The Canadian Millennium on Stamps

After taking a look at the US and British Millennium stamps, it’s now Canada time! If you want to score high in quizes or acing your Canadian citizenship exam, then this read is for you. But of course, everyone is welcome to take a look!

The Canadian Millennium stamps were issued on two separate occasions. A first bulky set of 17 sheets each made of 4 large-format stamps (totaling 68 stamps) was issued on September-15, 1999. A second set made of 3 single stamp minisheets was issued on October-12, 1999. All stamps from The Millennium Collection/La collection du millénaire are inscribed bilingually in English and French.

The first set includes all sorts of historical, cultural, economic and political landmarks. The large-format stamps are a pleasure to look at. The second one features 3 stamps issued in three different printing technologies – like a short course in the history of stamps – where they’ve come and where they’re headed to in the new millennium.

The first issue


Pictured above: the World Heritage site of L’Anse-aux-Meadows; Pier 21 immigrants; the Neptune Theater; and the Stratford Theater Fetival.


Pictured above: the senator and diplomat Raoul Dandurand; the humanitarian work of women in wartime; the Nobel prize historian Lester B. Pearson; and the banning of land mines.


Pictured above: the noble warrior Pontiac; Tom Longboat’s marathon record; Inuit Shamans; and traditional healing.


Pictured above: writer W.O. Mitchell; playwright Gratien Gélinas; the French language book circle; and the Harlequin novels (yes, they are a Canadian invention, in case you did not know!).


Pictured above: the opera singer Portia White; the Variations of Glenn Gould; the jazz music of Guy Lombardo; the singer and composer Félix Leclerc.


Pictured above: Hudson Bay Company; Bell Canada Corp.; the Vauchon cookies and Weston Bakeries.


Pictured above: the foundation of medicare in Canada; equal rights for women; the popular savings bank movement of Alphonse and Dorimène Desjardins; the coop movement of Moses Coady.


Pictured above: Calgary Stampede rodeo; Cirque du Soleil; hockey night on radio and TV.


Pictured above: the building of Rogers Pass; dam and hydropower plant construction; the Canadian space program; the CN Tower.


Pictured above: the inventions of George Klein; Abraham Gesner’s oil industry; the inventions of Alexander Graham Bell; Joseph-Armand Bombardier and his snowmobile.


Pictured above: the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts; the Canada Council; the National Film Board of Canada; and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.


Pictured above: Nobel prize winner Sir Frederick G. Banting; the microbiologist Armand Frappier; the research on stress conducted by Dr. Hans Selye; the heart surgery applied by Maude Abbott.


Pictured above: IMAX cinemas; Softimage computer animation; the pioneering work in radio transmission of Ted Rogers Sr.; the inventions of Sir William Stephenson.


Pictured above: the communication theory of Marshall McLuhan; the literary criticism of Northrop Frye; the writing and journalism of Roger Lemelin; the pedagogy work of Hilda M. Neatby.


Pictured above: the Massey Foundation; the philanthropy work of Izaak Walton & Dorothy Brooks Johnston; the philanthropy work of Eric Lafferty; the Macdonald-Stewart Foundation.


Pictured above: The Canadian International Development Agency; the missionary work of Lucille Teasdale; cancer awareness conducted by Terry Fox in his “Marathon of Hope”; the charity work of Meals on Wheels.


Pictured above: the agronomist Sir Charles Saunders; Pablum baby foods; the marine biology research of Dr. Archibald Gowanlock; and McCain Foods Corporation.

The second issue


The first minisheet of the second issue is made of hologram self-adhesive foil. The hologram reveals the year 1999, which changes in 2000 when moved, on a backdrop with a fluorescent dove and the words love/amour.


The second minisheet, minted in the technology of digital printing also tackles with the topic of peace and love.


The third and last minisheet is pinted on gummed pergamin paper and reminds of early Canadian stamps, being the printed rendition of a steel engraving. I was unable to find an early example of a Canadian stamp that might have inspired the 1999 one; however it is highly possible to find something similar among the British Columbia, Vancouver Island, or Newfoundland issues if you’re really keen to find out what’s behind.


Stamps featured in post: 71; Period: contemporary (1999); Pricing: moderate; Availability: the first issue is available, but harder to assemble into a complete collection. The second issue is rather scarce.

Michel catalogue no’s (price for mint blocks in € in brackets): The first issue: MiNr: 1808-1875 (100€); The second issue: MiNr: 1882-1884 (20€); the prices are given for sheet and minisheet format.

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