The hidden date for this stamp can be found on the bottom of the ivory carving.
Canada Post celebrates the season with a special set of three Christmas stamps displaying the works of three Canadian aboriginal artists. Featured are Genesis by Daphne Odjig on the domestic rate ($0.48) stamp; Winter Travel by Cecil Youngfox on the U.S. rate ($0.65) stamp; and Mary and Child by Irene Katak Angutitaq on the international rate ($1.25) stamp. The domestic rate stamp is available in a booklet of 10 or a pane of 25, and the U.S. and international rate stamps are available separately in booklets of six or panes of 25.
Irene Katak Angutitaq (1914-1971)
Irene Katak was born at Utkusikhalik (Back River), NT, and after marrying Athanasie Angutitaq in 1929, lived in Naujaat (Repulse Bay). The family lived in tents during the summer and in a snow house during the winter. Their son Peter Irniq (now the Commissioner of Nunavut) recalls an early life of dog teams and seal and caribou hunting. He would watch his mother carve figures of men, women and birds - figures that were always in action.
Father Bernie Franzen had noted that Irene was a "very innovative person" and he encouraged her to carve from soapstone, ivory and whale bone. He also encouraged her to create figurines of the Virgin Mary. Irene Katak Angutitaq's works can be found in the Museum of Civilization, Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Eskimo Museum and other galleries.
Mary and Child
The ivory carving rests on a soapstone base and measures 18.5 cm x 4.8 cm x 2.5 cm. It shows Mary, dressed in Inuit clothing, holding the baby Jesus.
A Warm Design
Signals Design Group Inc. of Vancouver created this three-stamp set. Design principal Kosta (Gus) Tsetsekas says that the primary objective was to create a design that would lend visual support to the artwork but let the paintings and sculpture feature prominently. This objective was met by using complementary colours, unobtrusive typography, and a background style that simultaneously reflects the coolness of winter and the warmth of the holidays.
Keith Hamilton and Bernice Alderson were the designers of the Aboriginal Art Christmas stamp set, which features Mike Macri's photograph of the Mary and Child carving.