The joint issue will feature two stamps—one designed by Canada Post and the La Poste—honouring the bond forged between the two nations.
“The Battle of Vimy Ridge saw thousands of Canadians make the ultimate sacrifice and is the best-known chapter in our country’s proud First World War history,” said Deepak Chopra, president and CEO of Canada Post. “The valour of Canadians at Vimy a century ago is a poignant reminder of the enormous price paid so we can live in freedom.”
Available in a booklet of 10, the domestic-rate stamp measures 41 mm x 30 mm and features lithography in a four-colour process and two special inks. A souvenir sheet issued by Canada Post in its international-rate denomination features the two stamps. It measures 130 mm x 85 mm and includes lithography and offset gravure printing. An official first-day cover with a single domestic-rate stamp and a joint official first-day cover with both stamps at the Canadian international rate measure 190 mm x 112 mm and feature a four-colour process and one special ink.
The Canadian stamp was designed by Susan Scott, of Montréal, and features the two towering pylons of Walter Allward’s Vimy monument, which represent France and Canada. The sheer scale of the monument reflects Canada’s important contribution to Allied victory in the First World War. In the foreground of the stamp is a figure of a grieving man, one of the monument’s statues, symbolizing loss and grief. The ridge behind the monument on the stamp recalls the site of the battle itself.
“The size of the monument and its masterfully carved statues are impressive, but I find the most moving part is the thousands of names inscribed into the limestone,” said Scott.
Also represented on the stamp are the thousands of names inscribed around the base of the monument. They are a memorial to all the Canadians who died in France during the First World War and had no known grave at the time. Laurel sprigs surrounding the monument’s two towers on the stamp represent the victory and tragic loss of life. A maple leaf on one sprig represents Canada, while an oak leaf on the other represents France.
The French stamp focuses on one of the most poignant statues at the site, a cloaked woman. Representing a country in mourning, “Canada Bereft” gazes down at a symbolic tomb at her feet and overlooks the French countryside where Canadians fought for peace and sacrificed for freedom.
The Canadian National Vimy Memorial was featured on a stamp Canada Post issued in 1968, commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War.