Canada and India Present Joint Issue Marking Diwali, Festival of Lights

Canada Post and India Post have joined hands to issue stamps in two basic designs that celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights, an important annual observance for many Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains in Canada and around the world.

The joint issue is a historic first between the postal services.

The stamps were unveiled today, September 21, in a ceremony at Toronto City Hall by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra; Vikas Swarup, the high commissioner of India to Canada; and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

“The Diwali stamps express our pride in Canada being a land of diverse faiths, customs and celebrations,” Chopra said. “It is fitting that this historic first joint issue celebrates the strong relationship between Canada and India.”

Canada issued two domestic-rate stamps now available, about a month ahead of Diwali celebrations, which will be held from October 19 to 23. . A stamp with a red background is the Canadian design, while one with a gold background was designed by India Post. The souvenir sheet (shown above) has a Canadian international rate stamp and an Indian stamp.

The designs heavily feature the colors of red and gold and a flame within a candle called a diya.

Diwali, a five-day celebration, begins on the 15th day of Kartika in the Hindu calendar. Its main theme is the triumph of light over darkness. The celebration traditionally includes fireworks. In Canada, people often light candles in their homes, while in India, they light small clay lamps filled with oil; illumination is believed to ward off evil and attract happiness and good fortune. Believers also display colorful geometric rangoli patterns to decorate entrances. Families and friends also share sweets and gifts with one another and with those in need.

The stamps were designed by Doreen Colonello of Entro Communications and India Post, and printed by Lowe-Martin. The Permanent domestic-rate stamps measure 30 mm by 35 mm.

American Philatelic Society Names New Editor

Bellefonte, Pennsylvania — Today, the American Philatelic Society announced that Martin Kent Miller of Greer, South Carolina would become the new Editor for the Society. Miller will serve as Editor of the APS flagship publication, The American Philatelist, a monthly journal dedicated to stamp collecting and the Philatelic Literature Review, the quarterly publication of the American Philatelic Research Library.

Miller, 49, joined the APS in 2008, but has been a stamp collector since 1974. His collecting interests include philatelic materials related to the USS North Carolina, the 1934–35 National Parks series, and a single-issue collection of the 1937 West Point commemorative. He is currently President and Founder of The Image Forge, a corporate communications firm in Greer in operation since 2003. In 2012, Miller branched out into the social media world as Co-Founder and Director of Marketing for Socialtopias in Charlotte, NC. He was Global Communications Manager for Michelin Aircraft Tire Corporation in Greenville, SC from 2000 to 2003 and Vice President and General Manager of Hell Gravure Systems, North America in Schaumburg, IL and through their relocation to Inman, SC.  Miller holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Harding University in Searcy, AR where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

“We’re excited to have Martin joining the team,” said Scott English, Executive Director of the APS, “He brings a wide range of experience in publication, marketing, and branding to our organization. We hope to leverage his talents not only with the publications, but leading the way in growing our online presence to promote the APS and the hobby.”

While Miller’s primary responsibilities will be managing the two publications of the APS and APRL, he will also lead the efforts to revamp the APS website and develop the online strategies for promoting the APS and the hobby to a whole new audience.

“Philately has always been the unifying point of my varied interests — art, design, printing and history,” commented Miller. “I’m honored to now have the opportunity to combine my professional experience with the hobby that holds my love and passion.”

Miller officially joins the APS team on October 1, 2017, but will begin working with current Editor Jay Bigalke immediately.