This morning, Canada Post unveiled the first stamp of its 10-stamp Canada 150 collection during a ceremony at Montréal’s iconic Habitat 67.
The stamp commemorates Expo 67 and Moshe Safdie, the world-renowned architect who designed the revolutionary modular housing complex known as Habitat 67, which earned global accolades as an icon of urban living.
Safdie unveiled the stamp in the very building that forever placed his signature on his adopted city. With Habitat 67, Safdie—then a bold, brash yet brilliant young architect on the verge of launching a significant global career—captured an era of optimism, energy and progress. The project also launched his career, which would see him design prestigious buildings around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Quebec Museum of Civilization, Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C.
Beginning with his architectural thesis at McGill University in 1964 and the pioneering housing complex Habitat 67 in Montréal, Safdie’s design philosophy has been consistently responsive to local historic, cultural, and environmental contexts. With his global firm, Safdie Architects, notable projects include the National Gallery of Canada; Marina Bay Sands in Singapore; Khalsa Heritage Centre in Punjab, India; and the United States Institute of Peace headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Safdie is a recipient of the Companion of the Order of Canada, the Gold Medal from both the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the American Institute of Architects, la Médaille du Mérite from the Order of Architects of Québec, and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.
Canada introduced itself to the world with Expo 67 as a country of seemingly boundless talent and potential.
The event brought Canadians from across the country and visitors from around the world together for six months between April and October 1967. More than 50 million people attended at a time when Canada’s population was only 20 million. That ratio set a per-capita attendance record for a World’s Fair, which still stands today. It’s widely remembered as the most successful World’s Fair of the previous century.
Those six months became a landmark moment for Canada. Several generations of Canadians have since pointed to it as the signature event of our centennial year. It featured pavilions from 62 countries as well as Canada’s provinces and territories, and the theme “Man and His World” also showcased Canadian innovation. The vision and legacy of Expo 67 still echo today through Montréal’s infrastructure, architecture, public art and the two islands in the St. Lawrence River.
Each of the 10 maple-leaf shaped die-cut Permanent domestic-rate stamps measures 40 mm x 40 mm and is printed in six-colour lithography plus tagging. The self-adhesive stamps are available in booklets of 10 stamps and gummed panes of 10 stamps with circle perforations. Official first-day covers—one for each stamp design and each cancelled in Ottawa—are available in packs of 10 covers.
The issue was designed by Roy White and Liz Wurzinger, of Subplot Design in Vancouver, B.C., and printed by the Lowe-Martin Group.
Each of the 10 stamps in the Canada 150 collection will celebrate a significant and unforgettable moment in the life of this country since its centennial in 1967.
The unveiling and release of the second stamp of the Canada 150 collection will take place May 3 in Ottawa, Ont. The following day, another stamp will be released online.
“When you see what the content is on that stamp, it’ll become obvious why we chose that route,” said Canada Post spokesman John Hamilton, of the May 4 online release.
The six remaining unveilings will take place on:
- May 9 in Toronto, Ont.;
- May 16 in Regina, Sask.;
- May 25 in St. John’s, Nfld.;
- May 30 in Iqaluit, Nunavut;
- May 31 in Winnipeg, Man.; and
- June 1 in Vancouver, B.C., where the program’s final two stamps will be unveiled.
With each stamp unveiling, videos with these notable Canadians, other key participants and archival footage will tell the story of that stamp subject on canadapost.ca/canada150. The entire series will be available for purchase on June 1 (although pre-ordering is open now).