It's the 150th year anniversary of Canada's founding. In honor of the country's sesquicentennial, formally celebrated July 1, Canada Post is developing several commemorative stamps depicting some of the special events that helped put Canada on the map – in more ways than one.
Though what the 10 separate stamps will depict remains shrouded in mystery – though the first will be revealed April 27 – Canada Post has asked several influential Canadians if they'd be willing to be a part of the reveals during the next five weeks. The luminaries who've agreed include a country music singer, influential community activists, professional athletes with legendary careers, several successful entrepreneurs and an astronaut. Between April 27 and June 1, what graces the front of the celebrated stamps will be publicized, with the final two unveiled the first day of June. Additionally, each of the unveilings will take place at historically significant sites that coincide with what inspired each stamp's design.
"At Canada Post, we take great pride in telling Canada's stories," said Deepak Chopra, president and CEO of Canada Post, in a two-minute clip posted at the mailing service's website. "Every year, we honor the accomplishments, the struggles and the people who define our history. We celebrate our heritage by printing small easels that tell larger-than-life stories, that make this country great. They're called stamps."
Chopra was joined by several other employees who work at Canada Post, as well as Steve MacKinnon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services Procurement.
"Canada Post will be celebrating its most significant events since our centennial year," MacKinnon. "Each one deserves a special unveiling and that's what we're planning."
The first of the 10 stamps will be disclosed in Montreal.
Constitution Act signed in 1867
Canada Day is a national holiday that's celebrated every July 1, when the British North America Act – better known as the Constitutional Act – was signed in 1867, establishing Canada as an independent confederation. A year later, Canada Day became an official holiday when then Governor General Lord Monck proclaimed it as such. It wasn't for another decade, however, that July 1 became a statutory holiday.
Canada's sesquicentennial celebration has been years in the making. Canadian Heritage began the process back in 2014, in the immediate aftermath of the nation's 147th anniversary. A wide array of special events, festivities and gatherings will take place throughout Ontario and several other provinces, with most of the official functions being held in Ottawa, the country's capital.
What's on tap for Canada Day this year
For instance, Parliament Hill is expected to draw thousands come July 1, many of whom will be decked out in their classic reds and whites, symbolizing the colors of Canada's flag. Major's Hill Park will also be teeming with celebrants, there to see cultural performances, various displays and eclectic exhibits that exemplify Canada's multiculturalism and a melting pot of customs and traditions. As per usual, a grand fireworks display will conclude the day's proceedings, sponsored by President's Choice. Over 2,000 shells will be launched into the night's sky, several of which are the largest allowable under federal law. Weather permitting, the fireworks spectacular is scheduled to kick off at 10 p.m.
Because Canada Day is a federal holiday, Canadian mail isn't distributed on July 1, but even if it wasn't a day of observance, it would be virtually impossible for postal workers to make their rounds. More than two dozen streets in Ottawa alone will be closed to all vehicles, including Murray Street, Alexandria Bridge, Rideau Street, Sussex Drive, Wellingston Street and Elgin Street.