The History of Hockey stamps will be released at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena on Oct. 20, when they will become available across both countries. This is the sixth joint issue for Canada Post and the USPS dating back to 1959 and the first in more than a decade. It’s also their first joint issue celebrating a sport.
“The subjects chosen for joint issues highlight how much our nations have in common, and the love of hockey is one of those things,” said Canada Post’s President and CEO Deepak Chopra. “Hockey has captured the imagination of millions in both countries. It stirs a passion that for many borders on obsession, and these stamps celebrate the pure love of the game.”
PREVIOUS CANADA-U.S. JOINT ISSUES
The first joint issue released by the two postal administrations marked the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Since then, they have jointly commemorated the U.S. bicentennial (1976), the 50th anniversary of the Peace Bridge (1977), the St Lawrence Seaway’s 25th anniversary (1984) and the 400th anniversary of Samuel de Champlain’s exploration of the east coast of North America (2006).
The stamp format is tête-bêche—a joined pair of similar images in which one is upside down—and the design is strong on nostalgia. On an open pond, a player in modern equipment reflects on the past; mirrored in the ice beneath him is a player in vintage gear. The imaginative imagery gives a visual sense of looking back through time. The paired images also depict the game’s evolution and its continuing presence in the lives of players and fans alike.
The selvage depicts a father teaching his daughter how to play on a pond. “History of Hockey” appears on the bottom left corner of the sheet, with the flags of Canada and the United States in the top right-hand corner.
HISTORY OF HOCKEY STAMPS
Available in a self-adhesive booklet of 10 stamps for $8.50, the two domestic rate Permanent stamps measure 26 mm by 40 mm with simulated perforations and are printed in four-colour process plus two special inks.
Designed by Roy White, of Vancouver’s Subplot Design, the issue features photography by KC Armstrong, with retouching by Brad Pickard, and was printed by Lowe-Martin. The issue also includes a gummed souvenir sheet, featuring a gummed tête-bêche pair.
This souvenir sheet also appears on an official first-day cover (OFDC) cancelled in Windsor, Ont.. The joint OFDCs feature two tête-bêche pairs, one at the Canadian domestic Permanent rate and another at the U.S. “Forever” domestic rate. The joint cover also features two cancels, one from Detroit, Mi., and one from Windsor.
MILLIONS OF HOCKEY PLAYERS
Almost 1.2 million people in Canada and the U.S. are registered in minor and adult hockey leagues, and millions more play recreationally on outdoor rinks and ponds. Both countries have men’s and women’s national teams that have medalled at the Olympics and World Championships, and there are more than 100 professional or semi-professional teams in North America, including in the premier National Hockey League, which has expanded successfully into the U.S. sunbelt.