The hidden date for this stamp can be found along the right edge of the stamp.
These stamps featuring The Tragically Hip, Rush, The Guess Who and Beau Dommage are the latest in our ongoing series honouring Canadian recording artists – and the first to feature bands rather than individual performers. The commercial and critical success that these groundbreaking musicians have achieved reaches far beyond our borders.
Pierre Bertrand, Pierre Huet, Robert Léger and Michel Rivard wrote their first songs when they were in university, performing in intimate, smoke-filled rooms or boîtes à chansons where many young Quebec singers got their start.
Mutual admiration for one another’s work led the group to join forces, and Beau Dommage was born. Named for a common or colloquial expression meaning “you bet,” the group flourished with the addition of Marie-Michèle Desrosiers, Réal Desrosiers, and later, Michel Hinton.
Beau Dommage made a strong name for itself with its self-described “folk-rock-urban” sound, rich harmonious vocals and lyrics rooted in the Québécois culture. The band’s first album, which was self-titled, sold hundreds of thousands of copies – and its second, Où est passée la noce?, achieved equal success.
Beau Dommage toured throughout Quebec and across Europe from 1975 to 1978. Although the group eventually disbanded, a strong friendship still binds its members, who reunited in 1984, 1992, 1995 and 2005.
Over the course of its existence, Beau Dommage won numerous prizes and awards, including double-platinum status, Félix trophies, and a Billet d’or recognizing strong ticket sales for its live performances. It was the first band ever to receive a medal of honour from the National Assembly of Quebec.
Designer Louis Gagnon of Paprika drew on feedback from the groups in this series to focus on what fans recognized most about their beloved artists. The result: stamps with group shots of Beau Dommage and The Tragically Hip alongside stamps featuring the iconic logo of The Guess Who and the fan-favourite cover of Rush’s album, 2112.
Each stamp will be released individually on its own First Day Cover. For the design, Gagnon had access to press and performance shots as well as album covers. To keep everything united, he showed each group’s graphic logo and kept colour tones and textures consistent.
“The main challenge was trying to catch the mood of each band, while keeping a respectful look and feel,” explains Gagnon. The current band members were present in the development process and gave their input all the way through. That helped us balance how we saw the final result and how they wanted to be represented.”
“Although these bands have existed for over 30 years, they are still active and performing today,” he adds, “so we wanted to stay as close as possible to a timeless treatment.”
Canada Post’s Stamp Design Manager Liz Wong echoed those challenges. “Representing the incredible history of these groups in just a few images is nearly impossible. Balancing history with the present to create something classic and lasting was essential.”
“This release is really about the fans,” says Wong. “We wanted to turn the larger-than-life character of each group into something that every fan would recognize and love.”
For Gagnon, working on the series was an honour. “These names have enormous history and, along with their all-time classics, are still very influential in the rock scene,” he says. “It was very rewarding to design their stamps, considering that these will travel the world and be part of special collections.”