Canada Post’s 2013 stamp program runs the gamut, with everything from motorcycles to pets. At the end of May, Canada Post unveiled the program, although in some cases details were somewhat sketchy. “The diversity of Canada is reflected in this year’s stamp program, offering a stamp every Canadian can identify with, whether it is history or rock and roll,” said Minister of State (Transport) Steven Fletcher, who is also the minister responsible for Canada Post.
Canada Post president Deepak Chopra paid tribute to the work of the Stamp Advisory Group in narrowing the list down from more than 500 topics. “I wish to thank the Stamp Advisory Committee for their valuable contribution to the selection of this year’s program,” he said. The Stamp Advisory Committee guides the selection of stamp subjects and designs. It is comprised of Canadians from across the country chosen for their knowledge of history, design, philately or other areas of expertise. Three new members were appointed to the committee for 2012: philatelist, author, journalist and Canadian Stamp News columnist Michael O. Nowlan; McGill University history professor Suzanne Morton; and David K. Foot, demographer and author of the bestselling book, Boom, Bust and Echo.
According to Canada Post official Anick Losier, the corporation expects collectors to be particularly interested in a Gates of Chinatown issue, which commemorates eight Chinese gates in eight different Canadian cities, interpreted by eight different artists. Other commemoratives include a set of stamps produced in co-operation with the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies to encourage Canadians to adopt a pet and reduce the number of unwanted animals in Canada. A set of stamps will celebrate the motorcycle and its role in Canadian history. More than 20 motorcycle brands have originated in this country and the stamps will commemorate Canadian designs.
A stamp will be issued to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Robertson Davies, a Canadian novelist and journalist who died in 1995. A stamp will be issued to honour Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Canada, and the organization’s century of working to ensure young people have positive adult role models. Postal history will get a nod with the stamp issued to mark the 250th anniversary of formalized postal service in Canada. In 1763, service was established between Quebec, Montreal and Trois-Rivières. Benjamin Franklin, the deputy postmaster general in North America, came to Quebec from Philadelphia to establish the organization.
Next year will also see the introduction of some new series. Canadian photography will be the subject of a five-year series depicting 150 years “of the most compelling photographs taken by Canadians.” Another series, Haunted Canada, will mark Canadian ghost stories and supernatural activities. Losier said the stamps will use special effects and is expected to be popular with both collectors and stamp users. Several series will be returning. The next issue in the latest series of Lunar New Year stamps will mark the Year of the Snake. Five more stamps will be issued in the Canadian flag series. The third issue of baby wildlife stamps will hit the streets.
The signs of the Zodiac will conclude with the final four stamps, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. After a year of celebrating Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, a stamp will be issued in 2013 marking the 60th anniversary of her coronation. The black history series will continue with stamps honouring Canadian jazz pianist Oliver Jones and Vancouver volunteer lifeguard Joe Fortes. The flower series will honour magnolias. Two more War of 1812 stamps will be issued, these two honouring Laura Secord and Lt.-Col. Charles de Salaberry. A second children’s literature issue will feature Marie-Louise Gay’s Stella character published by Groundwood Books.
After several years of honouring Canadian recording artists, the fourth issue will recognize bands rather than individual performers. A military anniversary will be marked with a stamp for the 150th anniversary of Princess of Wales’ Own Regiment. There will be six commemorative envelopes: Lincoln and Welland Regiment, 100th anniversary; 49th Field Artillery Regiment, 100th anniversary; Olds College, 100th anniversary; Louisbourg, 300th anniversary; Montreal Fire Department, 150th anniversary; and 4-H Canada, 100th anniversary.