A three-stamp set honouring Nova Scotia folk artist Maud Lewis was unveiled in a virtual ceremony today by Canada Post.
The set is part of Canada Post’s annual holiday issues – a yearly tradition since 1964 – and features three of Lewis’ festive scenes, including Family and Sled (circa 1960s), Winter Sleigh Ride (circa early 1960s) and Team of Oxen in Winter (1967), all of which are owned by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
“Unveiling our annual holiday issue is a lot like unwrapping a gift,” said Aurelie Walsh, general manager of communication programs and services at Canada Post, during the virtual ceremony. “After months of waiting, we finally get to show you the beautiful stamps we’ve created to send messages of love to your friends and family this season.”
The set honours Lewis’ “incredible creative spirit and sheer determination,” according to Doug Ettinger, Canada Post president and CEO.
Ettinger grew up in Smiths Cove, N.S. – near Lewis’ Digby home – and his mother knew the iconic folk artist.
“My mom would occasionally stop by to talk with Maud on our way home from work in Digby,” he said during today’s virtual unveiling. “She actually felt sorry for her, and she enjoyed her conversations, their conversations, very, very much—but, surprisingly, never bought one of the paintings, which is still something we talk about to this day.”
The Permanent domestic-rate stamp, issued in 12-stamp booklets, captures the spirit of the season with a reproduction of Winter Sleigh Ride. A total of one million domestic-rate booklets were issued.
The $1.30 U.S.-rate stamp, issued in six-stamp booklets, reproduces Team of Oxen in Winter. A total of 330,000 U.S.-rate booklets were issued.
The $2.71 international-rate stamp, also issued in six-stamp booklets, reproduces Family and Sled. Again, 330,000 international-rate booklets were issued.
Each of the three stamps measures 32.8 millimetres by 28.8 millimetres.
Containing all three stamps plus part of Lewis’ 1955 painting, Three Black Cats, a souvenir sheet was also issued. It measures 112 millimetres by 70 millimetres, and 55,000 sheets were issued.
A souvenir sheet official first-day cover (OFDC) was also issued with a cancellation from Digby. The OFDC also features a detail of Three Black Cats. Measuring 190 millimetres by 112 millimetres, a total of 6,000 OFDCs were issued.
The set was designed by Hélène L’Heureux, who won an American Institute of Graphic Arts award in 2000 for her work on Canada Post’s Millennium Stamp Book, which is held in the permanent collection at Columbia University’s Rare Books and Manuscript Library.
RELIGIOUS-THEMED NATIVITY ISSUE
A nativity-themed domestic-rate stamp issued in 12-stamp booklets was also unveiled on Nov. 2.
The stamp features Mary, Joseph, an ox and a donkey gazing in adoration at the newborn baby Jesus. Since at least the fourth century, an ox and a donkey have been included in nativity scenes, signifying animals’ recognition of the importance of Jesus’ birth.
Designed by Soapbox Design, the stamps measure 32 millimetres by 30 millimetres. A total of 450,000 booklets were printed by Toronto’s Colour Innovations.
A total of 6,500 OFDCs measuring 190 millimetres by 112 millimetres were also issued. The OFDCs are serviced with cancels from Sainte-Famille, Qué.
The stamps are among the final issues of this year’s stamp program, with a Hanukkah issue slated for release on Nov. 5.