Canada 150: Space-Themed Stamp
Revealed

Canada Post celebrated May the Fourth — unofficially known among a certain space-fanatic subculture as Star Wars Day — by unveiling a space-themed stamp as the third in its set of Canada 150 stamps.

Unlike the first two stamp unveilings which were held live, Canada Post unveiled the space stamp via text, photos and a video online on its Canada Post Magazine website. The new stamp, and the video featuring the students, represents Canada’s past and future in space technology.

Calm down, Wookie lovers. Star Wars is NOT on the stamp. The vignette shows the Canadarm, a piece of space equipment integral to NASA space missions that was created in Canada. The Canadarm is shown in action on the stamp in a photo shot during a space-shuttle mission. The Earth is clearly seen below.

Special guest Canadian astronaut Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Hansen helped unveil the stamp during a filmed visit with seventh- and eighth-grade students at Glen Ames Senior Public School in Toronto. The students will represent Canada in an upcoming robotics competition in California.

In the Canada Post video, the students demonstrate their robots and Hansen talks with them about how space exploration has become an international universe in which “everyone gets along.”

Canadarm made its debut aboard the space shuttle Colombia and was used for 30 years to help move and maneuver cargo, equipment and astronauts in space. The marvel of Canadian engineering weighed less than 480 kilograms, and could lift more than 30,000 kilograms — the approximate weight of a city bus — using less power than an electric kettle, Canada Post noted.

Canada Post’s video notes that the Canadarm remains in use on the international space station as well as applications on earth.

Hansen, a former captain in the Royal Canadian Air Force, was one of two astronauts chosen following a public recruitment campaign in 2009. Hansen has not yet been to space, but he worked in space-like conditions in 2014 when he was part of the aquanaut crew in a NASA underwater project. He lived and worked for seven days in the Neemo 19 underwater laboratory.

Previously announced stamps honor Habitat at Expo 67 and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Constitution. Seven more stamps will be unveiled in special ceremonies between now and the official release date of June 1. The sesquicentennial commemoratives celebrate Canada’s 50 years since the centennial.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA; in French, Agence Spatiale Canadienne, ASC) was created in 1989 and formally established May 10, 1990 by Royal Assent and an act of Parliament.

The creation of the agency followed space exploration with missiles and satellites during the years after World War II. After the Soviet Union and United States, Canada in 1962 became the third nation to successfully launch a satellite, Alouette 1.

Canada has an active astronaut, satellite and space technology program. Nine Canadians have participated in 17 manned missions in total: 14 NASA space shuttle missions (including one mission to Mir) and 3 Roscosmos Soyuz missions.

The first 13 flights to space for Canadians, a later 14th, were aboard NASA space shuttles. The other trips have been via Russian Soyuz spacecrafts, the last in 2012. Marc Garneau was the first Canadian in space when he traveled on the space shuttle Challenger in 1984. Garneau also was the first Canadian to return to space when he made a 1996 trip aboard Endeavour, a ship he boarded a second time in 1999.

Roberta Bondar was the second Canadian and first Canadian woman in space when she traveled on Discovery in 1992.

Chris Hadfield is the lone Canadian astronaut to visit the Mir space station when he did so in 1995.

David Saint-Jacques is due to be the next Canadian space when he travels on a Soyuz spaceship scheduled for launch in November 2018.

The headquarters of the CSA is at the John H. Chapman Space Centre in Longueuil, Quebec. Chapman was a leader in Canada’s early space program, leading to the successful launch of Alouette 1.

Canada Post Visits Parliament Hill to
Unveil Second in Canada 150 Set

The Constitution Act of 1982, which essentially certified Canada’s independence from the United Kingdom, was revealed today as the second stamp in the upcoming Canada 150 set.

Government officials, including Canada’s chief justice and the head of Canada Post, unveiled the new stamp in a sunny, outdoor ceremony at 3:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the steps of the Parliament in Ottawa.

The 10 Canada 150 Permanent (first class) stamps — all in the shape of a maple leaf, Canada’s national symbol — will be issued June 1. Canada Post is spending the next month unveiling the stamps in ceremonies. Most of the ceremonies will be live, though a ceremony Thursday for the third stamp will be online. The first stamp unveiled last week features Habitat from Expo 67.

The Constitution Act, signed April 17, 1982, includes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a bill of rights guaranteeing constitutional freedoms. It also includes an Aboriginal Rights clause guaranteeing rights for Native Canadians.

The signing of the act meant that the vision of the fathers of confederation was realized, said Canada Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin at Wednesday’s ceremony. “This signaled Canada’s complete independence from the United Kingdom; Canada had become of age.”

Also taking part in the ceremony were Steven MacKinnon, a member of Parliament, and Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra.

The Constitution Act stamp shows a partial image of the Canadian Coat of Arms and the date “1982,” when the act was signed by Queen Elizabeth II and Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Interestingly, a large section of the British flag has been cut away from the arms image at upper left. Also, part of the lower right of the coat of arms has been cut away for design purposes. The cuts allow most of the Coat of Arms to be shown in the maple-leaf design.

The Canada Coat of Arms includes a traditional shield displaying the arms of England, Scotland, Ireland, and France to symbolize the nation’s founders. Underneath the four quarters, on a white field, is a sprig of three maple leaves to indicate the new nation of many peoples. Originally green, in 1957 the leaves officially became red, a common autumnal color, and thus in accord with Canada’s national colors of red and white. The crest and the shield’s  supporters — a lion and a unicorn — are similar to the royal arms of Great Britain. The motto is A Mari Usque ad Mare (“From sea to sea”).

Canada 150’s First Maple-Shaped Stamp Shows Expo 67 Habitat

An exhibit from Expo 67 — a world’s fair held in 1967 in Montreal, Quebec with a theme of Man and His World — will appear on a new stamp that is part of Canada Post’s 10-stamp sesquicentennial set to be issued June 1.

This is the first stamp unveiled in the set that will be in the shape of maple leafs, Canada’s national symbol, and issued in various formats on June 1. Among those on hand today for the unveiling was Habitat’s architect, Moshie Safdie.

The stamp was unveiled today in a ceremony at the honeycomb-like Habitat 67, simply known today as Habitat, which was originally created as an exhibit for Expo 67. Sixty nations participated and more than 50 million visitors attended Expo 67 from April through October 1967.

Safdie, a graduate of McGill University, wished a happy birthday to Expo 67, Canada, and Montreal during his remarks at the unveiling ceremony.

He noted how the Expo was an “extraordinary cultural event and economic success” in a moment of “optimism and idealism” in Canada. He noted how Habitat was a “radical and controversial” idea, but thanked three branches of government that helped make it a success.

Habitat was conceived as a model community and housing complex by Israeli-Canadian architect Safdie. With its 354 identical open-air interlocking units and terraces some reaching as high as 12 stories, Habitat is an architectural landmark in Montreal. Originally created as 354 identical apartments, the structure today has 146 residences.

Several notable Canadians are helping to unveil the stamp subjects, all celebrating the most significant moments in the life of the country since it marked its centennial in 1967.

Distinguished Canadians, including a country music star, a world-renowned architect, successful business leaders, influential community activists, legendary athletes, and an astronaut will help unveil the stamp designs over the next five weeks at separate locations chosen to illustrate the story behind the achievement, event or milestone that the stamp commemorates.

The remainder will be revealed separately over five weeks, culminating with the unveiling of two stamps on June 1. On that day, all 10 Permanent domestic-rate stamps will be available in various formats — at post offices and online, via mail order or phone. Customers can also order in advance at canadapost.ca/canada150 or by phone.

With each stamp unveiling, videos with these notable Canadians, other key participants and archival footage will tell the story of that stamp subject on the website.

A total of 10 stamps will be issued at nine unveilings between April 27 and June 1 as part of Canada Post’s Canada 150 program.

The American Philatelic Society will also post updates on this blog. Subscribe to the blog to receive notifications when new posts go up.

Enterprising Canada Voyages Back
Into Space With its Next Generation of
Star Trek Stamps

Canada Post is going where no postal authority has … oh, wait … make that Canada Post is taking a second voyage into the Star Trek universe.

On Thursday, April 27 Canada Post will issue seven face-different stamps depicting characters and spaceships from one Star Trek movie and four television sequels from the original Star Trek show. Last year, Canada Post celebrated the 50th anniversary of the original sci-fi television show with a similar blockbuster release.

Depicted are Captain James T. Kirk and the villainous Kahn from the film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982). Canadian-born actor William Shatner played Kirk and Ricardo Montalbán played Kahn.

Also appearing on the stamps are the main characters from the television sequels: The Next Generation (Capt. Jean-Luc Picard and Locutus, both played by Patrick Stewart), Star Trek: Voyager (Capt. Kathryn Janeway, played by Kate Mulgrew, and the Borg Queen, played by Susanna Thompson), Deep Space Nine (Commander Benjamin Sisko, played by Avery Brooks, and Dukat, played by Marc Alaimo), and Star Trek: Enterprise (Capt. Jonathan Archer, played by Scott Bakula, and Commander Dolim, played by Scott MacDonald).

Two other stamps show the Borg Cube (a spaceship) and the shuttlecraft Galileo.

The stamps and images are being released via several products, including a prestige booklet featuring all the designs, a booklet of 10 Permanent stamps, a pane of five stamps in various rates, coil stamps (a single design), and postal cards.

The high-denomination stamp of the set — the $5 Borg Cube — is available only in the prestige booklet. The Galileo is the coil stamp.

Among the special features: the Borg Cube stamp is embossed and debossed with holographic foil, tagging on the panes make the words “Star Trek” glow in red, a couple stamps are water activated, like the 2016 issues, the back of the coil stamps again include unique Star Trek Universe words and phrases.

Kosta Tsetsekas and Adrian Horvath, who designed the 2016 issues, also designed the new stamps.

Canada Post hopes Trekkers, Trekkies, fans of space and all of the shows will enjoy this follow-up set of stamps and products. As the Borg would say, resistance is futile.

Maple Leaf-Shaped Stamps Honoring
Canada Sesquicentennial Will Be a First

Several notable Canadians will help unveil 10 commemorative postage stamps in the coming weeks that will mark Canada’s 150th anniversary, which is being celebrated this year.

These will be the first Canadian stamps shaped like a maple leaf, Canada Post said today in a news conference. The exact subject and designs for the stamps have not yet been revealed, but all will celebrate the most significant moments in the life of the country since it marked its centennial in 1967.

Distinguished Canadians, including a country music star, a world-renowned architect, successful business leaders, influential community activists, legendary athletes, and an astronaut will help unveil the stamp designs over the next five weeks at separate locations chosen to illustrate the story behind the achievement, event or milestone that the stamp commemorates.

The first of the 10 stamps will be unveiled on Thursday, April 27, in Montreal. The remainder will be revealed separately over five weeks, culminating with the unveiling of two stamps on June 1. On that day, all 10 Permanent domestic-rate stamps will be available in various formats — at post offices and online, via mail order or phone. Customers can also order in advance at canadapost.ca/canada150 or by phone.

Canada Post made the announcement today and offered a video message with Canada Post President and CEO Deepak Chopra, other Canada Post employees, and Steven MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

With each stamp unveiling, videos with these notable Canadians, other key participants and archival footage will tell the story of that stamp subject on the website https://www.canadapost.ca/web/en/pages/can150/default.page?ecid=murl|pdn|jr|309.

The American Philatelic Society will also post updates on this blog. Subscribe to the blog to receive notifications when new posts go up.