Canada Post un­veils Year of Ram stamp

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By JUS­TINE HUANG in Van­cou­ver and LI NA in Toronto

To honor the Chi­nese Lu­nar New Year, Canada Post is­sued a pair of stamps com­mem­o­rat­ing the Year of the Ram. It’s the sev­enth re­lease in a planned 12-year se­ries cel­e­brat­ing the Chi­nese zo­diac.

Canada’s pri­mary postal op­er­a­tor held par­al­lel launch events for the new stamps at the post’s Atrium on the Bay of­fice in Toronto and at its Pa­cific Pro­cess­ing Cen­ter in Rich­mond, Bri­tish Columbia on Jan 8.

Mao Run­long, deputy con­sul gen­eral for China in Van­cou­ver, was in­vited to un­veil the stamps with Greg Ka­batoff, the re­tail di­rec­tor of Canada Post, in Van­cou­ver.

“The Lu­nar year tra­di­tion is the time to honor an­ces­tors,” Ka­batoff said. “It’s also the spring fes­ti­val. It’s time of re­newal and cel­e­bra­tion around the world and across Canada. The Chi­nese com­mu­nity is in­te­gral and out­stand­ing part of Canada’s cul­ture. It en­riches the lives of all Cana­di­ans with a wealth of tra­di­tion and be­liefs that reach back in time and ex­tend to the present days.”

Mao was pre­sented with a framed me­mento fea­tur­ing the new stamps.

“I’d like to ex­press my sin­cere thanks and ap­pre­ci­a­tion to Canada Post for their long time ded­i­ca­tion and hard work to pro­mote the beauty of tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture, and also en­rich the col­or­ful lives of the Cana­dian peo­ple, and the mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism of Canada,” Mao said.

In Toronto, Chi­nese stamp col­lec­tor Clorie Lam and her friends were wait­ing for the of­fi­cial is­sues of the first day stamps. “We have pur­chased the Chi­nese Zo­diac stamps for many years as the stamps are part of our eth­nic cul­ture,” Lam told China Daily.

Chi­nese Act­ing Con­sul Gen­eral in Toronto Zhang Chuan­bin at­tended the un­veil­ing cer­e­mony. “I am very lucky be­cause I was born in the year of Ram,” said Zhang, “Ram stands for hap­pi­ness, kind­ness and aus­pi­cious­ness.”

The Canada Post started is­su­ing the Chi­nese Zo­diac stamps in 1997.

“The Lu­nar New Year is the most im­por­tant fes­ti­val in the en­tire Chi­nese cal­en­dar, it’s also an im­por­tant date on Canada Post’s philatelic cal­en­dar,” said Jim Phillips, di­rec­tor of stamp ser­vices at Canada Post. “With the is­sue of this stamp se­ries, Canada Post cel­e­brates our mul­ti­cul­tural coun­try and hon­ors the Chi­nese Com­mu­nity.”

The Year of the Ram be­gins on Feb 19, 2015, and ends Feb 7, 2016. In Chi­nese cul­ture, the ram is a sa­cred sym­bol of good for­tune, kind­ness and jus­tice. Peo­ple born in the Year of the Ram (1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991 and 2003) are said to be able to turn chal­lenges into op­por­tu­ni­ties through their sen­si­tiv­ity and in­tu­itive­ness. They are artis­tic and fash­ion savvy in­di­vid­u­als that lust for beauty.

The se­ries in­cludes a do­mes­tic stamp and an in­ter­na­tional one. The do­mes­tic stamp de­picts three rams wel­com­ing spring, a popular New Year’s im­age, while the in­ter­na­tional stamp fea­tures a ma­jes­tic green ram charg­ing to­wards the New Year.

Artist Hélène L’Heureux spent more than a year de­sign­ing the images. “I went to the li­brary and Chi­na­town to col­lect books and ma­te­rial. I saw the im­age of three rams in the book San Yang Kai Tai, de­cided it was my an­gle, and I started the de­sign process,” she said. “Each year I de­sign a stamp for the Chi­nese New Year, there’s al­ways some sur­prise.”

The stamps were il­lus­trated by Mon­treal based wood-cut printer Susan Scott with cal­lig­ra­phy by Hong Kong-born Ngan Siu- Mui. All of the stamps var­i­ously in­cor­po­rate foil and embossing. The texts are in tra­di­tional Chi­nese, English and French.

“Our Lu­nar New Year is­sue is a peren­nial fa­vorite with col­lec­tors and con­sumers alike,” said Philips. “We’re very proud that the many de­sign­ers who have worked on this is­sue have man­aged to bal­ance a se­ries feel while keep­ing the de­sign fresh and new ev­ery year.”

VINCENT LI / FOR CHINA DAILY LI NA / CHINA DAILY

Photo left: Greg Ka­batoff, re­tail di­rec­tor of Canada Post, presents the Year of the Ram stamps to Mao Run­long, act­ing con­sul gen­eral in Van­cou­ver, on Jan 8 at a cer­e­mony in Rich­mond. Photo right: Jim Phillips (right), di­rec­tor of stamp ser­vices at Canada Post, presents the ram stamps to Zhang Chuan­bin, act­ing con­sul gen­eral in Toronto, at the un­veil­ing cer­e­mony of the 2015 Lu­nar Year of the Ram stamps on Jan 8 in Toronto.

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