U.S. and Canada Reveal Designs of Joint Hockey Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service and Canada Post today revealed the designs for their upcoming History of Hockey joint issue.

The stamps will be formally issued October 20 at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena Belfor Training Center. U.S. Postmaster General and CEO Megan Brennan will be joined by Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra at the ceremony.

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, literally, 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.

Each country uses the same basic design with just the country indicator and denomination being different. The U.S. stamps have “USA FOREVER” across their tops; the Canadian stamps have the red permanent stamp maple leaf logo in the upper left corner and “CANADA” in the upper right corner.

The Postal Service is honored to partner with Canada Post to produce The History of Hockey stamps,” said Brennan in a news release. “This sport exemplifies a wonderful tradition of competition and camaraderie between our nations, and these commemorative stamps are a special way to celebrate the game that transcends borders.

A souvenir sheet, which will be revealed during the Oct. 20 dedication ceremony, features a scene that illustrates the evolution of the sport across generations. The selvage — or area outside of the stamps on the souvenir sheet — depicts a father teaching his daughter how to play hockey on a pond.

The stamps were designed by Subplot Design Inc., for Canada Post, the artwork is intended to celebrate and reflect on the history of hockey. KC Armstrong of Toronto, Ontario, shot the photographs. Susan Gilson was the art director of the Canadian version of the stamps. William J. Gicker was the art director of the American version of the stamps.

Professional hockey is celebrating the centennial of the National Hockey League, which formally began competition in 1917. Also, hockey fans are acknowledging the 125th anniversary of the Stanley Cup, today emblematic of the annual NHL champion.

Canada Post on September 28 issued its final set of stamps in a five-year series celebrating the NHL’s 100th anniversary.

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 celebrating a sport.

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 United States 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).

1972 Team Canada Hockey Team
on New Canada 150 Stamp

One of Canada’s most endearing sports teams — the 1972 Team Canada hockey team — was unveiled today as one of the 10 Canada 150 stamps that will be issued Thursday, June 1.

On September 28, 1972, millions of Canadians watched as Team Canada defeated the Soviet national hockey team in Game 8 of the Summit Series, also known as the Soviet-Canada series.

Team Canada beat the odds, overcoming an early two-goal deficit, the game was tied at 5-5. Canada scored the thrilling winning goal with just 34 seconds left in the third period. The stamp shows Canadian forward Paul Henderson celebrating his game-winning and series-clinching goal against the Soviet team.

The stamp was unveiled today in a ceremony in Winnipeg with many surviving members of the team on hand.

Several factors made this a special hockey series.

It was still the Cold War, so political tensions ran high.

Canada, once dominant in Olympic Games (Canada won the first four gold medals, plus 1948 and 1952, had been knocked off the podium with the Soviets taking three straight gold medals, 1964 through 1972.

And, this was the first competition between the Soviet national team and a Canadian team represented by professional players of the National Hockey League.

Harry Sinden chose the 35-player Team Canada, which included captains, Phil Esposito, Frank Mahovlich, Stan Mikita, and Jean Ratelle. The Soviets had a 31-player team, which included many Olympic champions.

The Soviets won three of the first five games, with Canada winning one and other being a tie. Canada won games six and seven, each by one goal, setting the stage for the thrilling Game 8, the series being tied 3-3-1. With the first four games played in Canada, the finale was staged on Soviet home ice in Moscow.

Henderson, who scored the winning goal, had just hopped onto the ice and said, “I jumped on the ice and rushed straight for their net. I had this strange feeling that I could score the winning goal.”

The team and its players received many honors over the years, including the first team to be inducted en masse into the Canada Sports Hall of Fame. Speaking at that induction in 2005, Team Canada 72 member Phil Esposito said, “A lot of people will go back and say 1972 changed the face of the game and actually I believe it did. I’m not so sure it changed for the better, by the way. But it did change the way we think and look at hockey in this country.”

Inspirational Cancer Warrior Terry Fox Honored in Canada 150 Series

Terry Fox — a determined young athlete who seemingly willed himself into the spirit of an entire nation — will be featured on a stamp in a set commemorating Canada’s sesquicentennial.

Fox, a Winnipeg native, was just 18 in March 1977 when doctors discovered he had an aggressive form of bone cancer and amputated his right leg 6 inches above the knee.

Three years later, Fox doggedly set out on a cross-country fundraiser on April 12, 1980 by dipping his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean in St. John’s, Newfoundland and started running westward, intent on raising money to fight cancer.

Dubbed the “Marathon of Hope,” Fox managed about 26 miles a day, but was disappointed by a lukewarm reception through the Maritimes and Quebec. But by the time he reached Ontario, word had spread about the handsome young athlete with the moppish curly hair and the skip gait who was running the equivalent of a marathon every day.

Money, cheers, and honors started pouring in. Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, hockey great Bobby Orr, and actress Maggie Smith were just a few of the many celebs who came out to meet the courageous young runner. He would receive the distinguished insignia of a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Fox bravely hobbled his way nearly to Thunder Bay, Ontario. But the Marathon of Hope sadly ended September 1, 1980 as Fox could no longer run. Cancer had spread to his lungs. Fox covered in 5,373 kilometers (3,338 miles), more than halfway across the country, in 143 days. He died June 28, 1981, a month before his 23rd birthday.

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Formula One Racing Roars Onto
Five New Canadian Stamps

Five legendary auto racers appear on a new set of stamps honoring the 50th anniversary of Formula One racing in Canada.

The stamps, which will be sold in booklets of 10 and a souvenir sheet of five, depict Canadian hero Gilles Villeneuve, along with Sir Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton, of Great Britain, Brazil’s Ayrton Senna, and Germany’s Michael Schumacher. Three of the drivers are still living.

The stamps were formally unveiled May 15 in a ceremony in Montreal, home to Grand Prix racing in Canada, and will be officially released today, Tuesday, May 16. This year’s race is June 11. Here is the video of the unveiling event:

In addition to the driver’s profile, each stamp features a small checkered flag (indicative of the winning driver in a race), the driver’s native flag, an outline of a race car, the Formula One symbol and the year dates 1967–2017.

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Five New Canadian Stamps”

Canada Celebrates Same-Sex Marriage With Fourth Canada 150 Design

The fourth stamp in the Canada 150 set of 10, to be issued June 1, honors the country’s legalization of same-sex marriage.

On July 20, 2005, Canada became the first country outside Europe and the fourth in the world to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide after the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act. Previous countries passing a similar law were the Netherlands (2000), Belgium (2003), and Spain (2005).

The stamp shows a multicolored Pride flag. It also carries the Canada 150 branding and the combined maple leaf-and-P symbol denoting it as Permanent, a forever first-class rate stamp.

The stamp was unveiled at The 519 in Toronto and live via the Canada Post Facebook page. The 519 is a city agency and a Canadian non-profit that serves the local neighborhood and the broader lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) communities in the Toronto area.

According to its website, The 519 — a space for change — works with its neighbors and the LGBTQ community and offers such services as refugee settlement counseling, consulting, and “free, accessible and accepting space where people can gather, organize, and work toward common goals.”

The Canada 150 set of 10 will be formally issued June 1. Between now and then, six more stamp designs will be unveiled. All picture items that have occurred since the centennial in 1967.

Canada Post has previously unveiled Habitat and Expo 67, the patriation of the Constitution and creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Canadarm, as the first three celebratory moments of 10 in its Canada 150 program. Details are available at canadapost.ca/canada150.