Expertising a needed and growing service

The expertising service is on the front line of the war against those people who alter stamps, often seeking windfall profits as a result of some of this tampering. I’m not talking about someone who soaks a stamp to clean off grime, or even may use an eraser to eliminate a tiny pencil mark. There are people out there who intentionally alter the colour of a stamp, or remove a cancellation, or even change the back of a stamp to a different sort of paper. The problem is, even experts can make a mistake. For that reason most services are prepared to explain the reasons behind their decision, and even agree to reconsider when a reasonable case is presented. But one big advantage of having a stamp expertised is that it can be bought and sold with a fair amount of confidence that it is the genuine item. Continue reading →

Collecting world still leaves room for mystery

We sometimes imply that there is a sort of natural evolution; that the collector starts out just accumulating, then eventually develops a plan, and finally becomes serious. At that point they start thinking about publishing and exhibiting. I don’t think that is always the case. I know some very experienced collectors who sort of do both things at once. They have a serious collection, which takes up most of their collecting budget and a chunk of time, and one or two fun collections which have little value but give them great pleasure. We also know generalist collectors, who take their hobby very seriously. My point here is that whatever you call it, the hobby is just not something that is easy to sum up in a single sentence. It is not just about acquisition, and it is not just about study, and for way too many of us, it is not just about profit. Continue reading →

Cool new Canadian stamps tough to track down

Yet I remember very clearly a set of British stamps issued in 1966 to mark the 900th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest. Granted those stamps, based on the famous Bayeux Tapestries, with scenes of arms, armour, and combat, had a lot more appeal for a young boy, but I think it was also the colour and vitality of the stamps. Face it, in the 1960s, Canadian stamps, while artistically well done, were often somewhat conservative in tone. What I am stating here is pretty obvious. However, in the more recent history there has been a dramatic change, not just in the look and style, but in the content. Continue reading →

More of the same… or is it?

Frankly, I wondered if we would see similar changes in the regular stamp lineup. The truth is, stamp programs have some flexibility, but the 2013 issues were well on the road to being settled months ago. What I do see are a couple of interesting issues such as motorcycles and ghost stories, which seem a bit out of the ordinary. But on a second look, they are not that much different from issues such as Canadian motor vehicles, and the spooky stamp month issue of some 15 or more years ago. The truth is, this stamp program, with the exception of some as-yet-undefined special effects, is not that different from those of past years. Continue reading →

CFL still biggest game in some towns

Weather permitting, we played football in backyards, inventing ways to play two-on-one, or even two-on-three, running the length of the yard for a down, then turning around and running the other way for a touchdown. For me, life was simple and Russ Jackson was the king. Then, over the years, something happened. When I moved to southern Ontario I discovered that the most populated part of Canada, star-struck by the drawing power of our neighbours to the south, was enamoured with the National Football League. What’s your favourite team? was more likely to bring a response such as Miami or Buffalo, instead of Ottawa or Hamilton. One day, a friend of mine remarked, “They will hold a Grey Cup game in Toronto and nobody in the city will notice.” I’ve seen that happen twice. Continue reading →

Universal health care a newer, but defining Canadian detail

That short history lesson reminds us that something we have come to take for granted really is quite a recent innovation. So it is nice to see a stamp that reminds us that this part of our identity is so very new; much newer than Confederation. I often joke that Canadians often define themselves in two ways: one, that they have universal health care, and two, that they are not residents of the United States. If that’s the case, these stamps are very truly Canadian. Continue reading →

Canada’s role in Korean War often forgotten

The truth is that many Canadians forget that this nation committed an entire infantry brigade with supporting troops to that war. That is a significantly larger commitment than at any time in Afghanistan, and remains, in fact our largest commitment of military personnel since the Second World War. The irony comes from the fact that Canada Post has no announced plans to issue a stamp next year to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the conflict. It is a symbol of how, to most Canadians, the Korean War seems more about M*A*S*H reruns than about very human sacrifices and suffering. I suggest that if Canada Post wants to save the day here, it can issue a 2014-dated stamp marking the return to Canada of the last troops sent to Korea. The best way to remember a war is to remember the peace that came afterwards. Continue reading →

Irv knows the stamps of tomorrow are invested in young artists of today

Irv Osterer is to be commended for challenging high school students to design stamps and related products. While it is debatable how many, if any, of his young charges will actually turn into commercial stamp artists or collectors, he nonetheless is reaching out to a group of young people. As a parent, I know that many of these people not only don’t collect stamps, they don’t even use them. What’s more, with regular post offices closing all over Canada, I doubt many young people even know where to buy a stamp. This is all just a sign of the times. Continue reading →

Station K closure a sign of the times

On one level is the fact that the Station K building is unique in that the royal cipher ER over the doorway is actually ER VIII, or King Edward VIII. Most of us know him better as the Duke of Windsor, the man who became King of England in the 1930s, and then abdicated to marry the woman he loved, a divorced American commoner. The Brits are pretty tolerant of their royalty, but apparently do have a three-strike rule. Although never actually crowned king, Edward did rule for a short period of time. During that time, Canada Post built Station K, and put his cipher over the door. It is, I am told, the only post office and possibly the only public building in Canada to bear this distinction. Continue reading →

Weekend warriors deserve as much honour as any soldier

What makes the honouring of these regiments is that while the Canadian army did maintain two regular force Black Watch battalions for a few years, today these regiments are made up of citizen soldiers. Sometimes – and not always affectionately – referred to as weekend warriors. These young men and women train evenings and weekends, for them the army is a part-time job or hobby. It is a tradition that goes back a long time. Canada had an active militia even before the War of 1812. Since then, in every crisis, the part-time soldier has been called on time and time again. Sometimes, such as in the Second World War, entire units have been activated; other times, such as Afghanistan, much smaller units, or even individuals, have been called upon. Continue reading →

Keep up to date with the philatelic community

Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Canadian Stamp News

Canada

Canadian Stamp News is Canada's premier source of information about stamp collecting and related fields.

Although we cover the entire world of philatelics, the majority of our readers are Canadian, and we concentrate on the unique circumstances surrounding collecting in our native land.

Send Us Your Event

Running an event? Send it to us and we will display it on Canadian Stamp News!

Submit Event →

Subscribe To 26 Issues For Just $49.99/year

Subscribe today to receive Canada's premier stamp publication. Canadian Stamp News is available in both paper and digital forms.

Subscribe Now