Canadian semi-postal issue earns $1.3 million for nearly 120 youth-focused organizations

118 youth-focused groups to receive funds as 2020 semi-postal raises money for next year’s grants

The Canada Post Community Foundation has announced 118 Canadian organizations will receive $1.3 million in grants for projects focusing on Canadian children and youth.

The 2020 grant recipients include grassroots organizations from every province and territory. The grants support projects for children and youth in three areas—community programs and services, including social services, arts and culture; education projects, including therapeutic and rehabilitative programs; and projects supporting the health and physical activity of children from vulnerable communities or with disabilities or illnesses.

Among this year’s grant recipients are:

  • Hope Air, which was awarded $50,000 – a “signature grant” – and provides families free flights and accommodations when they need to travel long distances for vital medical care;
  • the municipality of Bird Cove, N.L., which was awarded $5,000 to purchase indoor and outdoor sports equipment for the Bird Cove Active Kids program;
  • Barraute, Qué.’s La Maison des jeunes “Le KAO,” which was awarded $2,500 to hire a music teacher for their “Le temps d’une chanson” program; and
  • Fort Simpson, N.W.T.’s Bompas Elementary School (now known as Líídlįį Kúę Elementary School), which was awarded $5,000 to purchase new Chromebooks – Google-made laptops – to increase the technological capacity for their school and their students.

Over the past nine years, the Community Foundation – established in 2012 to provide grants to Canadian schools, charities and organizations – has granted more than $9 million to hundreds of initiatives. The recipients include literacy and language programs, youth outreach services, gender and sexual diversity programs, arts and recreation projects, special education programs, childhood health programs, anti-bullying initiatives, mentoring programs and more.

The Community Foundation raises money through the sale of its annual semi-postal stamp, which raises funds for the following year’s grants. This year’s stamp – issued on Sept. 21 – will raise funds for distribution in 2021.

The foundation also raises funds through a five-week in-store campaign to solicit point-of-sale donations from customers plus a year-round employee payroll donation program.

In previous years, retail locations across Canada held local fundraising events; however, in lieu of events during the COVID-19 pandemic, customers and the public are also encouraged to donate online at

Montréal artist Isabelle Arsenault designed the 2020 semi-postal issue.


Now in its 13th year, Canada Post’s annual semi-postal stamp was issued on Sept. 21.

It was the ninth semi-postal issued by the Crown corporation since 2012, when the fundraising program was changed to support the Canada Post Community Foundation. For the preceding four years, the funds went towards the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health, and before that, the only Canadian semi-postals were issued in 1996 and 1974-76.

“The design for this year’s fundraising stamp issue for Canada Post Community Foundation was most definitely a group effort,” reads a recent issue of Details magazine released by the Crown corporation in September.

“After the experts on our Stamp Advisory Committee selected their top three choices, our frontline postal staff were asked to vote for their favourite based on what they had heard from customers about past issues.”

The winning concept was submitted by Vancouver’s Subplot Design and features an illustration by Isabelle Arsenault, of Montréal. The stamp depicts “a diverse community of animals living peacefully in a bountiful tree,” Valérie Chartrand, media relations officer with Canada Post, told CSN this August. At the top of the tree is a bear, beneath which is another smaller bear, a squirrel, a cardinal and a snail, each sitting on a different branch. A butterfly is also flying below alongside a deer, a fox, a rabbit and a beaver.

“It reminds us that, despite our differences, we have the power to come together, live in harmony and enrich each other’s lives,” added Chartrand.

Printed by Toronto’s Colour Innovations using four-colour lithography, the issue is available in 10-stamp booklets, 160,000 of which were printed on Tullis Russell paper. Each stamp measures 33 millimetres by 40 millimetres (vertical).

A total of 7,000 official first-day covers, each serviced with an Ottawa cancellation, were also issued.

Each 10-stamp booklet will carry a $1 surcharge while each official first-day cover – each with a single stamp – will have a 10-cent surcharge.

The issue’s official first-day cover is serviced with a Sept. 21-dated cancel from Ottawa.


In 2008, Canada Post launched a series of semi-postals to support its newly created Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health.

Four years later, the program was changed to support another new foundation, the Canada Post Community Foundation.

The only other Canadian semi-postals were issued between 1974 and 1976 (Scott #B1- B12) to support the Olympic Games in Montréal – the first North American semi-postal issues – plus in 1996 to support literacy in Canada (SC #B13).

Production of Canada’s modern semi-postals has been low, starting at 10 million in 2012 and dropping to about a 10th of that amount in recent years.

A total of 1.6 million stamps were printed this year.

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