New U.S. Celebration Stamps Feature Floral Designs

Celebration Boutonniere
Celebration Boutonniere

The U.S. Postal Service will formally issue a pair of similarly designed stamps — a first-class Celebration Boutonniere and a 2-ounce Celebration Corsage — May 2 in St. Louis, Missouri.

A formal ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at the Shoenberg Theater at the 79-acre Missouri Botanical Garden, which is home to several themed gardens and is a popular location for wedding ceremonies and formal photography.

Celebration Corsage
Celebration Corsage

A few years ago this stamp pair might have been called Wedding stamps, but the U.S. Postal Service rebranded this occasional issue as Celebration stamps with the 2015 Vintage Tulips stamps.

Wedding stamps — issued in pairs to accommodate both the 2-ounce rate for traditional invitations and regular first-class rates for RSVPs — were first issued in 2006 with the 39-cent and 63-cent Doves stamps (Scott 3998–99). Subsequent stamp pairs designated as Wedding stamps have included such iconic images as cakes, flowers, hearts, rings, and roses.

Like Wedding stamps of the past, though, the new double release includes a 2-ounce stamp (Celebration Corsage) that can accommodate the weight of heavy wedding invitations, plus a regular 1-ounce Forever first-class stamp (Celebration Boutonniere) that pays the rate for RSVPs. In addition, the Postal Service notes, the 2-ounce stamp can pay the rate for other types of invitations and other celebrations, oversize greeting cards, and mailings such as small gifts.

The stamp art features a photograph of an arrangement of ranunculus, with floral accents of succulents, astrantia, berzelia, and clubmoss greenery. The ribbon wrapping the stems harmonizes with the colors and textures of the plant material.

The boutonniere and corsage shown were arranged by floral designer Carol Caggiano and photographed by Renée Comet. Art director Ethel Kessler designed the stamps.

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.

Westpex Stamp Show in California April 28–30

The 57th annual Westpex stamp show, April 28–30 will salute the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, host a first-day of issue ceremony for a new U.S. stamp, present nearly 300 frames of top-class competitive exhibits, host meetings for several societies and specialty groups, offer a youth area, and feature more than 70 dealers.

An opening ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. Friday, and the show runs through Sunday at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront.

A first-day ceremony is set for 1 p.m. April 28 to celebrate the U.S. Postal Service’s new Succulent Global Forever international rate stamp.

The show salutes the Summer of Love, which combined many social movements, particularly those supported by younger society, such as anti-war, alternative and rock arts, long-hair fashion, and experimentation.

Guest societies on hand will be the Scandinavian Collectors Club, International Philippine Philatelic Society, and Polonus Polish Philatelic Society. Others on hand having meetings, lectures, or booths will include the Netherlands Philatelists of California, Great Britain Collectors Club, Western Cover Society, Ryukyu Philatelic Specialist Society, China Stamp Society, Universal Ship Cancellation Society, British North America Philatelic Society, Smithsonian National Postal Museum, and the Western Philatelic Library.

More than 50 exhibits include a world of diversity, from “The First 60 Years of the Mongolian Postal Service” and “Polish Refugees in Africa, World War II” to “Hollboll’s Danish Christmas Seals: 1904–1927” and “The Telegraph in America.”

The show formally opens at 10 a.m. each day and closes at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday. A $5 admission is good for all three days; age 15 and younger are free when accompanying an adult.

American Philatelic Society Executive Director Scott English, as well as several other APS board members, will be at the show. On April 29, Scott will host an APS Town Hall at 11 a.m.

The official show website includes all details, including a full schedule, at  www.westpex.com.

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.