We all know of Norman Bethune, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Billy Bishop and Terry Fox, but many of the greatest legendary figures in Canadian history are not household names everywhere. In August of this year, Canada Post is helping to change that by issuing a series of domestic-rate stamps which puts the spotlight on four worthy Canadians who have made their mark on our culture and our identity.
Born in Toronto in 1905, Red Foster (1905-1985) got involved as a teenager writing advertising copy for sports events and got hooked. In 1931, he took his fondness for sport one step further, joined the swelling ranks of sports announcers, covering every event from wrestling to hockey, lacrosse to baseball, and swimming to cycling. In the 30s, his bi-weekly radio program, "Sporting Aces", brought celebrated athletes into the living rooms of Canadians. In the 1940s, the Victory Bonds radio program gave Foster a platform from which to promote top name sports figures and entertainers. By 1964, Foster Advertising was billing more than $70 million a year. Foster's philanthropic spirit was renowned, and his generosity supported community-based concerns such as the Canadian Special Olympics, The Alzheimer's Society of Canada, and the Salvation Army and the Metropolitan Toronto Association for Community Living.
Designers Catharine Bradbury and Dean Bartsch of Bradbury Design in Regina say these new stamps embrace an illustration style that "ties the four legendary Canadians together while being visually strong in the stamps' actual size". The designers attempted to echo the feel and impact of the great posters of the 1930s, and believe that the extraordinary lives of Mason, Foster, Munday and Comeau are now reflected in a design that is appropriately nostalgic while staying visually bold.