Friday, July 29, 2022

An Appeal to Continue the Picture Postage Program

Picture Postage stamp that I created, showing White Hands the Squirrel, a frequent visitor to my family's house.

Canada Post has announced that it will discontinue its Picture Postage program on September 1, 2022. This was Canada Post's program for clients to create valid postage stamps using their own artwork. 

Not surprisingly, Picture Postage had become popular with many Canadian Canadian philatelists (stamp collectors), so we have written letters to Canada Post to support continuing the program. Here is my email to Canada Post's Picture Postage Management Team:


Bronwyn Graves (executive):

Elaine David (assistant executive):

Dave Penner (director):


I am writing to ask that the Picture Postage program be continued. Over the years, I have created 10 Picture Postage stamps and have another 2 orders in process. I have also written an article about personalized postage in Canada, the United States, and the United Nations Postal Administration for The Canadian Philatelist ("Getting Personalized Stamps from Three Countries", March-April 2020). 

The late Darlene Burt's website shows that many Canadians used the Picture Postage program to make a large variety of stamps for a large variety of reasons. Canadians have used Picture Postage to commemorate all sorts of things both public and private, such as local history, ethnic and cultural festivals, and the personal milestones of their lives. Anything from a local agricultural festival to a wedding could be commemorated with Picture Postage. As such, Picture Postage gave Canadians an opportunity to show their creativity and diversity through philately. Since stamps are symbols of our country's history and culture, Picture Postage filled a need by showing subjects not shown on regular-issue stamps.

Canadians' participation in Picture Postage was higher than the counterpart program in the United States, as shown by the large number of stamps on Darlene Burt's website. Unlike the U.S. program, our program had the benefits of affordability, attractive frame designs, and a common and centralized ordering and production process. It was well run compared to those of other countries. We can see why Canadians participated in it.

Philatelists, of course, supported the use of Picture Postage. It gave philatelists a way to commemorate events, people, and themes that would not warrant a national stamp. Thus it formed another source of philatelic revenue for Canada Post, especially since many philatelist-made Picture Postage stamps would not actually be used on mail, but rather, be saved as souvenirs.

As long as public participation was high and the program was making a profit, I see now reason why it should be eliminated. Therefore, I hope you reconsider and continue the Picture Postage program.

Derwin Mak
Member: Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, North Toronto Stamp Club, Royal Philatelic Society London, American First Day Cover Society 

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