Canada – actress Monique Mercure

Canada Post today issued a commemorative stamp celebrating Quebec’s grande dame of stage and screen, Monique Mercure. Known for her fiery spirit, versatility and powerful performances, Mercure (1930-2020) was one of Canada’s most beloved and acclaimed actresses.

She began her acting career in the early 1960s at the theatre and made her film debut in 1963 in Claude Jutra’s À tout prendre. This kicked off a career that would extend over the next six decades. A household name in Quebec, Mercure performed in more than 100 classical and contemporary plays in North America and Europe and over 80 films and TV productions.

Some of her most popular films were Mon oncle Antoine (1971), J.A. Martin photographe (1977) – which earned Mercure Canada’s first Festival de Cannes award for best actress – Naked Lunch (1991) and The Red Violin (1998). She also appeared as a regular in popular French-language TV series Providence (2005-11) and Mémoires vives (2013-16).

Throughout her career, Mercure received numerous awards and honours, including two Genie Awards, two Prix Gémeaux, the Prix Denise-Pelletier, the Prix Gascon-Roux from the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.

She was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979 and promoted to Companion in 1993. Mercure was also named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.

Mercure joins her peers from the performing community that Canada Post has honoured with stamps, including Fay Wray, Mary Pickford and Christopher Plummer.

About the stamp

The stamp features an illustration by Oriana Fenwich based on a photograph of Monique Mercure taken in 1963 by Henri Paul, courtesy of Radio-Canada Archives. The stamp was printed by Colour Innovations and designed by Underline Studio. Cancelled in Montréal, the issue includes a booklet of six Permanent™ domestic rate stamps, a pane of six stamps and an Official First Day Cover.

Canada – Jewish Festival of Lights

New stamp celebrates the Jewish Festival of Lights

The contemporary illustration reflects the joyful spirit of Hanukkah

OTTAWA – Today Canada Post launched the fifth stamp in its ongoing series celebrating Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. The new stamp reflects the joyful spirit of the festival through a vibrant, contemporary interpretation of the flames on an eight-branched menorah.

Hanukkah is one of the more widely embraced celebrations in the Jewish calendar. An opportunity for reflection and a celebration of triumph and tenacity, it commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after the Jewish people reclaimed it from their oppressors around 165 BCE. 

According to Jewish tradition, the Temple’s menorah was to burn continuously, but there was enough oil to last only one day. Miraculously, it lasted the eight days needed to harvest, press and transport a fresh supply of oil.

This miracle is commemorated through the kindling of a special Hanukkah menorah known as a hanukkiyah – a candelabrum bearing a row of eight candle or oil holders. Each evening an additional light is kindled using the shamash (helper candle). 

Designed by Andrew Lewis, the stamp was cancelled in Montréal on November 7, in advance of Hanukkah, which this year takes place from nightfall December 18 to nightfall December 26.

Canada – 2022 Christmas and holiday stamps

Christmas and holiday stamps illuminate the season and add cheer

The Nativity star and holiday birds capture sacred and secular images

anada Post has released new Christmas and holiday stamps that will help Canadians make their mail merrier at this special time of year.

Since 1964, the annual Christmas and holiday stamps have been adding a festive touch to cards and letters throughout the season. For the 2022 stamps, Canadians will once again have their choice of stamps featuring either sacred or secular holiday imagery.

This year, Canada Post is also sharing images of Christmas and holiday stamps dating back decades so Canadians can see how they have evolved over the years, while still capturing the fun and magic of the season.

2022 Christmas and holiday stamps

The majestic new Christmas stamp – designed by Paprika and illustrated by Fanny Roy – is inspired by the Nativity, with an emphasis on the star that led the Magi to the infant Jesus. In biblical accounts of the birth of Jesus, the star of Bethlehem served as both a guide that led the Magi to find the young child and a sign that the prophecy of the coming of a saviour had been realized. The Permanent™ domestic rate stamp is available in booklets of 12. The Official First Day Cover is cancelled in Star City, Saskatchewan.

This year’s secular holiday stamps – designed by Hambly & Woolley Inc. and illustrated by Sandra Dionisi – feature three birds that overwinter in Canada: a cardinal (Permanent™ domestic rate), a blue jay (U.S. rate) and an evening grosbeak (international rate). The colourful stamps provide a festive and wintery look, emphasizing the beauty of the natural world during the holiday season. Domestic rate stamps are available in booklets of 12, with the U.S. and international rate stamps offered in booklets of six. A festive souvenir sheet of the three stamps is also available, along with a souvenir sheet Official First Day Cover, cancelled in Cardinal, Ontario.

Images of stamps dating back several decades

For nearly 60 years, the annual Christmas and holiday stamps have reflected the magic, landscapes and cultural traditions that make the season so special. This year, Canada Post is sharing images of some of those stamps from decades gone by. While the artwork and designs have changed significantly over the years, the stamps continue to capture the meaning, memories and cherished moments of the season that Canadians hold dear. Sharing Christmas and holiday stamps on cards and letters remains a time-honoured tradition for many people across the country.