June 14, 2007 11:31 ET

Canada Post Salutes Captain George Vancouver with a Stamp

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 14, 2007) - George Vancouver was already an old salt when he sailed with Captain James Cook aboard the Resolution on a voyage of exploration to find the long sought-after Northwest Passage. On June 22nd, on the 250th anniversary of his birth in the Norfolk port town of King's Lynn, England, Canada Post will issue an international rate stamp to mark his achievements during two decades of exploration.

Captain Vancouver is credited with drawing the first accurate map of the Pacific Northwest Coast.

In 1789 Captain Vancouver received a commission to explore parts of the Pacific that remained uncharted, find a Northwest Passage or lay to rest reports of it, and oversee the return of British territory and property seized by the Spanish at Nootka on the Northwest coast. Unable to bring to a satisfactory conclusion his dealings with the Spanish, he sailed to the Southern end of the Alaska Panhandle, where he found no sign of a passage to the east. His legacy includes almost 400 place names that he gave islands, points, mountains, and other regions. To this day the largest island on the west coast, along with Canada's largest west-coast city, continues to carry the name "Vancouver."

The stamp conceived by designer Niko Potton shows Captain Vancouver at the railing of his ship, gazing toward the horizon. The stamp, which catches the stark grandeur of the Pacific Northwest Coast, also manages to catch the man, adventurer, and explorer fulfilling his duty to Queen and country. As there are few recognized authentic portraits of Vancouver, Potton put the viewer behind the captain, so he too could gaze at the horizon towards a new land unfolding. "This solitary composition," Potton explains, "depicts the leadership Vancouver displayed during his missions. The unadorned graphic style recalls the solitude and isolation of the explorer's quest, while the overlaid map details and journal entry style penmanship reference his ship's orders and his mission's goals. Moreover, a reproduction of Captain Vancouver's authenticated signature runs vertically across the stamp, offering a piece of his legacy to all collectors."

Using eight-colour lithography plus spot varnish and embossing on Tullis Russell paper, Lowe-Martin printed four million eight-stamp panes measuring 26mm x 40mm (vertical), and 400,000 one-stamp souvenir sheets measuring 71mm x 120mm (vertical). The stamps have 13+ perforations, are general tagged on all four sides, and are backed with P.V.A. gum. The Official First Day Cover will bear the cancel VANCOUVER, BC.

More information on the Captain George Vancouver stamp is available in the Newsroom section of the Canada Post Web site; a high-resolution photo of the Captain George Vancouver commemorative stamp is available in the Photo Centre of the Newsroom. The eight-stamp pane, souvenir sheet and Official First Day Cover will be available at participating post offices, online following the links on the Canada Post Web site ( or by mail from the National Philatelic Centre. From Canada or the United States, call toll-free 1 800 565-4362; from other countries call 902 863-6550.

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