It’s a wrap! Canada’s 2021 Lunar New Year Stamps

It’s a wrap! Canada’s 2021 Lunar New Year Stamps

Canada’s 2021 Lunar New Year stamps will wrap up the New Year’s series that started in 2009. This last issue in the cycle goes on sale January 15, 2021 and is available for pre-sale orders now at Canada Post’s online store Latest stamps | New in store | Canada Post. This set beautifully ties the complete collection together.  In one souvenir sheet, the collector can see 12 years’ worth of stamp designs.

Canada’s 2021 Lunar New Year stamps

All years are displayed – rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. It’s a terrific way to end a long running series.

Scan of Canada's 2021 Lunar New Year Stamps showing 12 years worth of stamps

Canada 2021 Lunar New Year Stamps souvenir sheet

Booklet format and single permanent stamps.

Canada Post's Lunar New Year stamps

Lunar New Year cycle wraps up

Canada’s 2021 Lunar New Year stamps designed by Paprika Design

Paprika Design created this retrospective issue. Their work should be familiar to Canadian stamp collectors. They are behind 9 previous designs including the 2018 QEII 65th anniversary stamps, the 2017 Year of the Rooster and 2014 Year of the Horse.

The Lunar New Year stamp series uses artwork from by Albert Ng and Associates (rat, monkey, pig), Helene L’Heureux (ram), HM&E Design (rabbit), Louis Fishauf (dragon), MIX Design Group (snake), Paprika (horse, rooster), Subplot Design Inc. (dog), Taylor/Sprules Corp. (ox), and Wilco Design (tiger).

Are you interested in seeing all Canada’s upcoming stamps for 2021?  Check out the post below for more information.

Awesome 2021 Canadian stamps announced

 

Awesome 2021 Canadian stamps announced

Awesome 2021 Canadian stamps announced

Canada Post has released topics for their 2021 Canadian stamps, with some exciting 100th anniversary celebrations in the mix. The list is an interesting selection of Canadian achievements and multicultural events.

List of 2021 Canadian stamp issues

  • the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin.
  • five mammals that turn white in winter.
  • two legends of Canadian ballet.
  • the 100th anniversary of the launch of the legendary schooner Bluenose.
  • the three First World War heroes from Winnipeg’s Valour Road.

UPDATED Jan. 07, 2021. Canada Post has started issuing the 2021 stamps. The original article on the topics starts below the list. Purchase stamps here: Latest stamps | New in store | Canada Post

2021 Canadian stamps January

2021 Canadian stamps Canada Post's Lunar New Year stamps

Lunar New Year cycle wraps up

Lunar New Year Cycle

12 Lunar New Year stamps.
Booklets, uncut press sheets, souvenir sheet, framed pane.

Completion of current Lunar New Year series that started in 2009. Each design is based on a previously released stamp.

Designer: Paprika Design
Previously designed stamps include 2018 QEII, and 2017 Formula 1 Drivers.

Release date: January 15, 2021

2021 Canadian stamps Scan of Canada 2021 Lunar New Year Stamps showing 12 years worth of stamps

Canada 2021 Lunar New Year Stamps

Full souvenir sheet

Canada Post stamps Feb. 2021 two black history month stamps

Celebrating black settlements in Willow Grove NB and Amber Valley, Alberta

Black History Month

Two stamps celebrating two communities settled by Black Americans in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Amber Valley, Alberta & Willow Grove, NB.

The residents of Willow Grove and Amber Valley faced the challenges of poor farming land and harsh weather conditions. They also faced continued prejudice and discrimination, including from local and federal governments. Despite the hostility of their environments, these communities grew, and their descendants have enriched Canadian society and culture. Black History Month | Canada Post

Two stamps in this series
Permanent stamps, souvenir sheets, FDC

Special cancels from Athabasca AB

 

Designer: Lime Design
Previously designed includes 2018 Canadian Illustrators, 2012 Guardian of English Bay Joe Fortes, 2011 Black History Month featuring Fergie Jenkins,

Release date: January 22, 2021

 

Image of the stamp booklet for Black History month 2021 Canadian Stamps

2 booklets to be issued

Two separate booklets issued
FDC for Amber Valley was founded around 1910

Amber Valley

Willow Grove was founded in 1817 by a group of Black refugees from the War of 1812 (most formerly enslaved in the United States).

Willow Grove

FDC Amber Valley was founded around 1910

FDC Willow Grove was founded in 1817 by a group of Black refugees from the War of 1812 (most formerly enslaved in the United States).

2021 Canadian stamps February

What are your picks?

I’m not sure which of Canada’s ballet legends will be honoured but I’m betting it’ll be Rex Harrington and Evelyn Hart. I’m not a major fan of ballet, so I’m likely off on these picks, but with Canada’s rich ballet history and there are lots of choices.

The mammals of winter will be fun. My picks are the artic hare, arctic fox, Peary caribou, arctic wolf, and harp seal.

It’s hard to imagine a world without insulin, but the discovery is only 100 years old. Read more on it here 100 Years of Insulin: Accelerating Canadian Discoveries to Defeat Diabetes. Previous stamps highlighting insulin included the 50th anniversary issue 1971, 1990 physician’s series, and 1999 millennium issue.

And the beloved Bluenose!

Scan of Bluenose 1929 stamp. Look for it on 2021 Canadian stamps

1929 Bluenose stamp from writer’s collection

The Bluenose has appeared on 4 Canadian stamps, 1929, 1982, 1988 and 1998.  The classic 1929 issue appeared on the 82 and 98 stamps. It’s hard to beat the iconic 1929 issue for power and grace. Of all the new releases, this one creates the greatest interest. I’d love to see a photo of the Bluenose incorporated into the design this time around.

The Valour Road stamps will honour 3 WW1 Canadian soldiers who lived on the same street in Winnipeg. Corporal Leo Clarke, Sergeant-Major Frederick William Hall, and Lieutenant Robert Shankland each won the Victoria Cross, prompting Pine Street to be renamed Valour Road in 1925.

Reoccurring themes for 2021 Canadian stamps

As expected, Canada Post will highlight several popular themes used in past years.

  • spring flower stamps this year will be crab-apples blossoms.
  • the Chinese Lunar New Year will feature a multi-stamp look at past issues in the series.
  • Black History Month will honour pioneering settlements in Amber Valley, Alberta, and Willow Grove, New Brunswick.
  • a stamp honouring the Canada Post Community Foundation, which supports a number of schools, charities, and children’s organizations.
  • Eid, Diwali, and Hanukkah stamps.
  • and of course, the yearly Christmas stamps which will have an angel and some as yet unannounced, classic Christmas characters.

Lots to look forward to in the new year. I’m eager to see who the designers are as well. I started a small database tracking modern designer and their stamps. If I ever complete it, I’ll share it, but don’t hold your breath. So many stamps to write about, so little time to spare.

What are your choices? Leave them in the comments below.

Check back frequently for more stamp collecting news. Remember to follow Bitter Grounds on Twitter or Facebook to receive updates on the stamp world. If you don’t use them, check out the links below for more options to follow this site.

 

New Mary Riter Hamilton stamp – Oct 28, 2020

New Mary Riter Hamilton stamp – Oct 28, 2020

Canada Post will honour Canadian artist Mary Riter Hamilton at the end of the month. Her 1919 painting Trenches of the Somme will appear on a permanent stamp Oct. 28, 2020.

War artist

It is fortunate that I arrived before it was too late to get a real impression. The first day I went over Vimy [Ridge], snow and sleet were falling, and I was able to realize what the soldiers had suffered. If as you and others tell me, there is something of the suffering and heroism of the war in my pictures it is because at that moment the spirit of those who fought and died seemed to linger in the air. Every splintered tree and scarred clod spoke of their sacrifice.

Since then, nature has been busy covering up the wounds, and in a few years the last sign of war will have disappeared. To have been able to preserve some memory of what this consecrated corner of the world looked like after the storm is a great privilege and all the reward an artist could hope for. Mary Riter Hamilton, Archives Canada

Photo of Mary Riter Hamilton, Canadian artist

Mary Riter Hamilton – courtesy Canadian Encyclopedia

Mary Riter Hamilton was an extraordinary war artist. Most think of war art as the exclusive domain of men but Riter Hamilton traveled to Europe, on behalf of the Amputation Club of British Columbia to document the devastating impact of the Great War. From 1919 to 1922 she traversed through trenches and visited some of the most heartbreaking sites and created a stunning record of the WW1. Her images of the trenches, cemeteries and destroyed buildings across France and Belgium were to be a testimony to what Canadian soldiers endured from 1914 – 1918.

Trenches on the Somme

Oil painting by Mary Riter Hamilton - Trenches on the Somme showing a WW1 Trench covered in poppies

Trenches on the Somme, 1919. Artist Mary Riter Hamilton Oil on commercial canvas board. 37.8 x 45.8. Courtesy Archives Canada

Although not an official war artist for the Canadian government, Riter Hamilton’s works appeared in The Gold Stripe a veteran’s magazine.  She created over 300 paintings, as well as chalk, pastel, and pencil drawings. She felt an urgency to “… paint the scenes where so many of our gallant Canadians have fought and died.” (Mary Riter Hamilton, Western Women’s Weekly, February 1, 1919)

Riter Hamilton donated 180 works to the government of Canada in later years. She believed her WW1 work should be available to the Canadian people and stay in Canada.

Mary Riter Hamilton stamp – Oct 28, 2020

Canada Post has created a great memorial to both Riter Hamilton and the Great War, for Remembrance Day. The poppies scattered along a trench in the Somme is both beautiful and devastatingly sad.

Photo of Mary Riter Hamilton stamp

Booklet set of Mary Riter Hamilton’s Trenches of the Somme

Check out Canada Post’s website to purchase the Mary Riter Hamilton booklet or see if your local postal outlet has them available as of the 28th.

Suzor-Cote #492i line from knee error – bonanza!

Suzor-Cote #492i line from knee error – bonanza!

Sometimes you can look at a stamp over and over and not spot an error. This happened on the weekend when I posted a set of plate blocks on the Facebook group Stamp Collecting. I’ve owned a full set of Suzor-Cote’s “Return the Harvest” (1969) for at least 10 years now and love looking at them. Imagine my delight when someone pointed out I owned the line from knee error – Suzor-Cote #492i (thanks Michael!). Gobsmacked would be a better description.

Canadian Stamp Suzor-Cote #492i – Return from the Harvest Field

Scan of Suzor-Cote plate block #492i showing line from knee error

Return from the Harvest Field LL plate block 492i

I dug out both the plate & the scan and peered closely and thought “son of a …” Suzor-Cote #492i – line from knee variety (pos.41). “How could I miss it after all these years?”

Close up of the line from knee error on the Suzor-Cote #492 stamp

Up close look at the line from knee error

Just goes to show, there’s always something new to find in your own collection. I missed it for so many years because I assumed there were no errors. The stamp auction house I purchased them from never spotted the error either and sold the 4 plates as a full set, no errors. Bonus!

Read more about Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté at the Canadian Encyclopedia

6 new Canadian stamps – celebrating Canadians in Flight

6 new Canadian stamps – celebrating Canadians in Flight

Canada Post’s latest release, Canadians in Flight honours 5 significant Canadians and Canadian creations. This has to be my favourite subjects – Canadian history & pioneer flight.  There are 5 stamps, a booklet, souvenir sheet and 5 covers to in the set.

Close up of 5 stamps from Canadians in Flight

Stamps from the Canadians in Flight booklet

Starting at the top left and working across:

Elsie MacGill – The Queen of the Hurricanes

Elsie MacGill, the underappreciated hero of aeronautical engineering, feminist and all around amazing Canadian. She was a woman of many firsts – 1st female graduate of electrical engineering at U of T, 1st woman to earn a Master’s in aeronautical engineering, 1st female practicing engineering in Canada, when recovering from polio MacGill designed airplanes and wrote articles about aviation, rode along with test pilots to observe her designs in flight, chief aeronautical engineer at Canadian Car & Foundry, headed the Canadian production of the Hawker Hurricane fighter planes in WW2, feminist activist, commissioner on the Royal Commission on the Status of Women and tireless advocate for women’s rights1.

How bad ass was Elsie MacGill? She had a comic book written about her in 1942 called Queen of the Hurricanes – Elsie MacGill. MacGill was the Queen of Badass Women. Not enough Canadians are taught about her contributions to engineering, aviation and feminism so this is a long overdue tribute to a great Canadian.

Page from 1942 comic - Elsie McGill, Queen of the Hurricanes Image courtesy Roberta Bondar Foundation

1942 comic – Elsie MacGill, Queen of the Hurricanes

William George Barker, VC

Next is William George Barker, VC, enlisted as a private in the Canadian army, ended his career as a Wing Commander in the new RCAF. The lad from Dauphin, Manitoba who went on to be a WW1 Royal Flying Corp and RCAF pilot, businessman and the most decorated serviceman in Canadian history. Barker was one of those legendary fighter pilots that emerged from WW1, a small town prairie boy who became larger than life because of a war they were tossed into. Here’s an excerpt from the Barker’s official military records2:

William George Barker's service record note about his Victoria Cross win

William George Barker’s service record note about his Victoria Cross win

William George Barker's service record note about his Victoria Cross win

Second page from William George Barker’s service record note about his Victoria Cross win

Photo of memorial to William Barker at Mount Pleasant Cemetery Toronto. SHows two memorial plaques and a propellor

Memorial to William Barker at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto

Bush Pilot Punch Dickins

C. H. Punch Dickins, another flier from the prairies, was one of Canada’s great bush pilots. After WW1 ended, many pilots bought decommissioned biplanes and headed north to carry freight, mail and passengers to remote towns and mining camps that dotted the Canadian north3.

In Canada, the word “bush” has been used since the 19th century to describe the hostile environment beyond the clearings and settlements. In bush flying it has been used to refer to flying in adverse, if not hostile, conditions in the remote expanses beyond the ribbon of settlement in southern Canada, into the “bush” of the Canadian Shield and the barren Arctic. By the end of WWI most of southern Canada had been linked by railways, but the North remained as inaccessible as ever by land. Its innumerable lakes and rivers did, however, provide alighting areas for water-based aircraft in summer and ski-equipped aircraft in winter.  Bush Flying | The Canadian Encyclopedia

Punch Dickins  cut his teeth fighting on the Western Front, serving in the RFC and later RCAF.  After the war, he flew to remote locations surveying over 10,000 miles of northern Canada for Western Canadian Airlines.

Scan of a Western Canadian Airways airmail stamp

Western Canadian Airways Semi-official stamp

Western Canadian was one of the companies allowed to print stamps and collect money for the delivery of mail to remote locations. Punch delivered the first mail to the NWTs for WCA.  By the end of his career, Dickins flew over 1.6 million miles across the northern Canada.

Avro Arrow

On the second row is the Avro Arrow, continuing Canada’s fascination with the best aircraft that never got a chance. A Canadian designed fighter craft capable of flying 2x the speed of sound, but buried and sunk in Lake Ontario for political reasons. The cancellation of the Avro is still considered a national scandal 60 years later and hotly argued about.

Ultraflight Lazair

And finishing out this set is the nibble twin engine Ultraflight Lazair, a Canadian designed ultralight craft that still buzzes around the skies5.  Between 1979 and 84, over 2000 were built and sold for under $5000 US. It is considered one of the most successful aircrafts sold in Canada.

This is an OUTSTANDING set. I rushed out and bought the booklet and souvenir sheet the morning they were released. The covers were missing in action everywhere I looked. so it looks like they’ll have to be ordered from the Canada Post website. The booklet of 10 stamps costs $9.50 CDN as does the set of 5 covers.  The souvenir sheet of 5 stamps costs $4.50.

Hats off to designer Ivan Novotny6 of Taylor | Sprules Corporation for this beautiful set.

Scan of new Canadian stamps showing Elsie McGill, William George Barker VC, Ultralight craft, Avro Arrow and Punch Dickens

Canadians in Flight 2019 spring Canadian stamp release booklet

Canadians in Flight booklet back cover

Canadians in Flight booklet backside

 

Canadians in flight souvenir sheet - front showing stamps

Canadians in Flight souvenir sheet

Notes & further reading on the people on these Canadian stamps :

1 – To learn more about Elsie MacGill start with the Canadian Encyclopedia entry
Vintage Wings – The Queen of the Hurricanes includes photos of airplanes MacGill designed
Pick up the book Queen of the Hurricanes by Crystal Sissons, published 2014 by Second Story Press.  ISBN: 9781927583531 for paperback and 9781927583579 for hardbound editions. Or check your local library
Comic image courtesy Roberta Bondar Foundation

2 –  Read more about William George Barker at the Canadian Encyclopedia
There are many books written about Barker, one of the best is William Barker VC – The Life, Death & Legend of Canada’s Most Decorated War Hero by Ralph Wayne 2007. Published by Wiley Press ISBN 9780470839676
Archives Canada has digitized his WW1 service records and you can download and read them here: https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/military-heritage/first-world-war/100-stories/Pages/barker.aspx
The Aerodrome’s page on Barker will give you a thumbnail view.
Today in Ottawa’s History – The tragic death of Lieutenant Colonel William Barker VC 
Canadian Biography 

3 – Learn more about Canada’s bush pilots at the Canadian Encyclopedia
Historic Wings entry on Punch Dickins
There are a number of websites devoted to the bush pilots and the planes they flew including Bush Plane 
And of course don’t forget Canadian Encyclopedia’s entry on Dickins

4 – Avro Arrow’s development and short life is well documented. I’d start with Canadian Encyclopedia’s brief history
CBC’s Avro Arrow – Canada’s greatest plane that never was is a fascinating read
After years of speculation and searching, the Avro model was located in 2017 at the bottom of Lake Ontario. This story is behind a paywall, but the first couple of articles are free
CTV has an interesting article on the mystery surrounding the destruction of the Avro

5 – A little bit of information can be found at the Lazair website and the Wikipedia page

6 – Interview with Ivan Novotny http://www.tsworld.com/content_interviews/novotny/novotny.ph