This year, the Canada Post Christmas stamps recall the history of the December 25th tradition. Entitled Madonna and Child, this issue celebrates the birth of Christ through illustrations of stained glass windows depicting the Madonna and baby Jesus. The design firm, Eskind Waddell, conducted a Canada-wide search for glass works of the Madonna and Child. Those selected represent different religious denominations and various regions within Canada. In each image, the closeness between mother and child is conveyed, giving the stamp a warm, human feel. Scheduled for release on November 3, these stamps represent the exceptional talent of three artists - Guido Nincheri, Ellen Simon and Christopher Wallis - and highlight a remarkable art form.
The international rate stamp features artist Christopher Wallis' "Scene from the Life of the Blessed Virgin", a stained glass window found in St. Stephen's Ukrainian Byzantine Rite Roman Catholic Church in Calgary. Born in London, England in 1930, Wallis was educated at the Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts and served a four-year apprenticeship in stained glass in the Ecclesiastical Art Studios of Martin Travers and Lawrence Lee in London. He came to Canada in 1956 and settled in the Grand Bend, Ontario region about 70 km north-west of London. Here he established his own company, Christopher Wallis Stained Glass Ltd. Since 1959, Wallis has produced mainly commissioned works, and has designed and crafted over 800 stained glass windows in Canada and the United States. Wallis' works include windows in St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral in London, Christ Church Anglican Cathedral and Government House in Victoria; New Baptist Church in Prince Albert; and within Ontario, St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral in London, Rideau Hall in Ottawa, and Osgoode Hall in Toronto.