This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.


Canadian Stamp Collection has new home at Canadian Museum of History

  • Mar 27, 2014
  • 404 words
  • 2 minutes
Expand Image

A new permanent gallery near the Nation’s capital lets visitors revisit Canadian history through the country’s postage.

The Canadian Stamp Collection has a new home on the first floor of the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Que. Opening today, the collection features more than 3,000 stamps and includes every Canadian stamp issued as far back as 1851.

Expand Image
1995 Superman and Captain Canuck stamps. (Photo: Siobhan McClelland)

Jean-Marc Blais, the director general of the Canadian Museum of History, says he hopes that museum visitors will get a sense of Canada’s history from the exhibit.

“As we often talk about Canadian history and having the railroad as one of these symbols uniting Canada, I think postal history is another of those big symbols,” he says. “Without stamps, people would not have been able to communicate with each other. Now, it seems to be a given, but you don’t have to go back that far in time to realize that without having that history, perhaps the country would have been different.”

There’s a stamp for every collector, with stamps featuring comic book heroes like Superman and Captain Canuck, celebrities like Bryan Adams and John Candy or royalty like Queen Elizabeth II. The stamps can be viewed chronologically or by one of eight themes that vary from sports to culture, history to the environment.

Expand Image
Stamps featuring the Fortress of Louisbourg in Nova Scotia. (Photo: Siobhan McClelland)

Showcased with the exhibit are artefacts that either inspired a stamp’s creation or were used to make it, such as a stained-glass window reproducing a 1976 Nativity stamp. Blais says the artefacts allow visitors to “not only look at the stamp, but also look at the inspiration behind the stamp.”

Some of the artefacts include a headdress, saddlebag and war club, which were on the 1972 Indians of the Plains stamp.

“As a young boy in the 1970s, this is one of the first stamps I collected personally,” Blais says. “It’s quite emotional for me to actually see the original of that headdress and still relate to that stamp I collected 40 years ago.”

In partnership with Canada Post, the museum will continue to add to the collection as new stamps are released.

“The story of our country isn’t something you can close the book on and say we’re done,” says Deepak Chopra, president and CEO at Canada Post. “This is a story that goes on.”


Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

Chuckwagon racing


A hundred years of rodeo

Capturing the spirit of the Calgary Stampede on the eve of its centennial

  • 2043 words
  • 9 minutes
Harland Smalleyes, a dancer representing the Stoney Nakoda and Blackfoot First Nations, performs during the 2017 Stampede

People & Culture

Photos: A celebration of First Nations at the Calgary Stampede

Beyond the rodeo and the chuckwagon races, the Calgary Stampede is one of the country’s longest-running public celebrations of Indigenous cultures

  • 858 words
  • 4 minutes


New stamps unveiled of Canada’s UNESCO world heritage sites

A lot of snail-mail may be bills and packages from Amazon, but there’s something undeniably special about getting a letter in the mail, particularly if its envelope is adorned…

  • 327 words
  • 2 minutes


Photos: The Calgary Stampede celebrates 105 years

Canadian Geographic creative director Javier Frutos shares photos from his visit to the world-famous western celebration

  • 496 words
  • 2 minutes