Dahlias to dazzle this year’s flower stamps

Two stamps featuring brightly coloured dahlias will welcome spring’s return as part of Canada Post’s annual flower issue on March 2.

The yearly tradition – usually issued just in time for wedding season – stretches back to 2004 with the beginning of a seven-year “Flowers” series. Since then, each year’s issue has focused on a specific flower, including sunflowers (2011); daylilies (2012); magnolias (2013); roses (2014); pansies (2015); hydrangeas (2016); daisies (2017); lotuses (2018); and gardenias (2019).

This year, the flower in the spotlight is the dahlia, which is found in almost every colour of the rainbow except blue. Said to symbolize honesty, balance, inner strength, creativity, positive change and kindness, these versatile flowers have also been associated with diversity because of the seamless way their petals form a single, dazzling blossom.

“Canadian gardeners enjoy dahlias for their long-blooming, show-stopping appeal, and because they provide a nectar source for pollinators until winter,” said Carolyn Cutt, president of the Hamilton and District Chrysanthemum and Dahlia Society.

Throughout the Victorian era, couples gave each other dahlias as a symbol of commitment, something that lends to their popularity as wedding floral arrangements today.

Also a favourite among Canadian gardeners, the dahlia is native to the mountainous regions of Mexico and Central America and is related to the sunflower, chrysanthemum and daisy.

Late last year, Canada Blooms – the country’s largest garden and flower festival – named the “Sincerity Dahlia” as its flower of the year. Similar in appearance to the pinkish dahlia depicted on one of the recently issued stamps, the Sincerity Dahlia has large pink and white bi-colour flowers with a touch of yellow at their centre.

The 2020 dahlia issue is also available in coils of 50 stamps (shown) plus booklets of 10 stamps and four- and 10-stamp strips.


The 2020 dahlia set includes:

  • 600,000 booklets of 10 stamps with both designs, each measuring 26 millimetres by 32 millimetres and printed using five-colour lithography;
  • 130,000 coils of 50 stamps with both designs, each measuring 20 millimetres by 24 millimetres and printed using six-colour lithography;
  • 1,600 strips of 10 stamps made from the 50-stamp coils;
  • 2,500 strips of four stamps made from the 50-stamp coils;
  • 70,000 two-stamp souvenir sheets measuring 127 millimetres by 73 millimetres and printed using five-colour lithography with both designs.

    The dahlia set’s official first-day cover is serviced with a cancel from Bloomfield, N.L.

A total of 7,000 official first-day covers measuring 190 millimetres by 112 millimetres also feature both designs. Serviced with a cancel from Bloomfield, N.L., the cover depicts an enlarged version of a dahlia bloom.

The set was printed by the Canadian Bank Note Company and designed by Lionel Gadoury, Umaymah Motala and Malika Soin, of Context Creative, using photographs by Veronique Meignaud.


Another six issues are slated for release by Canada Post before July.

The upcoming issues will commemorate:

  • Eid, also known as the “Festival of the Sacrifice,” the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year (April 24);
  • the 75th anniversary of Allied victory in Europe (April 29);
  • the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven (May 7);
  • the history of radio (May 20);
  • vintage travel posters (June 30); and
  • “Legends of Ballet” (date to be confirmed).

For more information, visit canadapost.ca.

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