From Far and Wide: Picturesque Canada Featured on Nine Stamps

Armchair travelers will likely be motivated to start planning some sort of trip this year, thanks to a set of nine upcoming stamps from Canada Post dubbed From Far and Wide.

The stamps in several denominations will be issued in various formats, mostly coils and booklets, January 15, plenty of time to plan a visit to see some of Canada’s most picturesque spots. For those who don’t want or need booklets, all nine stamps can be found on a souvenir sheet.

In addition to the From Far and Wide issues, Canada Post released the rest of its 2018 stamp calendar, which is noted at the end.

Canada Post says the From Far and Wide stamps are the first in a multiyear series. All feature current photographs of locales meant to take you on “a journey to some of the most breathtaking locations in Canada.”

The sites featured on five permanent (85-cent first-class domestic rate up to 30 grams, about 1 ounce) stamps are:

The flower-pot-shaped Hopewell Rocks, of New Brunswick; an old growth forest of Douglas fir at MacMillan Provincial Park, of British Columbia; an impressive natural rock sculpture at Parc national de I’Île-Bonventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé, of Quebec; the sand and dunes of Prince Edward Island National Park; and the brightly painted jelly bean houses of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The four special rate stamps in the group are Pisew Falls Provincial Park in Manitoba ($1, single stamp purchase); the forested isthmus at Point Pelee National Park in Ontario ($1.20, U.S. rate); a majestic peak at Nááts’įhch’oh National Park Reserve in Northwest Territories ($1.80, oversized rate); and the northern lights at Arctic Bay in Nunavut ($2.50, international rate).

Other issues announced from Canada Post for 2018 are:

January 15: Lunar New Year – Year of the Dog.

January 24 (just before the February 9 start of Winter Olympic Games): Women in Winter Sports

February 1: Black History Month celebrates trailblazers Lincoln Alexander, the first black member of Parliament, federal cabinet minister and the 24th lieutenant governor of Ontario, and activist and humanitarian Kay Livingstone.

March: Two exquisite varieties of lotus, annual flower stamps.

April: Canadian Illustrators, featuring the work of five talented illustrators.

 April: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II graces a new commemorative, 65 years after her coronation.

 May: Native Bees of Canada; Memorial Cup (major junior hockey) 100th anniversary.

 June/July/August: Astronomy, the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s 150th anniversary; Sharks in Canadian Waters; Weather Wonders; and Birds of Canada.

 September: Emergency Responders; and Canada Post Community Foundation.

 October: Bighorn Sheep.

 November: Christmas stamps (secular and religious).

Postal Rates Due to Increase January 21

New U.S. postal rates due to begin January 21 affect most, though not all, mailing classes.

First-class domestic 1-ounce letter rate and postcard rates, which each rise by a penny to 50 cents and 35 cents, respectively, are among the rising postage rates.

Also rising will be metered first-class mail, from 46 cents to 47 cents, along with all basic shipping charges, which are rising 5 cents per rate across the board. The shipping rates include Priority Mail small flat-rate box and padded flat-rate envelope, which will rise to $7.20 and $7.25, respectively.

Two rates that are not due to rise include the additional ounce (or second ounce) first-class letter rate, which stays at 21 cents, and the international 1-ounce letter rate, which remains at $1.15.

Any appropriate forever stamps purchased at lower prices are, of course, valid for all the new rates. Forever stamps originally released to accommodate former rates will now be sold at the new price. For example, a booklet of 10 Flag stamps originally issued in 2016 and sold for $4.90 will cost $5 if purchased from the U.S. Postal Service starting January 21.

The U.S. Postal Service filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission on October 6 of the price changes, which still need formal approval.

The proposed prices would raise Mailing Services product prices approximately 1.9 percent, and most Shipping Services products will average a 3.9 percent price increase, the Postal Service said in a news release. While Mailing Services price increases are limited based on the Consumer Price Index, Shipping Services prices are adjusted strategically, according to market conditions and the need to maintain affordable services for customers, the USPS stated.

The following chart lists all of the main mailing rate changes, according to the USPS:

Product Current New
Letters (1 oz.) 49 cents 50 cents
Letters additional ounces 21 cents 21 cents
Letters (metered) 46 cents 47 cents
Outbound International Letters (1 oz.) $1.15 $1.15
Domestic Postcards 34 cents 35 cents

The proposed domestic Priority Mail Flat Rate Retail price changes are:

Product Current Proposed
Small Flat Rate Box $7.15 $7.20
Medium Flat Rate Box $13.60 $13.65
Large Flat Rate Box $18.85 $18.90
APO/FPO Large Flat Rate Box $17.35 $17.40
Regular Flat Rate Envelope $6.65 $6.70
Legal Flat Rate Envelope $6.95 $7.00
Padded Flat Rate Envelope $7.20 $7.25

Lena Horne and Mister Rogers Among 10 New Stamps Scheduled for First Quarter

The U.S. Postal Service has released issue dates and cities for 10 stamps to be issued in the first quarter of 2018. All are single-stamp issues with the exception of the 10-stamp Bioluminescent Life issue.

The year’s first stamp will be the Year of the Dog Lunar New Year forever stamp scheduled for a January 11 release in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Other stamps (all are first-class forever stamps unless noted), first-day dates and locations are:

Love Flourishes, which is part of the ongoing Love series, January 18, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Byodo-In Temple, a popular tourist attraction in Hawaii, $6.70 Priority Mail, January 21, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Sleeping Bear Dunes, a national park in Michigan, American Landmarks series, $24.70 Priority Mail Express, January 21, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Meyer Lemons, ongoing Fruits definitive, 2 cents, January 19, in Kenner, Louisiana, the first day of the Crescent City Stamp Club’s two-day Winter Stamp Fest and Postcard Show.

Lena Horne, part of the Black Heritage series, January 30, New York City.

U.S. Flag, February 9, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The date coincides with the first day of the three-day American Stamp Dealers Association Winter Postage Stamp Show.

Bioluminescent Life, 10 stamps, February 22 in Fort Pierce, Florida, home of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.

Illinois Statehood, March 5, in Springfield, Illinois, the state capital.

Mister Rogers, children’s television pioneer Fred Rogers (1928–2003), March 23, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Celebrating Lunar New Year Stamp Series Continues with Year of the Dog

The U.S. Postal Service kicks off its 2018 stamp program in January with a Lunar New Year forever stamp celebrating the Year of the Dog.

The stamp will be formally issued January 11 at the Chinatown Cultural Plaza in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Year of the Dog begins February 16 and ends February 4, 2019.

This is the 11th of 12 stamps in the Celebrating Lunar New Year series, which features primary art from illustrator Kam Mak, a Hong Kong-born artist who grew up in New York City’s Chinatown and now lives in Brooklyn.

The stamps in the current series, designed by Ethel Kessler, also incorporate elements from a previous Lunar New Year series: Clarence Lee’s intricate cut-paper design of a dog, and the Chinese character for “dog,” drawn in grass-style calligraphy by Lau Bun. Those elements graced U.S. Lunar New Year stamps issued found in stamps issued from 1992 through 2004.

The Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of the year for many Asian communities around the world and is celebrated primarily by people of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tibetan and Mongolian heritage.

The U.S. Postal Service introduced its Celebrating Lunar New Year series, with stamps featuring artwork from Mak, in 2008. The series will continue through 2019 with a stamp for the Year of the Boar. Year of the Dog is being issued as a souvenir sheet of 12 self-adhesive Forever stamps.

The Year of the Dog illustration, originally created using oil paints on panel, depicts an arrangement of lucky bamboo (Dracaena braunii). To the right is a lozenge-shaped piece of red paper with the Chinese character “fu,” meaning good fortune, rendered in calligraphy — a common decoration on doors and entryways during Lunar New Year festivities.

Previous Years of the Dog started in January or February of 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006.

Congratulations to Hugh V. Feldman and the Collectors Club of Chicago

The recently released book, U.S. Contract Mail Routes by Railroad, 1832-1875, received top honors in an international philatelic literature competition.

Auktionshaus Christoph Gaertner announced at MonacoPhil 2017 that the book authored by Hugh V. Feldman, of Great Britain, and published by the Collectors Club of Chicago, received first place in the fifth annual C.G. International Philatelic Promotion Award competition.

CCC club member Leonard Hartmann accepted the award, which included a €2,000 prize, on behalf of the club.

The Collectors Club of Chicago offered the following details:

This book starts with the development of the early railroads in a historical context and then focuses on the establishment, routes the cities and towns served as it relates the philatelic information. The mail contract route information is well organized and includes dates, route numbers, contract agreement and cost per mile.

The basic arrangement of the book is by states accompanied by charts, copies of detailed maps locating town and a detailed list of the stations served on the various mail contracts.

The mail contracts normally have the individual stops and dates thus one may be able to bracket in time when a specific station was in postal use.

The full-color, hardbound book runs 1,096 pages and illustrates 242 covers, 582 maps and 360 other images. A DVD included shows more than 800 covers, many which are not illustrated in the book; annual postmaster general reports; and other reports to Congress between 1817 and 1878. Also included are more than 6,000 images of the manuscript “Railroad Contracts by States.”

“The bonus disk is a boon to postal historical research,” wrote Diane DeBlois in the November issue of “The Chronicle of the U.S. Classic Postal Issues” by the U.S. Philatelic Classics Society. “Although these reports might be sourced otherwise from the internet, to have them all in one place is a gift. … So, bravo to a brave British postal historian for supplying his American counterparts with such a valuable resource.”

In late November, Feldman appeared at Chicagopex 2017 stamp show in Itasca, Illinois, where he gave a presentation based on the book and signed copies.

The competition, open to all organizations and publishers of philatelic periodicals, was founded in 2013 to recognize promotion of philatelic research and the preservation of philatelic knowledge through publication, according to outgoing APS Librarian Tara Murray, as posted in a recent APRL blog.

The Philatelic Literature Review, published by the American Philatelic Research Library, and The American Philatelist, published by the American Philatelic Society, took fourth and 10th places, respectively, in the same competition.