This stamp has micro-text printed along Gill's arm. The micro-text reads "Nicolas Gill in Athens".
What could be more Canadian than our flag with its iconic red Maple Leaf? Everywhere the impressive Maple Leaf appears, it evokes pride in this vast and beautiful country, and in the diversity of the people, language and culture of Canada.
The PERMANENT™ domestic-rate stamps in this year’s new definitives set feature another five images where the Canadian flag is displayed with respect, honour and pride. A flag whips stiffly from a Canadian Coast Guard ship diligently patrolling the icy waters of the north. A vintage van on its travels proudly displays its owner’s nationality with a flag in the back window. A happy, rosy-cheeked Inuit child excitedly waves a flag during Canada Day celebrations. Too,Olympic moments inspire unapologetic and passionate patriotism: a fourth stamp shows judoka Nicolas Gill as he carried the flag for Canada in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, and a fifth, bobsledder PierreLeuders in competition. Gill was atwo-time Summer Olympic medalist, while Leuders—a five-time Olympian—was recognized as the most decorated slider in Canadian history following his retirement from the sport after the close of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
The Canadian Coast Guard, which patrols and keeps our borders safe, provides key maritime services, and ensures safe and accessible waterways for Canadians, is marking its 50th anniversary this year. It is fitting then, that Canadian Coast Guard vessels figure prominently in this stamp issue.
The background of the souvenir sheet showcases a solitary Canadian Coast Guard ship—the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent, built in 1969, and named after Canada’s 12th Prime Minister—surrounded by ice. This vessel is the largest icebreaker and flagship of the Canadian Coast Guard. The cover of the 30-stamp booklet places the viewer in the scene with an image offering a vantage point from high up on board the CCGS Amundsen, and reveals an unusual perspective of the tracks cut in the ice by these ships.The Amundsen, named for Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen, is a Medium Arctic icebreaker thatwas given new life in 2003, when the CCGS SirJohn Franklin received funding to convert it to a dedicated Arctic Ocean research vessel. The Sir John Franklin, built in 1979, had been deemed surplus to the fleet and decommissioned in 1996. The refitted vessel boasts a ‘moon pool’ that enables scientists tolower instruments into the sea through the hull without cutting the ice.
“Wanting to focus on Canadian pride and the notion of ‘wearing the flag,’ we thought it appropriate to place the ‘CANADA’ type at the top of the stamp, with the imagery withthe flag below,” says designer Michael Kirlew. “We chose a concept that we think isrefreshing andnew. The images are meant to beiconic and meaningful, but also deeply personal—not so much about Canada in general as about Canadians expressly.”
“That’s what it’s all about,” says Liz Wong, Stamp Design manager. “Honouring what defines us as a nation, what’s important to us as a people, and how we choose to live.”
We think you’ll agree that this year’s definitive stamps are proudly Canadian.