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Mathieu DaCosta

Black History Month


Mathieu DaCosta



Date of Issue

February 1, 2017




Postal Administration



Black History Month

Series Time Span

2011 - 2018

Perforation or Dimension

33 mm x 25 mm


Canadian Bank Note


Design: Andrew Perro. Illustration: Ron Dollekamp.


Booklet of 10 stamps

Quantity Produced - 140,000
Original Price: $8.50
Dimension: 33 mm x 25 mm
Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours

Official First Day Cover

Quantity Produced - 10,000
Cancellation Location: Tadoussac QC
Original Price: $1.85
Dimension: 190 mm x 112 mm

About Stamp

The 2017 Black History stamp features Mathieu Da Costa, believed to be the first person of African descent to reach Canada, whose name survived history. It is speculated that Da Costa was a free man who worked as an interpreter for Europeans trading with Indigenous people in the New World. Evidence of this includes a document stating that, in 1608 – the year Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Québec – Da Costa agreed to work for French fur-trader, explorer and governor of Acadia, Pierre Dugua de Mons.

Depicting a centuries-old figure without a visual record is a challenge, to say the least – and a common dilemma when it comes to historical subjects. Designer Andrew Perro and illustrator Ron Dollekamp worked closely with Canadian historical illustrator and storyboard artist Francis Back to painstakingly ensure that all elements – from the style of clothing to the type of sailing ship – were right for the time and place.

While Da Costa’s story may never be fully known, his unique connection with our country is a reminder of the values of respect, acceptance and diversity that Canadians cherish and celebrate.

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