2021 stamp program subjects unveiled

Canada Post unveiled the subjects for next year’s stamp program earlier this week.

In the first few months of 2021, the Crown corporation is slated to issue:

  • a “stunning, multi-stamp retrospective” of its long-running Lunar New Year series on Jan. 15;
  • a set of Black History Month stamps paying homage to a pair of pioneering settlements – Amber Valley, Alta., and Willow Grove, N.B. – on Jan. 22;
  • another set on Feb. 16 featuring five camouflaging “Snow Mammals” that turn white in winter; and
  • a set of flower stamps featuring crabapple blossoms on March 1.

Other highlights of next year’s stamp program include the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin; two legends of Canadian ballet; the 100th anniversary of the launch of the legendary schooner Bluenose; and the three First World War heroes of Winnipeg’s Valour Road.

The following series are also slated to make an encore appearance:

  • the Canada Post Community Foundation semi-postal stamp supporting Canadian children;
  • new editions of the Eid, Diwali and Hanukkah stamps celebrating Canada’s cultural diversity; and
  • the 2021 holiday issues featuring “a heavenly angel and portraits of classic characters.”


Working about two years in advance from concept to completion, Canada Post’s 12-person Stamp Advisory Committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending ideas for the country’s annual stamp program.

“We’re very honoured to be able to have that role at Canada Post, and we take that role very seriously,” Jim Phillips, director of stamp services, told CSN in 2017.

Phillips often corrects people who refer to Canada’s stamps as “Canada Post stamps.”

“Those are Canadian stamps,” he said. “Those are the stamps we’re issuing for Canada, and we cherish that role and try to do the best we can to meet all the different needs for all the different communities who are interested in postage.”

The country’s annual stamp program abides by the “Philatelic Code of Ethics” drafted by the Universal Postal Union (UPU), which Canada joined on Jan. 7, 1878, nearly four years after the union was established by the Treaty of Bern.

Established in 1999 at the 22nd UPU Congress in China, the Philatelic Code of Ethics offers nine recommendations to its member countries, including “making sure they issue the right amount of stamps for the market, making sure they don’t create rarities on purpose, and making sure their countries are celebrating things that are primarily related to their host country,” Phillips said.

Canada Post’s stamp-selection policy was created alongside the Stamp Advisory Committee in 1969.

“The vast majority of our stamps still come, to this day, from suggestions from the public,” said Phillips, who added this includes individuals, institutions, associations and lobby or interest groups. “Other areas come from my team, who’s always looking at what’s going on, and some series come from committee members, who are allowed to present ideas to the committee as well.”

The Stamp Advisory Committee typically meets three times a year to discuss the upcoming stamp program. Its members are appointed by Canada Post’s board of directors to a maximum of two three-year terms, allowing for six years in total. They are appointed based on recommendations from the committee chair.

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