Hon. John McCallum, Minister responsible for Canada Post, announces new stamps celebrating October as Stamp Collecting Month
Sept. 20, 2005
The four sports featured on these fun stamps are all relatively new to the sporting scene, yet each has made an impact in the sporting world, attracting legions of fans and devotees.
October is celebrated around the globe as the month when collectors celebrate the fun of collecting stamps. Most postal administrations issue stamps with a youth-oriented theme. Past Canada Post stamp collecting month issues have highlighted fun and educational themes such as astronauts, pets, cartoon superheroes and clowns.
"These stamps, with their colourful and action-packed designs, are sure to appeal to young Canadians," said the Honourable John McCallum, Minister responsible for Canada Post. "In this, the International Year of Sport and Physical Education, I hope that these stamps will encourage kids to look at the benefits of being involved with sports and with stamp collecting."
Canadian school children will be invited to show off their best sporting moves in a stamp month contest. By sending in a picture of themselves participating in their favourite sport, they could win $500.00 toward the purchase of the sporting gear of their choice and have their picture featured on their own Picture PostageTM stamp. Details at www.popmagazine.com.
The stamps were designed by Winnipeg's Circle Design. Robert L. Peters, founder of Circle Design, says the stamps reflect the excitement found in these sports. "Their major appeal for youth is their 'counter-culture' and non-conformist stance. Each is associated with 'attitude' that is expressed through distinct fashions, colours, and graphics," Peters said. "It was this perspective that we detailed with the dramatic, angled presentation and related colours. Illustrated with exaggerated perspective, the stamps work well in combination and also on their own."
Available for sale at post offices across the country on October 1, 2005, they will be sold in a booklet of eight self-adhesive stamps. Lowe-Martin printed 4 million of the stamps, using 7-colour lithography on Tullis Russell Coatings paper with printed bars tagging. The Official First Day Cover will read: Whistler, B.C.
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 Youth stamps 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 www.canadapost.ca, 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.
For further information, contact:
Cindy Daoust, Ottawa, Ontario
Skateboarding began modestly as "sidewalk surfing" and today, ranks third in popularity as a pastime among youths, 6 to 18. In 2000, skateboarding was the 6th most popular participant sport in the USA and ranked 3rd in the 6 to 18 age bracket. There are more than 10 million active participants in the U.S. and more than 50 million worldwide. North America's largest and longest running skateboard competition takes place in Vancouver where, last month, a crowd of almost 10,000 spectators watched Canadian Pierre-Luc Gagnon of Montréal take the gold in the Men's Vert. Gagnon made headlines earlier this month by winning the X Games held in Los Angeles and televised around the world on ESPN. Fellow Canadians Rick "McKrills" McCrank of Peterborough, Ontario, Mark Appleyard of Burlington and Colin McKay of Vancouver, join Gagnon as four of the biggest names in skateboarding today.
Snowboarding also evolved from surfing to become one of the most popular winter sports in Canada. A relative newcomer to the family of winter sports, snowboarding began to gain popularity in the 1960s and became an accredited Olympic event in 1998. Canada's Ross Rebagliati won the first gold medal in the newly sanctioned snowboarding event. Because of his fearlessness and prior experience, he was able to overcome the fierce weather that came in during the first and second runs of the event and emerge the victor. Jasey-Jay Anderson of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, is regarded as one of the sport's most versatile and intense riders. Anderson is a five-time FIS World Champion; a two-time world champion giant slalom gold medalist; three-time FIS Overall World Alpine Champion; two-time FIS Overall Boarder Cross Champion - and the 2003 Canadian Champion.
Competitive mountain biking began in northern California in the mid-1970s and soon thereafter, enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the world governing body of cycling, accepted mountain biking as an international sport, and the first World Championships took place in 1990. Mountain biking has two main disciplines: cross-country and downhill, with the latter divided into "long course" and head-to-head "dual slalom". In downhill racing, speeds over 100 km per hour are common and some races are over snow. The Olympic form, cross-country, is a two-hour marathon. The best known Canadian mountain bikers are Alison Sydor of North Vancouver and Roland Green of Victoria. Alison is an Olympic silver medalist, triple World Cup Champion, winner of a dozen World Championship medals, and winner of gold at the Pan American Continental Championships. Roland, Canada's best-ever male mountain biker, took World Championships in 2001 and 2002.
Rock climbing originated in Europe's non-Alpine areas, became a competitive sport in the Soviet Union and then spread to North America. Since the late 1980s, all sanctioned competitions take place on artificial walls and Wall Climbing is now enjoyed across Canada. There are over 60 climbing gyms across the country and climbing as both a competitive sport and pastime is increasing in popularity. Walls can be found at parks, ski hills, schools, universities, playgrounds, and sports stores. In Canada, sanctioned competitions are overseen by Competition Climbing Canada/Compétition d'escalade Canada (CEC), a division of the Alpine Club of Canada. Noted Canadian climbers include Will Gadd of Canmore, Alberta, a pioneer in the field of competitive climbing; Seth Mason of Edmonton, and Sean McColl of North Vancouver.