2021 CSN Stamp Survey now open

After a 10-year hiatus, CSN has revived its annual stamp survey.

Dubbed the 2021 CSN Stamp Survey, its main focus is to uncover collectors’ thoughts about Canada’s stamp program as well as their stamp-buying habits and membership status. Anyone who collects Canadian stamps is encouraged to participate by answering the survey’s 11 questions before the online polls close on March 15 at 9 p.m. (ET). On the survey page – canadianstampnews.com/2021-csn-stamp-survey – respondents can browse through each stamp issued last year before answering the questions.

“By participating in the 2021 CSN Stamp Survey, our first in a decade, you’ll be providing invaluable insights into Canadian philately,” says CSN reporter Jesse Robitaille, whose next “Philatelic Commentary” editorial (Vol. 45 #23) will unveil the survey to print readers.

The results of our previous survey were published in 2011 (CSN Vol. 36 #14).

The survey questions, which only take about 10 minutes to answer, include:

  • What is the best designed Canadian stamp of 2020?
  • What is the worst designed Canadian stamp of 2020?
  • What is the most relevant Canadian issue of 2020?
  • What is the least relevant Canadian issue of 2020?
  • What is your overall favourite Canadian stamp of 2020?
  • Do you purchase stamps online or at a post office?
  • In your experience, does your local post office have new stamps in stock within their first week of issue?
  • Do you buy each new stamp issued by Canada Post?
  • Do you collect anything other than new issues (i.e., classic stamps, covers, postcards, coins, etc.)?
  • Are you a member of a stamp club?
  • Do you subscribe to CSN?

A full review will be published in the issue of CSN immediately following the March 15 closing date (Vol. 45 #26, dated March 23).

The previous CSN Stamp Survey, held in 2011, found the previous year’s $10 ‘Blue Whale’ stamp was collectors’ favourite issue.


The previous CSN stamp survey was done in 2011 (“Blue whale swims away with favourite stamp title,” CSN Vol. 36 #14), when respondents chose the previous year’s $10 “Blue Whale” stamp (Scott #2405) as their favourite issue.

Still Canada’s largest stamp at 128 millimetres across, the Blue Whale stamp earned 19.8 per cent of the 3,344 votes cast in the favourite stamp category.

The second-place set was the two-stamp Year of the Tiger issue (SC #2348-49), which received 10.2 per cent of the votes and marked the first time a Lunar New Year stamp finished in the top three of CSN’s survey.

Third place went to the five-stamp “Wildlife Photography” issue (SC #2388-93) at 7.83 per cent. The Canadian Navy issue (SC #2384-86) was fourth at 7.78 per cent, and fifth was the “Four Indian Kings” issue (SC #2380-83).

In the 2011 survey, the previous year’s ‘Mental Health’ semi-postal stamp was voted as the least favourite issue of 2010.


In the least favourite category, the “Mental Health” semi-postal stamp (SC #B16) earned 15.91 per cent of the 3,263 votes cast in that category.

Second place went to the “Canada-Israel Friendship” stamp (SC #2379) at 11.19 per cent, third was the “Rotary International Centennial” stamp with 9.9 per cent, and fourth was the Queen Elizabeth definitive (SC #2365) at 6.31 per cent.

Tied for fifth – and just three votes behind the Queen issue – were the four-stamp “Roadside Attractions” set (SC #2397-2401) and “Cupids” stamp (SC #2403), both at 6.22 per cent.

The ‘Canadian Navy Centennial’ issue (souvenir sheet shown) was voted as the most relevant issue in the 2011 survey.


The Canadian Navy issue earned the top honour as the most relevant issue of 2010, with 21.58 per cent of the 3,286 votes cast in that category.

The next three stamps voted as most relevant were all Olympic stamps, including:

  • 13.88 per cent for the four-stamp “Celebrating the Olympic Spirit” set (SC #2373-75);
  • 12.11 per cent for the two-stamp “Canada Strikes Gold!” set (SC #2371-72); and
  • 10.83 per cent for the two-stamp “Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games” set (SC #2366-68).

In total, the three Olympic issues garnered 36.82 per cent.

In fifth place was a surprise contender, the five-stamp “Flag over Mills” definitive issue, with at 9.83 per cent.

In 2011, the ‘Year of the Tiger’ issue (domestic-rate stamp shown) was voted as the least relevant issue of the previous year’s stamp program.


In what was previously a CSN Stamp Survey tradition, the Lunar New Year issue dominated the least relevant category with 25.77 per cent of the 3,194 votes cast.

“Clearly, the collectors continue to question this series despite its retail success and now its success in the favourite category,” said collector and survey compiler Stuart Keeley, of St. Catharines, in 2010.

Second place went to the “Canada-Israel Friendship” issue at 12.65 per cent, the two-stamp “African Violets” issue (SC #2376-78) was third at 9.92 per cent, fourth went to Cupids at 6.29 per cent, and fifth place was the Queen Elizabeth definitive stamp at 5.89 per cent.

The 2011 survey also asked six general questions, including:

  • “Do you view or purchase the new stamp issues online?” (75.61 per cent said yes);
  • “Do you purchase at your local post office?” (73.61 per cent said yes);
  • “Does your post office carry the philatelic products to meet your needs?” (60.27 per cent said no);
  • “Do you collect items other than stamps?” (44.1 per cent said yes, with coins topping the list at 55.25 per cent and other currency, including banknotes, adding another 10.66 per cent);
  • “Would you like to see more high-value definitive stamps?” (55.9 per cent yes); and
  • “Are you aware of Canada Post’s official ‘Stamp Collecting’ group on Facebook?” (82.97 per cent said no).

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