Ottawa (Ont.) – On the 200th anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald’s birth, Canada Post issued a stamp to celebrate the country’s first prime minister, a nation builder whose achievements shaped the nation. Designed by Montréal’s Paprika, the stamp mixes a traditional photo with modern design to create a fresh look at a subject who has appeared on stamps many times over the past 100 years.
“Sir John A. Macdonald not only led negotiations that created our country, but he also guided a growing and maturing Canada,” says the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, responsible for Canada Post Corporation. “On the 200th anniversary of his birth, we remember that enduring legacy.”
Macdonald took a leading role during the Charlottetown and Québec conferences that laid the foundation for Confederation and the creation of Canada in 1867. Enormously popular, he won six out of seven post-Confederation elections. This made him prime minister for 19 of Canada’s first 24 years and the second-longest serving prime minister in Canadian history.
Macdonald expanded the country by including the provinces of Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island, as well as securing land that became today’s Northwest Territories and Nunavut. From building a transcontinental railway, founding the forerunner of the RCMP and creating the country’s first national park, to adopting British spelling rather than American, Macdonald had an enormous legacy.
His death in office in 1891 was marked by tributes from political allies and opponents alike. Thousands of people paid their respects when he lay in state in Parliament, and mourners lined the tracks as a train carried him to his resting place in his hometown of Kingston, Ontario.
“Our stamps have captured the story of Canada ever since Confederation and today we celebrate one of its key architects,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO of Canada Post. “Two hundred years after his birth, Sir John A. Macdonald remains a towering figure and this stamp celebrates his legacy.”
About the Stamp
The self-adhesive stamp measures 32 mm by 40 mm and is available in booklets of 10. The stamp is also available affixed to an Official First Day Cover cancelled in Kingston, Ontario. The cover’s modern design features a line map of the provinces that constituted Canada at Confederation. The stamp was designed by Louis Gagnon at Paprika in Montréal and printed by Canadian Bank Note Company with lithography in five colours.