May 04, 2005 19:37 ET

Canada Post: To Educate, Preserve, Remember... Canadian Postage Stamp Commemorates New War Museum

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 4, 2005) - The Canadian War Museum celebrates its grand opening on the weekend of May 8, 2005. A special date for Canadian veterans, the opening ceremony marks the 60th anniversary of VE Day (Victory in Europe) towards the end of the Second World War. Canada Post will celebrate this special occasion, and Canada's newest museum, with a domestic-rate (50 cents) postage stamp that will be available for sale in post offices across the nation on May 6, 2005.

The stamp was unveiled today in Ottawa by Prime Minister Paul Martin, The Honourable John McCallum, Minister responsible for Canada Post, Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, and Mr. Joe Geurts, Director and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian War Museum. The event took place at the opening of the museum's inaugural exhibition, Art and War: Australia, Britain and Canada in the Second World War.

Also in attendance at the event were The Honourable Ian Macdonald, Australian Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation; His Excellency David Reddaway, High Commissioner of Great Britain; His Excellency William Fisher, High Commissioner of Australia; Ms. Claudette Roy, C.M., Chair, Board of Trustees for the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation and Ms. Laura Brandon, Curator of the exhibition.

The Canadian War Museum (CWM), an affiliated museum of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, is our national military history museum. It serves as a living memorial to those who served Canada's armed forces - ensuring that new generations of Canadians remember the sacrifices made by those who served - and preserves the artifacts of our military experience for present and future generations. After almost three years of construction, the state-of-the-art museum will house one of the biggest military collections in the world - comprising more than 500,000 artifacts including vehicles, artillery, uniforms, medals, memoirs, works of art and an extensive military archive.

"This stamp is the perfect memento of the four-year journey since the new location for the museum was announced," said the Honourable John McCallum, Minister Responsible for Canada Post. "The post office presents this message of congratulations to the thousands of people who have been involved with this building project and the hundreds of thousands of veterans it honours and commemorates."

Dr. Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, noted that Canada's military history "has touched the life of every Canadian, whether in war or in peace support operations, and in the development of our democratic society". Mr. Joe Geurts, Director and CEO of the Canadian War Museum, stated "every visitor to the Canadian War Museum will gain an understanding of not only the history that we have preserved here, but of the sacrifices made by so many Canadians. This stamp will help us to spread this important message across Canada."

The stamp was designed by Tiit Telmet and Marko Barac, of Toronto's Telmet Design Associates. "The human aspect was key," said veteran stamp designer Telmet. "We felt it was important to find symbols that would let viewers put themselves into the image, because viewers to the museum respond to its call for remembrance in very personal ways." The central image of the stamp is the Memorial Cross GRV (Silver Cross), awarded to wives and mothers of fallen servicemen. The handwritten letter in the background represents the private experience of war, while the candle signifies remembrance. A silhouette of a man and child represent how individuals must keep memories alive by educating young people about our history. Other elements portrayed on the stamp were carefully chosen to represent a range of history. The lines of Morse code, which run along the top and bottom edges of the stamp, repeat a significant architectural feature of the new building where some windows are shaped and positioned to display in Morse code the phrase "Lest we forget/N'oublions jamais."

Available for sale at post offices across the country on May 6, 2005, the stamp measures 52 mm x 28 mm, and will be sold in a booklet of 8 stamps. Lowe-Martin printed 3 million of the self-adhesive stamps, using 9-colour lithography plus varnish on Tullis Russell Coatings paper. The stamp is general tagged on all four sides and is kiss cut. The Official First Day Cover will read OTTAWA, ONTARIO.

Additional information about Canadian stamps can be found in the Newsroom section of Canada Post's website, and a downloadable high-resolution photo of the Canadian War Museum stamp is in the Newsroom's Photo Centre. Stamps and Official First Day covers will be available at participating post offices, 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.

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