By David Hartwig
On June 9, Canada Post issued five stamps depicting vintage travel posters from Canada’s golden age of commercial art and tourism marketing.
The stamps were unveiled on their date of issue as part of the opening ceremonies of Capex 2022, the international single-frame stamp championship exhibition from June 9-12 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Undenominated Vintage Travel Posters stamps at the permanent rate (currently 92¢) were printed in booklets of 10. The issue also includes two souvenir sheets.
In a press release, Canada Post explained that the country’s popularity as a tourist destination increased in the 20th century due to the expansion of the railway and the advent of the automobile.
“Railway and steamship companies promoted the booming industry by commissioning illustrators and designers to target globe-trotting tourists and Canadians,” Canada Post said. “Advertising campaigns invited people to explore Canada’s rugged beauty and urban attractions by promising world-class adventure, scenery and luxury. »
The distinctive and elegant style of these tourist advertisements fostered the growth of a golden age for commercial art in the country, according to Canada Post. The five posters included in this stamp issue cover approximately 20 years of this golden age.
A stamp in the series shows a poster depicting the observation car on the canadian, the first transcontinental train of the Canadian Pacific Railway, according to Canada Post. The Rocky Mountains are visible in the background of the 1955 poster by Canadian artist Roger Couillard.
Another stamp’s poster shows a woman sitting on a ship’s rail against a blue sky with flying seagulls; text encouraging the viewer to navigate the Great Lakes. Canada Post said the poster dates from around 1937 and attributes the design to British artist Tom Purvis.
Toronto’s Royal York Hotel dominates the background of the poster on another stamp. The poster, by Norman Fraser and dated around 1935, describes this luxury hotel as the largest in the British Empire.
Canada Post credits Austrian-born artist Herbert Bayer with the artwork for the 1939 poster showing a woman skiing at Mont-Tremblant ski resort in Quebec. While the woman’s outfit may not seem practical for skiing (especially by today’s standards), it may point to marketing decisions specific to what Canada Post calls “an era of glamorous travel.”
The remaining stamp features a poster advertising Canada’s scenic east coast, with people on the beach and a lighthouse in the background. The poster, by Saskatchewan-born artist Peter Ewart and dating from around 1950, names the towns of St. Andrews by-the-Sea in New Brunswick, and Digby and Yarmouth in Nova Scotia.
Paprika of Montreal, Quebec designed the stamps. They were printed by Lowe-Martin.
The two souvenir sheets each contain the five stamps. A sheet is also overprinted with the Capex 2022 logo.
In addition, Canada Post also offers postcards sold individually and in sets of five, as well as an official first day cover.
The booklet, souvenir sheets, FDC and related items are available from Canada Post and by mail order from Canada Post Customer Service, PO Box 90022, 2701 Riverside Drive, Ottawa, ON K1V 1J8 Canada; or by phone from the United States or Canada at 800-565-4362, and from other countries at 902-863-6550.
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