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Friday, April 18, 2014

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Stamp marks 60 years of Israel, Canada relations

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VANCOUVER — Next month Canada Post and the Israel Philatelic Service are issuing an international rate commemorative stamp to celebrate the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries.

This is the first joint issue between the Israeli and Canadian postal administrations, and it will depict the maple leaf and the Star of David in red and blue respectively, each symbol comprised of people standing side by side.

The stamp will launch in Canada and in Israel on April 14 and will be available in a booklet of six stamps. There will be 660,000 stamps issued, each one worth $1.70 in Canada and 4.60 NIS in Israel.

Jim Phillips, director of stamp services at Canada Post, said this joint issue is “a form of diplomacy between postal administrations, providing great opportunities to share with and learn from one another.

“We’ve done a number of stamps celebrating Canada’s diplomatic relations over the years, with China, the United States, Mexico, Japan and Ireland, but this is our first with Israel,” he said.

The idea for the Canada-Israel stamp was initiated in a few letters from the public to Canada Post’s corporate office for stamp submission. The office receives approximately 600 suggestions for stamps each year and selects between 20 and 25.

Executives from the Israel Philatelic Society flew to Canada last year to discuss the stamp’s design, and both countries arrived at the boardroom table with a few options created by design firms in their respective countries.

The design by Toronto-based q30 design was the strongest by far, Phillips said.

“They’ve worked with us for years, have designed the faces of many stamps and are really a go-to company for us,” he added.

The stamp design was intended to communicate the “rich topic of diplomacy between two nations,” according to Glenda Rissman, a principal at q30 design.

“Canada’s red figures and Israel’s blue figures come together to meet in the middle of the stamp, and the meeting of the human figures symbolizes and celebrates the relationship between the two nations.”

The company has designed 40 stamps for Canada Post in the past, with subject matter including the 50th anniversary of the Holocaust and the Queen’s 80th birthday. The mandate for the Canada-Israel stamp was to depict 60 years of diplomatic relations without showing specific people.

“Illustrator Yarek Waszul has a graphic yet conceptual style that lends itself perfectly to this topic and the medium,” says Karen Henricks, a designer at q30 design. “Through illustration we were able to convey diplomacy on a very tiny stamp.”

Yaron Razon, director of the IPS, said that stamps are “paper ambassadors” that spread the message of their country on letters around the world.

“What could be a more symbolic and fitting way to express 60 years of co-operation and friendship between Israel and Canada than a joint stamp issue – the merging of each country’s paper ambassadors?” he asked.

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