. They are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in six colours. The official first day cover will be cancelled in Guelph, Ont. To purchase philatelic products, please visit

Top Players On Women’s World Cup Stamp (Canada, 2015)

[press release]
Sinclair and Buchanan on stamp as Canada hosts FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015

can_fifaCanada’s most accomplished women’s soccer player and a rising star on the Canadian squad are both captured in action on a new stamp to mark Canada’s hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™. The stamp, featuring Canada’s Christine Sinclair and Kadeisha Buchanan, will be issued on May 6 in post offices across the country, but currently available for pre-orders online.

Canada will be welcoming the top 24 nations in a total of 52 matches in six host cities: Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montréal and Moncton. Canada and China will play in the Opening Match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ on Saturday, June 6 in Edmonton, and the Final will be played in Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium on Sunday, July 5.

“Women’s soccer has generated memorable and dramatic performances from Canadians giving everything they have at the sport’s highest levels,” says the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and responsible for Canada Post. “This competition will showcase athleticism and passion for the game – and so do the images on this stamp.”

“The stamp commemorating the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 is a tribute not only to these outstanding athletes and soccer’s world-wide appeal, but also of Canada’s strength and leadership in playing host to competitions that attract the best of the best,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport).

“Canada Post is highlighting these athletes and the most prestigious tournament in women’s soccer,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO, Canada Post. “At the same time, we are celebrating the incredible advancements that the women’s game has made in Canada, on the field and in fan interest.”

Sinclair, the all-time leader in international appearances for Canada, has scored more than 150 goals in international play. A two-time Olympian, she led Canada to an Olympic bronze medal in the 2012 London Games. Her performance included three goals in one game against the U.S. team, which went on to win the gold, and she carried Canada’s flag at the closing ceremony. This will be her fourth consecutive FIFA Women’s World Cup™ competition.

Buchanan has been called “the (Christine) Sinclair of defenders” by Canada’s head coach, John Herdman. She was a standout for Canada in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, which Canada hosted in 2014. She plays with a perennial college soccer powerhouse, the West Virginia University Mountaineers. The authoritative ranks Buchanan No. 6 among collegiate and non-professional women players in the U.S. – and No. 1 in her NCAA division.

“The FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 will be a game-changer for women’s sport in Canada,” said Peter Montopoli, General Secretary of the Canadian Soccer Association and CEO, National Organizing Committee FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™. “Today, these two wonderful Canadian athletes have been stamped into history and will forever serve as symbols of Canada’s contribution to the greatest event in women’s sport.”

Emblematic of the players coming to Canada from around the world, Ayumi Kaihori of Japan, a goalkeeper who has appeared in 24 international matches, also appears on the stamp.

About the stamp
The pressure-sensitive stamps available in booklets of 10 measure 40 mm x 32 mm (horizontal). They are designed by Debbie Adams of Toronto and printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in eight colors. The Official First Day Cover will be cancelled in Edmonton, Alta., site of the opening game. A collectible plaque showcasing the players along with a mint stamp is also available. To download the image of the stamps, please click here. To purchase philatelic products, please visit

About the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™
From June 6 to July 5, 2015, the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015™ will be hosted in Canada with matches to be played in Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montréal and Moncton. This will be the first time that Canada hosts an international sporting event from coast to coast. Recognized as the most important international competition in women’s soccer, the upcoming competition will unite soccer fans worldwide while giving Canada an opportunity to embrace the best in women’s sport.

Information related to the competition, including the Ticketing and Spectator Guides, is available at Fans are encouraged to share their excitement by sharing photos and videos on the FIFA Women’s World Cup Facebook and Twitter (@fifawwc) pages using hashtags #fifawwc #BeThere #Canada2015.

Sine Waves: Why Join?

To Join or Not to Join: Is That A Question?
By Richard L. Sine

RLSShould you join a local stamp club (or help start one if none is nearby), a specialty group for people who collect the same as do you (i.e., alligators on stamps, postal history of Pit Hole City, PA, etc.) or a national all-purpose organization such as the American Philatelic Society or the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada?

Post those questions to stamp collectors and you will hear two responses: a resounding YES, or a low murmur that isn’t quite a “no,” but you aren’t certain. And, of course, there is no reason to parade around the kingdom carrying a placard: “Don’t Join!”

Let’s look at key reasons to join any stamp organization, no matter what its reach:

  • Ability to associate with others who share your interest
  • Learn more about stamp collecting than if you do not join
  • Take advantage of services only open to members, or at a lesser fee than members are charged. Such benefits include being able to read current issues of the group’s publication, notification of philatelic events (particularly those nearest you), and a safe(r) environment within which to buy/sell or exchange stamps.

How about some “lesser” reasons?

  • Just to receive the periodicals … really, then, you not are “joining” so much as subscribing to a periodical.
  • To be able to tell others you are a member … yes, I have seen that in the just-under 50 years since I first paid a membership fee. I also have seen a few collectors whose collecting interests include the number of memberships.

Don’t join merely to “support” [fill in organization’s name here]. If you wish to support, send an annual check as a donation. Particularly relative to smaller groups — both local clubs and specialty groups — non-participating members then leave it to those volunteers to pick up the slack for you … and what appears to be a “membership” of 100 really is one of only 35! To me, passive membership, unless of course there are health issues, is deception. You may put the decal on your auto bumper, but you bought it rather than earned it.

It is the rare stamp organization that does not welcome those who offer to be on committees, help at events, run for office, and on and on.

Philately is going through some drastic changes. In the first place, postal services are carrying far less mail and, therefore, there are far fewer stamps. The number of philatelic periodicals continues to dwindle, both in number and in size; some large stamp shows are no more; and I could add more tear-jerking examples.

Digital media, complete with “memberships” of sorts, dot the environment. I remember when each of VSC’s predecessors burst forth. What we see here now is not the same as what I remember from a long time ago. And, the better philately-by-keyboard approaches will prosper over time just as have stamp organizations.

Make your decision on the basis of what is best for you. As a hobby, this is for your recreation. Enjoy it your way, for your reasons … because, most importantly, stamp collecting is for you to enjoy!

U.S. Postal Service Considers Drones

postaldroneMaybe that mailman who landed his gyrocopter on the U.S. Capitol lawn was ahead of his time!

The Postal Service is looking at suppliers for its next generation of delivery trucks — and one of the proposals is for an electric truck that doubles as a drone launcher.

That bid has already made the first cut, so who knows?

There’s more on the story at The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. The photo is from the University of Cincinnati, which is working with The Workhorse Group on the electric van and Horsefly Drone.

Mary-Anne Penner To Head U.S. Stamp Program

pennerUpdated April 22nd: Now confirmed by the USPS.

Career postal employee Mary-Anne Penner will be the next manager of the U.S. Postal Service’s Stamp Services department, which develops, designs and produces the agency’s postage stamps.

Penner’s Linked In profile picture is shown here.

The story was first reported by Bill McAllister in Linn’s stamp News, It was then confirmed from another source by The Virtual Stamp Club.

According to Penner’s Linked In profile, she has worked for the USPS her entire career, starting as a clerk and carrier in the Washington, DC, area in 1984. She moved into management in 1987, and has now been Manager, Strategic Account Analystics (National) for four years.

During that period, she says, she had three “detail” (temporary) assignments: Manager, Stamp Development; Chief of Staff (Stamp Services & Corporate Licensing); and Social Media Operations Team.

On Linked In, Penner says ” I am responsible for leading a team who can identify trends, and recommend changes to retain revenue and improve service, reduce operational costs, and grow products and services.”

Linn’s says members of the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee were informed of Penner’s selection at the panel’s meetings earlier this month. There is no official confirmation yet from the USPS.

Penner succeeds Cindy Tackett, the interim manager of Stamp Services, who is retiring next month after 42 years with the USPS. There has been no official confirmation of that, either.

Anthony Trollope (UK, 2015)

[press release]

trollope_sheetRoyal Mail is commemorating the bicentenary of Anthony Trollope’s birth in 1815 with a limited edition Commemorative Sheet of stamps

The Commemorative Sheet will go on sale on 24 April 2015 – 200 years since Trollope was born

Famous as a novelist, Trollope is also known for introducing freestanding postboxes, or pillar boxes, to the UK from 1852 during his time working at the Post Office. In recognition of this, Royal Mail has created an online “family tree” of postboxes through the ages, with help from the Letter Box Study Group

trollope_plaquePostboxes were first erected in London on five streets in 1855. Royal Mail will attach a plaque to a postbox in each of these streets in the capital as part of its Trollope bicentenary celebrations. The streets are: Fleet Street, The Strand, Piccadilly, Pall Mall and Rutland Gate in Kensington.

Royal Mail has created a special postmark to mark Trollope’s bicentenary. This will appear on stamped mail across the UK from 24 April for one week. Royal Mail only issues special postmarks for major events in the UK or to mark special historic dates.

Royal Mail is also supporting the British Postal Museum & Archive’s “Pop it in the Post” exhibition examining how the postal service changed in the Victorian era, driven by the appearance of postboxes in streets across the UK. Further details about the BPMA’s exhibition can be found here.

Pillar boxes were instrumental in changing the postal service during the latter half of the 19th century as they were installed across the UK. Royal Mail is supporting The British Postal Museum & Archive’s “Pop it in the Post” exhibition that examines those changes, The introduction of stamps and the expansion of the network of postboxes around the country made it easier and cheaper for people to send letters across the country.

The family-friendly exhibition opens at the Islington Museum in London on 28 March and runs to the 2 May 2015. It moves to Mansfield Museum in the autumn and will run from 3 October to 21 November 2015. It will then open at the Havering Museum early in 2016. Visitors will be able to see some of the original postboxes, as well as some of the equipment used by Trollope during his time with the Post Office.

trollope_stampsSue Whalley, Royal Mail’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted to contribute to this year’s bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Anthony Trollope. He is well-known as a former Post Office employee and we have him to thank for introducing pillar boxes to the UK. Whether in walls, on poles or freestanding, the network of postboxes has grown from Trollope’s time to reach around over 115,000 boxes which are now an iconic feature of communities across the UK.”

Michael Williamson, Chairman of the Trollope Society, said: “The Trollope Society is delighted that the Royal Mail are commemorating the bicentenary of Anthony Trollope’s birth in so many different and exciting ways. These perfectly complement the many other events, book launches, exhibitions and activities that will be taking place throughout 2015 in honour of this prolific and distinguished novelist.

“Trollope’s career in the Post Office, during such an interesting time in its development, undoubtedly influenced his writing and provided him with several plot ideas. The considerable travel that he was able to undertake on behalf of the organisation, throughout the world, helped him to create realistic geographical backgrounds for his novels. This was a unique partnership that deserves full recognition.”

Andrew Young, chairman of The Letter Box Study Group, said: “We are very pleased to be able to help Royal Mail celebrate the bicentenary of Anthony Trollope and illustrate the enormous variety of postboxes that can be found in cities, towns and villages throughout the UK. It is also a good opportunity to showcase the volunteer-led work of the LBSG. Hailed as the ‘leading authority on the British roadside postbox’, it maintains the most comprehensively detailed database of the nation’s 115,500 boxes, and several thousand more from overseas.”

Trollope was born in London on 24 April 1815 and went to school in Harrow. When he was 19 he began working for the Post Office and was based in London for the first seven years of his career. In 1841 he moved to Ireland, where he met Rose Heseltine and they married in 1844. He moved back to England and settled in Waltham Cross with his wife and their two sons in 1859. It was there that he wrote many of his best-loved novels. He left the Post Office in 1867 and tried but failed to become an MP. He continued to write, and by his death on 6 December 1882, had produced 47 novels, five travel books, two plays, biographies, many short stories, reviews, essays, articles and lectures. He is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in London.

He has a memorial stone in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. He also has a blue plaque on the Custom House in Belfast (where Trollope had an office as Postal Surveyor for Northern Ireland) and on 39 Montague Square, London W1, where he lived from 1873.

Royal Mail’s postboxes are a much-loved part of the UK landscape and we have over 115,000 boxes across the country.

The first pillar boxes in the British Isles were erected in Jersey in 1852 as a trial. This was in response to public demand for improved posting facilities, due to an increase in mail following postal reform in 1840. The trial was considered a success and boxes began appearing across mainland Britain from 1853.

Many of the UK’s first postboxes were painted green, to blend in with the landscape. However, to make them more visible to the public, bright red was chosen instead. The new colour was introduced in 1874 and it took 10 years to repaint all postboxes. Red has remained the standard colour for UK boxes from then on with only a few exceptions, one being blue postboxes for overseas mail.

The Commemorative sheet will be available at selected Post Offices branches, online, and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 03457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.

Hotchner: Collecting FDCs Can Be Fascinating

First Day Cover Collecting Includes Fascinating Byways
by John M. Hotchner

hotchnerAs a kid I sent off for First Day Covers (FDCs) of new issues, and was thrilled when cancelled covers arrived in the mailbox. And then, for whatever reason I can’t recall, I turned up my nose and dropped FDCs as a collecting area. It was foolish of me to do that — perhaps influenced by the mantra among experienced collectors that FDCs were only for beginners.

What I didn’t realize at the time was the rich diversity of First Day Covers. They actually go back to the 19th century, when a stamp might have been used on a known first day of release, but there was no organized first day ceremony, and no organization keeping track. Stamps were placed on sale at post offices as received and the result is that the Scott U.S. Specialized Catalogue generally lists Earliest Documented Use (EDU) dates in this era rather than first days.

It is a sport among collectors of 19th century U.S. stamps to find covers or socked-on-the-nose stamps that push the EDU dates further back than the Scott listing. There are also a good many EDUs listed for the first 20+ years of the 20th century, as it seems that only commemoratives had stated first days until the coming of the 1922 Fourth Bureau Issue definitives. By this time, there were many collectors of FDCs, but the only identifier was the cancellation date. If you didn’t know what to look for, you could easily miss the significance of a FDC.

linn610That all changed when George W. Linn, the founder of Linn’s Stamp News, added text to the covers he prepared for the issuance of the perf 11 flat-plate Warren G. Harding Memorial stamp (Scott 610), released on September 1, 1923, shortly after the death-in-office of the president. As shown here, his covers had black mourning bands and the words “In Memoriam, Warren G. Harding, Twenty-Sixth President, Born Nov. 2, 1865 Died August 7, 1923.” These covers exist in several different sizes.

That changed the playing field. Text or illustrations on a first day cover have come to be called “cachets,” and cachetmakers sold their creations; competing to create the most popular art. Some collectors chose a cachetmaker and tried to get every one of his or her covers for their first days. Other collectors rejected this new fad, and stayed with the plain cancelled cover. It is estimated that until about 1936, the majority of FDCs were of the uncacheted type, and virtually all were addressed and actually went through the mail.

In 1937, the now familiar “First Day of Issue” cancellation was used for the first time on the 3¢ stamp commemorating the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 (Scott 795). This is a curiosity as a significant percentage of FDCs dating back to this time — some would say a majority — have not actually been cancelled on the first day. The requester generally has had up to 30 days after issuance to send in cacheted covers to have the stamp and first day cancel added.

Although it has developed that there are standard printed cachets that are most often encountered, ArtCraft being most often seen, many other cachetmakers have had long, or shorter runs producing their unique art. Often printed in small quantities, and sometimes hand drawn in even smaller quantities, FDC collectors of today often enjoy collecting the sc737motherswork of a specific cachetmaker. Others focus in on the stamp, and try to get as many different cachets as can be found for that stamp.

I’ve returned to FDC collecting as a member of the latter group. Although I accumulate the FDCs associated with about a dozen commemoratives, my favorite stamps are the Mothers of America issues of 1934 (an example is shown at above right), and the Adlai Stevenson issue of 1965. (A Marg cachet is shown at left.) The latter illustrates another aspect of sc1275marg2my FDC collecting. In this case, the United Nations Association of the United States of America (a non-governmental organization), used the occasion of the release of the Stevenson stamp to do a special cachet, and stuffed these envelopes with a fund-raising letter.

Other organizations used standard philatelic cachets, but included fund=raising letters, or letters trying to sell a product by relating the stamp issuance to it. An example is a letter included with an ArtCraft cachet for the Stevenson issue from the Prudence Mutual Casualty Company of Chicago, Illinois. Quoted in part it says:

“This FDC honors Adlai Stevenson and comes to you from Bloomington, Illinois, where the Ambassador to the United Nations grew up and is buried…. President Johnson requested the issuance of this stamp in a letter to PMG John A. Gronouski, in which he noted that ‘Adlai Stevenson enlarged our horizons as Americans and helped to light the hopes of mankind all around the world.’… President Johnson, recognizing the importance of the fight against Cancer, authorized issuance of a special stamp in April, 1965, in honor of the Crusade Against Cancer. At the same time, Prudence designed a new Cancer Expense Policy which protects the policy owner against the extreme costs of cancer to a maximum of $10,750.00. Every individual and family should have this low-cost protection.”

It is signed by a printed signature of the president of Prudence.

I find these types of FDCs fascinating and collect the full range of business and non-profit cachets and messages; regardless of which stamp was being released. One sub-genre of these is Congressional FDCs. These were prepared with the idea of sending them to friends and constituents with letters soliciting support for initiatives the Congressperson was involved in, and less often, support for their reelection efforts.

I also dabble in autographed FDCs, pre-first days, and have a pretty good collection of programs from first day ceremonies. The point here is that FDC-collecting can be a serious challenge, a fascinating reflection of the times of the stamps, and an excellent glimpse of the history behind the stamp. Whether you choose to collect the current stamps on standard cachets or to go further afield as noted above, FDC collecting is just plain fun.

There is a national association of FDC collectors called the American First Day Cover Society (AFDCS) devoted to helping collectors understand and appreciate the field.

Should you wish to comment on this column, or have questions or ideas you would like to have explored in a future column, please write to John Hotchner, VSC Contributor, P.O. Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125, or email, putting “VSC” in the subject line.

Or comment right here..

U.S. Civil War First Day Ceremony (2015)

[The article on the stamps themselves is here.]
[Photos courtesy VSC member Rollin Berger]

appo5Long lines and a post office that hadn’t read the first-day instructions from USPS Cancellation Services in Kansas City. The clerks brought the only the cancels intended for Five Forks to the first day ceremony at the Appomattox Court House National Park, but didn’t bring enough stamps. For that, they might be forgiven, because the National Park Service rangers estimated 10-15,000 people at A.C.H. on the 150th anniversary of the surrender that all but ended the Civil War, versus the approximately 50 visitors it gets on a normal day.

There was also frustration at the Appomattox post office, where clerks refused to allow use of the red registry dater every post office must have – even after several calls from USPS Stamp Fulfillment Services. Resolution had to await the return of the postmaster from A.C.H. around 4 p.m. before the dater could be used.

However, VSC member Foster Miller appo3(shown here) says this was an excellent, if long, first day ceremony.

The advance USPS press release said reenactors portraying Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses Grant would bring to life the surrender, and thattwo descendants of soldiers portrayed in the painting on which the Appomattox stamp is based would attend: Dennis Bigelow, descendant appo1of Lt. Col. Chas. Marshall, Lee’s aide at the Appomattox surrender (pictured to Lee’s immediate right in stamp image); and Al Parker, descendant to Grant’s Military Secretary Lt. Col. Ely S. Parker (pictured to Grant’s immediate left). Parker, by the way, was a Native American.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe was among the dignitaries at the ceremony.

First day covers were being sold at the ceremony by the Capital District Civil War Round Table, including unserviced ArtCraft cacheted envelopes for $5 each. appo4

Gifts of Friendship U.S. First Day Ceremony

[main article on the stamps is here]

[press release; photos and video stills courtesy USPS]
Gifts of Friendship Forever Stamps Celebrate Centennial of Gift of Dogwoods to Japan
Flowering Dogwood and Cherry Trees Adorn Stamps Issued in U.S. and Japan

gifts_cer07gifts_cer08WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service and Japan Post jointly issued Gifts of Friendship Forever stamps today, celebrating the American issuance during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC. [The ceremony was held adjacent to the Tidal Basin, with this view nearby —VSC]

The stamps feature beautiful images of flowering dogwood and cherry trees and honor the enduring connection between two nations on the centennial of the gift of dogwood trees from the United States to Japan in 1915.

gifts_cer06“These trees bring renewed life each spring after the long winter months and are celebrated on both sides of the Pacific Ocean with annual festivals that echo the spirit of friendship,” said Postal Service Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Nagisa Manabe (left). “I’m honored to be a part of this special moment that honors our collective history and heritage.”

Joining Manabe in dedicating the stamps were National Cherry Blossom Festival President Diana Mayhew and National Conference of State Societies United States Cherry Blossom Queen Rainey Sewell, among others. gifts_cer05From left, Judy de Torok, Manager, Industry Engagement and Outreach, Consumer & Industry Affairs, USPS; Diana Mayhew, President, National Cherry Blossom Festival; unidentified; Eriko Minami, Japan Flowering Dogwood Queen; Rainey Sewell, National Conference of State Societies United States Cherry Blossom Queen; USPS CMO Nagisa Manabe.gifts_cer14A postal clerk applies the Japanese postmark.
gifts_cer11Some VSC members waiting on line outside the autograph and sales tent: On the far left, American Philatelist editor Jay Bigalke and on the far right, Foster Miller.
gifts_cer10gifts_cer12Above two photographs: Autographing first day ceremony programs.
gifts_cer13The sales area. gifts_cer03Eriko Minami, Japan Flowering Dogwood Queengifts_cer02Rainey Sewell, National Conference of State Societies United States Cherry Blossom Queengifts_cer04Judy de Torok, Manager, Industry Engagement and Outreach, Consumer & Industry Affairs, USPSgifts_cer01Diana Mayhew, President, National Cherry Blossom Festival

Photographers (Canada, 2015)

[press release]

Works of Canada’s best photographers explored further with new set of stamps
Series traces history of photography over the past 150 years
OTTAWA, April 7, 2015 /CNW/ – Seven more of Canada’s best photographers will be celebrated tomorrow as Canada Post releases the third issue of stamps in a five-year series on photography. The work of Nina Raginsky, Sam Tata, Geoffrey James,Larry Towell, Geneviève Cadieux, Conrad Poirier and Harold Mortimer-Lamb was carefully selected with the assistance of leading curators and gallery owners to showcase some of the quintessential Canadian photographs of the past 150 years.

Canadian-Photography-2015-Domestic_RAGINSKY-Stamp-400PNina Raginsky began taking photographs in 1962 with her father’s Nikon F – the only camera she ever owned. She is known for her portraits of people she has encountered as a street photographer in Montréal and throughout Quebec, as well as in Mexico,England, Vancouver, Victoria and other parts of British Columbia. She is an officer of the Order of Canada and her work appears in the National Gallery of Canada. Selected for this series is Shoeshine Stand, shot in Vancouver, B.C., in 1974.

Canadian-Photography-2015-Domestic_TATA-Stamp-400PSam Tata is a photojournalist and portrait photographer who immigrated to Canada in 1956. His portraits of Canadian artists, writers, poets and photographers are an important contribution to Canadian photography. In 1989, he was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Selected for this series is Angels, shot on Saint Jean-Baptiste Day in Montréal, Que., in 1962.

Canadian-Photography-2015-US_JAMES-Stamp-400PGeoffrey James was born in Wales and immigrated to Canada in 1966. James took the portrait Alex Colville on the TantramarMarshes, selected for this stamp series, in 1970 while he was writing a profile of the Canadian painter for Time Canada. His work shows the effects people have had on the land, from asbestos mining in Quebec to the border between the U.S. and Mexico atTijuana. In 2012, he received a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Canadian-Photography-2015-Domestic_TOWELL-Stamp-400PLarry Towell began travelling the world in the early 1980s to document the struggles of the landless and dispossessed in the most prominent uprisings of the time. The photographer, poet, film maker and musician is the author of 14 books of photography and is the recipient of numerous international awards, including the inaugural Henri Cartier-Bresson (France), le prix Nadar(France), the Leica Oskar Barnack (Germany) and several World Press accolades (Holland). Towell was Canada’s first member of the prestigious Magnum Photo Agency and is one of the most decorated Canadian photojournalists. Selected for this series isIsaac’s First Swim, shot in Lambton County, Ontario, in 1996.

Canadian-Photography-2015-Int_CADIEUX-Stamp-400PGeneviève Cadieux presents the body as a landscape, focusing on small details such as a bruise or scar in extreme close-ups. A woman’s red lips are the subject of the photograph selected for this stamp eries, La Voie Lactée. Cadieux is also interested in the way art integrates into the urban environment. Many of her works are installed in public spaces. She is a winner of the 2011 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Canadian-Photography-2015-Domestic_POIRIER-Stamp-400PConrad Poirier. Born in the Montréal area in 1912, Poirier freelanced for newspapers such as La Presse, the Gazette, Le Samediand La Patrie, capturing images of sporting events as well as popular entertainment artists. His celebrity photographs defined him as an early paparazzo. He shot many well-known event and street photographs between 1936 and 1946, work he called his “New Vision” photography. Selected for this series is Friends and Family and Trips. In front of Simpsons, shot in in Montréal in 1936.

Canadian-Photography-2015-Domestic_MORTIMER-Stamp-400PHarold Mortimer-Lamb was a Renaissance man who worked as a mining engineer, journalist, art critic, photographer and artist. Mortimer-Lamb came to Canada from England in 1889, settling in British Columbia. While his professional life was devoted largely to mining, he developed an early interest in photography, specializing in soft-focus romantic portraits. After relocating to Montréal early in 1900, he later returned to Vancouver where he opened an art gallery and began to paint. Selected for this series isSoutham Sisters, c. 1915-1919.

About the stamps
The stamps measure 36 mm x 30 mm (horizontal) and 30 mm x 36 mm (vertical) and are available in booklets of 10 domestic stamps and of six U.S. and International denominations. Two souvenir sheets (one of one vertical stamp and two horizontal stamps; one of four horizontal stamps) measure 150 mm x 75 mm. They were printed by Canadian Banknote and designed byStephane Huot. The Official First Day Cover cancellation site is Montréal, Quebec.