Entire 2017 stamp program to include hidden ‘Canada 150’ markers

This year, Canada Post will celebrate the country’s sesquicentennial with a stamp program that introduces a wealth of new subjects and concludes a few long-running series.

“Every stamp helps tell Canada’s story,” said Deepak Chopra, president and CEO of Canada Post. “With this year’s lineup, we’re not only helping to tell our country’s story, but we’re also helping to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Canada, which we all come together to celebrate.”

Among the highlights of the 2017 stamp program is something of particular interest to philatelists.

“A lot of people might not notice it, or are not going to care, or will not have the tools to find it, but what we’ll be doing is hiding a ‘Canada 150’ marker or date in every single stamp we issue in 2017,” said Director of Stamp Services Jim Phillips. “Some of that will be overt and you’ll be able to see it quite clearly, but some of it will be hidden in micro-type or in tagging.”

Phillips said philatelists should be on the lookout for the Canada 150 logo; the words “Canada 150”; or the dates “1867-2017”.

“These are the three core messages we’ll be hiding in stamps in various ways,” he added.

Canada Post is planning to announce these hidden markers in the first issue of Details this year.

“Some people look at the stamps very closely – they look with microscopes and black lights – but not everyone does,” he said. “There are whole study groups about what’s hidden in stamps, but the vast majority of collectors probably don’t do this, so what we’re going to do is announce it in Details No. 1, which will come out at the start of January, before Jan. 9, which is the date of issue for the Lunar New Year (Year of the Rooster) stamps.”

Phillips said the plan is to ease collectors into the hunt for the Canada 150 markers in an interactive manner.

“We’ll show people for the first couple of issues, but then we won’t anything,” he said. “We’ll let the stamps come out and remind people to look, and then a couple of issues later we’ll show them where it was. It’s a bit interactive in case you didn’t care to look, or you forgot, or you couldn’t find it because it was too small.”

Phillips, who visited the Ottawa Philatelic Society as well as the Philatelic Specialists Society of Canada in 2015, said representatives from Canada Post will again visit local clubs for various presentations throughout 2017.


Although there will be a collection of Canada 150 stamps issued by Canada Post next year, Phillips said it will be a “modest approach as opposed to what we’ve done in the past for things like the Millennium Collection, where we had 68 stamps.”

“That was a lot, and we heard that from our customers, so of course we’ll have stamps for Canada’s 150th that’ll come out later in the year – towards the summer – but it’ll be a modest approach. You won’t see 68 stamps – or even 40 stamps – for Canada 150.”

Phillips said Canada Post has already begun commemorating some of the events along the “Road Map to 2017,” including the 200th anniversary of the birth of John A. Macdonald (issued Jan. 11, 2015) and the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage (issued March 8, 2016).

Slated for release in 2017 is the ninth issue of Canada Post’s 12-year Lunar New Year Series, this year featuring the Rooster, which will be available Jan. 9. Also coming in 2017 is the final series of definitive stamps commemorating Canada’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as a Black History Month stamp featuring Mathieu Da Costa, who was thought to be the first African to set foot on Canadian soil. Daisy stamps are set to bloom in March followed by an issue marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in April.

Next year will also see Canada Post conclude its Canadian Photography and Canadian Opera issues. Perennial favourites like the Community Foundation stamps and Christmas issues will also remain on the program for 2017.

“The other big issues, which we announced long ago, are for the 100th anniversary of the National Hockey League and the 100th anniversary of the Toronto Maple Leafs,” said Phillips.

“We think it’s going to be a super sesquicentennial for stamps.”


Canada Post’s forthcoming stamp program includes:

  • Black History Month: The story of Mathieu Da Costa, believed to be the first person of African descent to reach Canada whose name survived in the historical record.
  • Canadian Opera: A look at two great Canadian operas as well as some talented individuals who have put our country on the world stage in opera.
  • Daisies: A bouquet of two indigenous blooms; southern Ontario’s lakeside daisy and showy fleabane, found in the high country of British Columbia and Alberta.
  • 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge: We respectfully honour the thousands of Canadians who lost their lives or were injured while securing Vimy Ridge from enemy forces.
  • Multiculturalism – Eid, Diwali and Hanukkah celebrations: Stamps that depict our pride in being a land of diverse customs and celebrations.
  • 100th Anniversary of the NHL: Looking back on 100 years of hockey, a game that unites us all.
  • 100th Anniversary of the Toronto Maple Leafs: A celebration of a proud history of the “boys in blue.”
  • 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion: We look at how Halifax weathered this terrible and deadly event, the greatest marine tragedy of its time.

Several stamp series or annual issues that will continue or conclude are:

  • Lunar New Year: Year of the Rooster;
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada;
  • Canadian Photography;
  • Birds of Canada; and
  • Canada Post Community Foundation.

This year’s Christmas greetings, mailers can choose a sacred image, with Adoration of the Shepherds by Tommaso de Stefano Luneti or whimsical images of woodland creatures.

Canada Post says additional 2017 stamp issues will be announced closer to their release dates.

Many of Canada’s stamp topics are the result of suggestions from the Canadian public or organizations wishing to commemorate a significant person, milestone or event. Canada Post is welcoming suggestions for consideration for the 2019 program and beyond.

For more information, visit canadapost.ca.

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