By Jesse Robitaille
Canada Post has postponed three of its four September issues, with only its annual semi-postal stamp released today as planned.
The Crown corporation pushed back the release of a set highlighting a “novel topic,” another issue “that draws the line” plus a stamp with “universal appeal,” originally slated for Sept. 8, Sept. 14 and Sept. 29, respectively (“Waiting with bated breath for Canada Post’s next stamps,” CSN Vol. 46 #10).
“The other stamp issues originally slated for release in September will now be issued later this fall,” Eunice Machuhi, a media relations manager with Canada Post, told CSN in early September. “Our hope is that we can conduct in-person launches should safety protocols allow.”
As of today, this year’s semi-postal stamp is available – as planned – online and at some of Canada Post’s 6,300 post offices. It’s the Crown corporation’s 10th semi-postal since 2012, when the fundraising program began supporting the Canada Post Community Foundation.
Each 10-stamp booklet carries a $1 surcharge while each official first-day cover (OFDC), each franked with a single stamp, has a 10-cent surcharge. The surcharges go towards the foundation’s funding for local and national non-profit groups serving the needs of children and youth in Canada. Since its establishment, the foundation has raised more than $11 million to support about 1,000 non-profit organizations.
“As was the case with last year’s design, this year’s stamp was selected by Canada Post’s frontline retail employees,” said Machuhi.
GLOWING WITH CREATIVITY
Designed by Vancouver’s Subplot, the 2021 stamp features an illustration by Kim Smith “that literally glows with creativity,” Machuhi added.
“The luminous fireflies in this charming illustration is a reminder of the light that shines within each of us.”
Smith, who’s based in Calgary, Alta., is a New York Times best-selling illustrator and the author and illustrator of the book Boxitects.
Toronto’s Colour Innovations printed the issue using five-colour lithography. A total of 180,000 booklets – 1.8 million stamps, each measuring 30 millimetres by 30 millimetres – were printed. This year’s print quantity is up slightly from last year, when 1.6 semi-postals were printed.
When the modern semi-postal series began in 2012, the print quantity was 10 million.
For this year’s issue, 7,000 OFDCs were also printed and serviced with a cancel from Moonbeam, Ont.
From 2008-11, the semi-postal funds went towards the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health. The only earlier Canadian semi-postals came out in 1996 (Scott #B13) and 1974-76 (SC #B1- B12).