May 03, 2007 13:00 ET

Canada Post Marks the Centennial of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 3, 2007) - For the last 100 years, the Royal Architectural Institute (RAIC) of Canada has helped build this country by providing the national framework for the development and recognition of architectural excellence. To commemorate its centennial Canada Post will issue a set of four domestic rate stamps on May 9.

The four masterworks chosen to grace these stamps are signature pieces by architects who have received the RAIC gold medal as well as the Order of Canada, namely Douglas Cardinal, St. Mary's Church (1969); Arthur Erickson, University of Lethbridge (1971); Raymond Moriyama, Ontario Science Centre (1969); and Moshe Safdie, National Gallery of Canada (1988). The stamps will be unveiled during the May 10 opening luncheon of the annual Festival of Architecture, this year being held jointly with the Ontario Association of Architects Conference in Toronto.

"These stamps capture the spirit of our centennial celebration," said Jon Hobbs, Executive Director of the RAIC. Anthony Wilson-Smith, vice president, Communications, Canada Post, corroborates by saying, "Stamps evoke a sense of pride in Canadiana, whether they relate to Canadian history, traditions, or accomplishments. These stamps recognize the importance of architecture to our Canadian culture, economy, and quality of life."

It was through a series of meetings in 1907 that the association came into being. In June 1908, a document was drafted requesting Parliamentary approval to incorporate the "Institute of Architects in Canada" to limit the use of the title "architect" and the practice of architecture to corporate members of the institute. This led to the association's incorporation under the name "Architectural Institute of Canada" and on January 17, 1941, the RAIC College of Fellows was formed. Today, the RAIC represents more than 3,500 professional architects, facility members and graduates of accredited Canadian University Schools of Architecture.

Stamp designer Ivan Novotny, realizing the importance of paying tribute to the artists behind the art, conceived a design that would show the four buildings and their creators; above all, he wanted the stamps to breathe. To that end, the sheet of eight stamps includes different selvages on each side, with sketches of the projects featured on the stamp on the left and portraits of the four architects on the right. This feature, combined with the colours that bleed from the stamp to the selvages, create a sense of interaction between the architects and their art. The integration of selvage and stamp seems borderless, making for one unique piece of art that offers collectors the opportunity to build their own selvage/stamp combinations. Other elements include the centennial logo and the institute's seal.

The four stamps will be available in panes of eight stamps. Lowe-Martin printed three million of the 52 mm x 32 mm (horizontal) stamps using lithography in 9 colours on Tullis Russell paper. The stamps have 13+ perforations, are backed by PVA gum and are general tagged on all four sides. The Official First Day Cover will bear the cancel OTTAWA ON.

Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the Newsroom section of Canada Post's website, and downloadable high-resolution photos of these new stamps are in the Newsroom's Photo Centre. Stamps and Official First Day Covers will be available at participating post offices, or can be ordered online by following the links at Canada Post's website, or by mail order from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada and the USA call toll-free: 1-800-565-4362 and from other countries call: 902 863-6550.

Contact Information