Canada Post features famed 150 year-old stained glass in 2011 holiday stamp series

OTTAWA, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Canada Post today issued four new stamps for the holiday season, including a three-part set featuring historic stained-glass windows of the Cathedral of Saint-Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Kingston, Ontario. A fourth secular stamp in Canada Post's continuing holiday series features a festive sprig of holly. This release of both contemporary and traditional Christmas stamps completes the year's collection. Overall, 48 million holiday stamps are in circulation starting today.

"This year's Christmas stamps put a significant 'wrap' on the 2011 stamp program," said Jim Phillips, Director of Stamp Services at Canada Post.  "Many of our stamps have sold out.  Among the many highlights of the program was the Royal Wedding stamp series that captured the interest of Canadians all across the country. Our 2012 stamp program promises to be just as exciting."

The stained-glass windows in Kingston's century-and-a half old Cathedral were originally imported from England. Over the years, several installation projects, additions and changes have been undertaken, including a complete restoration of the windows that began in 1993, and used many of the same methods employed over the past thousand years.

The scenes for the stamps were chosen to depict the story of Jesus' birth: the domestic rate, PERMANENT™ stamp shows the Angel appearing to Joseph, the U.S. rate stamp shows the Nativity scene, and the international rate stamp depicts the Epiphany. "The challenge in designing these stamps was to capture the amazing detail and luminosity of these windows in this tiny medium," said the designer, Andrew Perro.

The Christmas Holly tree has a history long associated with Yuletide and the coming of the winter season. Special decorations made of greenery have become customary during the holidays. The bright red berries and green leaves of the evergreen holly mirror the traditional, vivid colours of Christmas, and are a welcome sight in a cold, white Canadian winter. Designer Hélène L'Heureux notes ,"The stamp has a contemporary feel, and shares many of the other bold design elements common to the series, including strong graphic shapes and the snowy background landscape of rolling hills."

About the stamps

All three Stained Glass stamps (Permanent domestic, U.S. and International) measure 24 mm x 32 mm (vertical) with simulated perforations and pressure sensitive gum and are printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in seven colours plus spot varnish. The Permanent domestic stamps are available in booklets of 12 stamps and the U.S. and International each in booklets of six. A souvenir sheet of all three stamps is also available. The Official First Day Cover will be cancelled in Kingston, Ontario. The Christmas Holly PERMANENT stamp measures 24 mm x 24 mm (square). Printed by Lowe-Martin on Tullis Russell paper using lithography in five colours plus varnish and pressure sensitive gum. The Official First Day Cover will be cancelled in Greenwood, British Columbia. The stamps are available in booklets of 12 stamps.

Image with caption: "Historic stained-glass windows of the Cathedral of Saint-Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Kingston, Ontario (CNW Group/Canada Post)". Image available at:

SOURCE Canada Post

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