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Family before a Vast Forest

Arrival of the Ukrainians


Family before a Vast Forest



Date of Issue

August 29, 1991




Postal Administration



Arrival of the Ukrainians

Series Time Span


Perforation or Dimension

13.5 x 13


Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited.


Designed by Joseph Gault. Designed by Tiit Telmet.

Original Artwork

William Kurelek, "The Ukrainian Pioneer, No. 3", 1971-1976 National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

About Stamp

The centennial of the beginning of Ukrainian mass migration to Canada is the subject of four stamps issued on August 29, 1991. The stamp designs depict the art of the noted Ukrainian-Canadian painter William (Wasyl) Kurelek. The four paintings chosen to represent his unique artistic skills are taken from a six-panel masterpiece entitled "The Ukrainian Pioneer". Born on a farm near Whitford, Alberta, he spent most of his youth in southern Manitoba. Basically self-taught, he did receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba in 1949 and briefly attended art schools in Toronto, Mexico and England. During his lifetime, Kurelek was acclaimed for his ability to evoke the loneliness and desolation of the harsh Canadian winter on canvas. His numerous paintings also reflect Canada's other seasons and regions, particularly the prairies. He travelled extensively throughout Canada and the world and his paintings received international acclaim. One of the highlights was his trip to Borivtsi in the Ukraine, his ancestral village, just before his untimely death in 1977 at the age of 50. While he was there, he created more than 100 drawings and paintings. The majority of his works convey timeless interpretations of various ethnic groups, accurately recording for posterity their lives and customs. The six panels of the mural "The Ukrainian Pioneer" depict the many hardships which faced all immigrants before and after their arrival to Canada and during the pioneer era. They are part of the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. The stamps were designed by Tiit Telmet, and Joseph Gault of Telmet Design Associates of Toronto. He previously designed the 1989 Regiments stamp issue.
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Similar Stamps


Canada Post Corporation. Canada's Stamps Details, No. 3, 1991, p. 4-5.

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