Students create philatelic tribute to Jack Layton

The Grade 11 students had to research not only Layton’s distinctive look, but also the challenges in creating art for an image as tiny as a stamp. The students had their choice of media, ranging from watercolour to caricature. The finished designs were then treated digitally, to create the final stamp representations. Students also created cancellation, first-day cover (FDC), and booklet designs. The FDC “cancels” are marked July 18, Layton’s birthday. The project proved an interesting one at a time when many youngsters have never even used postage stamps. Continue reading →

Royal Mail paints the country gold

Just hours into the Olympic Games, the Royal Mail issued new stamps to celebrate six gold medals Britain had won in London. Won on a Saturday, the stamps were on sale the following Sunday at selected post offices. It is the first time the mother of all posts has issued stamps honouring individual athletes, and only the third time a host nation has issued individual Olympic gold medal stamps. The stamps are offered at more than 500 post office branches, all of which will remain open on Sundays during the Games, the first time Royal Mail branches have been open on any Sunday. Continue reading →

Picture postage line gets jazzed up in time for holidays

Canada Post has jazzed up the picture postage line up with new formats, new values, and new frames. In fact, nearly 100 new value and format combinations now exist. According to the Crown corporation, picture postage is now available with 12 new designs and three new formats. Canadians can choose between permanent domestic rate, United States rate, international rate, and oversize rate. As for formats, the stamps are now offered in sheets of 25 stamps plus a souvenir sheet of 50, a sheet of 50, and in booklets of 12 stamps. The new booklet format allows customers to have a different image on the cover than on the stamps, and has a personalized caption. Continue reading →

New British stamps probe the depths of our solar system

Although never really considered a member of the space club, the United Kingdom has issued a set of stamps marking that nation’s role in the exploration of space. The stamps, released Oct. 18, are exciting in that they show images of the solar system taken from European Space Agency probes, partly funded by Britain. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first British satellite, Ariel 1, launched April 26, 1962 from Cape Canaveral. All six of the Ariel satellites, used for research of the ionosphere and cosmic X-rays, were launched from Cape Canaveral. Britain did launch one satellite, Prospero, from a site in Australia busing the British Black Arrow launch vehicle. After that the British abandoned efforts to create their own launch vehicle and have launched satellites by contracting the services to NASA. Continue reading →

Canada Post to play a tune for jazz-man Oliver Jones

One of next year’s Black History stamps has already been announced, a stamp honouring 78-year-old jazz great Oliver Jones. The Montreal-born musician grew up just a few doors down from Oscar Peterson, and at one time studied piano under Daisy Peterson Sweeney, the performer’s sister. Jones was a child prodigy who started playing songs by memory at the age of three, and first performed at the age of five at Union United Church in Montreal. Continue reading →

Canadian Postal Museum to close in overhaul

Redevelopment of the Canadian Museum of Civilization will see an end to the Canadian Postal Museum, but not to postal exhibits and collections. On Oct. 16, Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore announced that the Canadian Museum of Civilization would become the Canadian Museum of History, with the transition to be completed by 2017, Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation. Under the redesign, the Canadian Personalities Hall, the Canada Hall, and the Canadian Postal Museum will be combined to create a new, permanent exhibition on Canadian history. Many of the artifacts, collections and stories currently found in these spaces will be re-integrated into the new gallery as they form part of our national story. Continue reading →

Envelope celebrates musical legacy of Canada’s Royal Conservatory

Canada Post has issued a commemorative envelope for the 125th anniversary of the Royal Conservatory (RC), one of the largest and most respected music and arts education institutions in the world. As it grew to become one of the dominant musical institutions in Canada, so did its reputation for professional training, its national examination system, and its faculty of distinguished musicians. Over the years, some of Canada’s most famous musicians studied at the Royal Conservatory, including Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, David Foster, Sarah McLachlan and Angela Hewitt. Continue reading →

Nestlé Turtles stamp pokes its head out

A corporate use of picture postage has created a stir in the stamp collecting community. In early November, Canada Post outlets started selling packages of Turtles chocolate candies with prepaid postage using the new oversize-rate stamp that is now part of the picture postage series. It was the first use of the new rate, which was announced earlier in the year. Originally it had been planned to take effect Nov. 5, but that launch was rescheduled to Dec. 3. The Turtles stamp features what Canada Post describes as a vintage turtle created in a dots design, with the $1.29 rate. Canada Post spokesperson Anick Losier told Canadian Stamp News that the packages were being sold in about 4,000 post offices for $4.95. Continue reading →

December mail volume expected to hit a billion

The December mail amounts of approximately 25 per cent of Canada Post’s annual retail transactions and nearly 20 per cent of the mail sent into Canada from around the world is during the holiday season. The five biggest mailers to Canada are the United States, Britain, China, Hong Kong and South Korea. According to Cote, the single busiest day for processing mail was expected to be Dec. 13, with the heaviest delivery day being Dec. 21. Continue reading →

Water snake rings in Lunar New Year

Canada Post will continue its second series of lunar zodiac stamps with two issues for the Year of the Snake. This year’s stamps, designed by Joe Gault and Avi Dunkleman of MIX Design Group and calligrapher Tan Chao Chang, feature a water snake. The snake represents intelligence, materialism and gracefulness. Those born in the Year of the Snake tend to be analytical and lovers of luxury. It is the fifth year in a row that two stamps have been issued in the series. Continue reading →

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