The Trans-Canada Highway — one of the longest continuous roadways in the world — will be honored on a maple leaf-shaped stamp to be issued June 1 honoring Canada’s sesquicentennial.
The stamp, the fifth to be revealed in the set of 10, was unveiled during a live ceremony today in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Canada 150 stamps, all in the shape of a maple leaf, honor significant Canadian events, people, and accomplishments that have occurred since the 1967 centennial.
The stamp shows a section of the highway with a picturesque tree-covered hill in the background. In the foreground is one of the highway’s distinctive white-on-green maple lead road marker. The date “1971” is at the bottom.
The highway spans 4,990 miles between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, traveling through 10 provinces. Construction began in 1950; a section of the highway opened in 1961 and it was finished in 1971.
Gavin Semple, president of Brandt Industries Ltd. of Regina, Saskatchewan, took part in the unveiling ceremony, which took place outdoors beneath a tent at Brandt headquarters. He talked about driving the highway as a young truck driver. During Canada Post’s live video feed from the event, vehicles could be seen zooming past on the highway in the background.
The Brandt Group, based in Regina with about 1,800 employees, is a major supplier of agricultural and other heavy industry equipment, including tractors, augers, conveyors, harrows, excavators, pipe-testing, graders, and loaders.
Aside from Canada Post officials, Ken Hardie, a member of Parliament, and Ken Cheveldayoff, Saskatchewan’s minister of Parks, Culture, and Sport, also took part in the ceremony, as did country music performers Dean Brody and Madeline Merlo, who are on tour. Hardie offered an anecdote about having a recent breakdown on the highway when it was -29 (C.) degrees. Cheveldayoff gave a nod to the start of Canada’s rural mail delivery system in 1908.
Singer and songwriter Brody, 41, a native of British Columbia, has been performing and recording since 2008.
In a video, he talked about the importance of the Trans-Canada Highway and its link to Canada’s wide open spaces and how it links Canada’s people, nature and small towns. He noted how he had lived in the U.S. for about four years when he returned to Canada and spent six weeks driving the entire highway westward from Victoria to Newfoundland.
“To have a highway to connect the whole country together is a big deal,” Brody said.
He has created six albums, including the debut of Brothers (2008–09) and his latest being Beautiful Freakshow (2016). Brody has received more than 40 Juno and Canadian Country Music Association nominations and has scored 11 wins, including a 2016 Juno for Country Music Album of the Year for Gypsy Road.
The Canada 150 set of 10 will be formally issued June 1. Between now and then, five more stamp designs will be unveiled.
Canada Post has previously unveiled Habitat and Expo 67, the patriation of the Constitution and creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canadarm (space accomplishments), and Marriage Equality as the first four celebratory moments of 10 in its Canada 150 program. Details are available at canadapost.ca/canada150.