New Issue: Semi-postal coming later this month

A new semi-postal stamp will be issued by Canada Post as part of its ongoing Community Foundation series later this month.

The stamp, to be issued Sept. 24, will pay the domestic letter rate—currently 85 cents—and has a 10-cent surcharge to support the fundraising initiative. The surcharge is indicated by “+10” following the “P” symbol, which represents the non-denominated Permanent rate.

“Your dollar donation for a booklet of 10 stamps and 10 cents for the Official First Day Cover goes directly to support Canadian children and youth, through the funding of programs for breakfast, anti-bullying, special education, camps for children fighting illness, early literacy and other programs,” reads the latest issue of Canada Post’s Details magazine.

The stamp was illustrated by Julie Morstad, one of Canada’s top illustrators of children’s books, and designed by Matthew Warburton, of Emdoubleyu Design.

“Everyone can recall days from their childhood, spending a hot summer afternoon lying in the grass looking up at the clouds rolling by. This design recreates that feeling of freedom, wonderment and joy with a child sitting on a grassy, flower-speckled hilltop, looking up at the sky and seeing animal shapes in the fluffy clouds,” said Warburton, of the inspiration behind the stamp.


Last year, the Canada Post Community Foundation provided $1.1 million in funding to grassroots and community-based child and youth organizations across the country. More than 100 organizations delivering essential programs for children and youth shared the funding.

“In the past six years, the Foundation has provided more than $6 million to build libraries, create sports and breakfast programs, and ensure access to crisis lines, anti-bullying and mental health initiatives, special needs clinics and life-skills training,” reads the Community Foundation website. “The money has helped promote physical activity and play for children of all abilities and helped at-risk youth gain a better understanding of how education is vital to their future. The Foundation is truly delivering a brighter future for Canadian children and youth.”

Printed by Lowe-Martin in four-colour offset lithography, this year’s semi-postals will be issued in 160,000 self-adhesive 10-stamp booklets.


In the mid-1970s, Canada became the first country in North America to issue a semi-postal stamp with its series supporting the Summer Olympics in Montréal (Scott #B1-B12).

The federal government committed to funding the 1976 Olympics through the sale of semi-postals plus other collectibles, including coins; however, even if all of the hundreds of millions of stamps sold, the total amount raised would’ve fallen short of the more than $10 billion the event eventually cost.

Following the 1974-76 Olympic semi-postals, Canada’s Post Office Department, which became a Crown corporation known as Canada Post in 1981, refrained from philatelic fundraising for another 20 years.

This year’s official first-day cover will be cancelled in Ottawa.

Then, in 1996, a new semi-postal was issued to support ABC Canada’s family literacy programs.

About a decade later, Moya Greene, then president of Canada Post, rolled out a new series of semi-postals issued to support the newly created Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health.

In 2012, the program was changed to support another new foundation, the Canada Post Community Foundation.

Production of Canada’s modern semi-postals has been low – starting at 10 million in 2012 and dropping to about a 10th of that amount in recent years.

Printed by Lowe-Martin in four-colour offset lithography, this year’s semi-postals will be issued in 160,000 self-adhesive 10-stamp booklets. Each stamp measures 24 millimetres by 32 millimetres. A total of 7,000 official first-day covers will also be cancelled in Ottawa.

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