Country music star Dean Brody, on tour, unveils new stamp honouring Canada’s iconic highway of adventure, dreams and possibilities.
It connects Canadians across our great country – carved through the rugged Canadian Shield, majestic Rocky Mountains, dense forest and endless stretches of rolling prairie.
The Trans-Canada Highway is an 8,000-kilometre ribbon of asphalt that links Canada physically, culturally and symbolically. It’s also a vital economic artery for the Canadian economy. Stretching from Victoria, B.C. to St. John’s, N.L., the Trans-Canada has been a highway of adventure, dreams and possibilities for generations of Canadians who’ve travelled it by car, transport truck, bicycle or on foot.
Event Snapshot Trans Canada Highway stamp unveiling, May 16, 2017
Completed in 1971, the Trans-Canada Highway is a true piece of Canadiana that runs through all 10 provinces and has a place in the hearts of millions of people across the country. The Trans-Canada Highway is being celebrated in a new stamp from Canada Post, the fifth in a set of 10 stamps being issued to mark Canada 150.
Country music star living his dream along the highway
Canadian country music star Dean Brody has travelled thousands of kilometres up and down the highway, first as a young boy with his family in B.C. and now while on tour selling out shows in communities across the country – many of them along the Trans-Canada.
Brody took a few hours away from his busy national tour, which is largely following the highway, to help unveil the Trans-Canada stamp today in Regina at the home of the Brandt Group of Companies, located alongside the highway.
Each of the Canada 150 stamps being issued by Canada Post celebrates an unforgettable moment or achievement in the life of this country since its centennial in 1967. The 10 stamps are being individually unveiled at locations across the country until June 1 – the day they all go on sale.
The Trans-Canada – and the people and places he’s encountered along it – have inspired Brody and his songwriting. While the Trans-Canada connects Canadians, people across the country also clearly connect with Brody and his music. He has won multiple Juno Awards and more than a dozen Canadian Country Music Awards along the road to country music superstar status.
Brody recalls one of his fondest memories was being on tour several years ago, renting an SUV and driving the Trans-Canada from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean over a month and a half. He’s making new memories – for himself and his fans – as he travels the highway once more for his Canadian tour from Ontario to B.C.
Trans-Canada is crucial economic link for Canadian companies
The Brandt Group of Companies and its chairman, Gavin Semple, are true Canadian success stories and fitting partners for the stamp launch.
Semple built what was once a small agriculture equipment business into one of the largest private companies in Canada. Semple saw the potential of what the Trans-Canada Highway could mean for his business – and the country – and he seized it. He has travelled the highway for decades, first as an ambitious and successful salesman for the company before purchasing the business and turning it into the dominant player it is today.
Throughout the years, the Trans-Canada has remained an important part of his business and helped it grow into what it is today. Brandt has dealerships and customers across the country, and the Trans-Canada is a vital link for getting its equipment to market. The Brandt Group of Companies includes Brandt Tractor Ltd. – the world’s largest privately held John Deere construction and forestry equipment dealer.
Highway has opened up the country to Canadians
The Trans-Canada has also made it much easier for Canadians to explore their own country, and better understand its communities, geography and people. It has fuelled our fascination with the open road and spawned countless road trips that form the Canadian identity. The highway’s white-on-green maple-leaf signs have become iconic markers in Canada.
The post-war growth in the popularity of the automobile in the 1950s made it increasingly evident that a national highway system was needed to connect the provinces. It was a highway whose time had come – but it took many years to become reality. Construction on the highway started in 1950 but it didn’t open until 1962. Even then, more than 3,000 kilometres of the route remained unpaved, and it was another nine years before it was completed in 1971.
Today, the Trans-Canada Highway has multiple routes that join almost every major city in Canada. It also connects to roads heading north into the Yukon and Northwest Territories, as well as south into the United States.
When Prime Minister John Diefenbaker officially opened the highway in 1962 at Rogers Pass, B.C., he signalled his hopes for it and Canadians who travelled on it:
“This highway, may it serve to bring Canadians closer together. May it bring to all Canadians a renewed determination to individually do their part to make this nation greater and greater still.”
Indeed, the Trans-Canada remains a beloved road and enduring symbol that connects our country and its citizens.
Here are the other stamps unveiled so far as part of our Canada 150 program: