Bill Mason takes a lickin', 1998 by Micheal Peake
(This story appeared in Che-Mun, Outfit 93)
Larger than life; four legendary Canadians honoured with a new stamp set
Canada and its people have become synonymous with a pioneering spirit, determination and innovation. Those who reach higher, go further and blaze new trails become legends. The Honourable Andre Ouellet, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Canada Post, announced that on August 15, 1998, the Corporation will issue four stamps featuring legendary Canadians. The four to be honoured in this series are: Napolean-Alexandre Comeau, Harry "Red" Foster, Phyllis Munday and Bill Mason. A total of eight million stamps will be issued.
The design of this stamp is by Bradbury designs of Regina, their first for Canada Post. although not all the figures featured in this series are well known, each had extensive interests and lifelong accomplishments. The challenge for Catherine Bradbury and her associate Dean Bartsch was to "develop and illustration style that tied four legendary Canadians together." Bradbury added that the stamp illustrations "express the larger-than-life aspect of their accomplishments and entice the public to question and possibly research into their legendary lives."
The designers chose to illustrate the main achievements that could be told clearly in a stamp size format. The fonts selected for the stamp contain characteristics of the period between 1930-1950. The colours are reflective of a gouache paint style used in poster art of the same era. The blue and orange were specially mixed at the press in order to achieve the desired results.
Bill Mason (1929-1988). Bill's stamp was inspired by the cover image of his book, Path of the Paddle. The rocky-mountain region was added and is reflective of the terrain along inlands and coastal waters where Mason spent much of his time. Bill Mason had a great passion for canoeing and the wilderness. This passion was reflected in his paintings and his films. He was the most successful filmmaker in the history of the National Film Board of Canada with such works as Cry of the Wild, Waterwalker, Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes and 15 other films
The official First Day Cover will carry a Godbout, Quebec, cancellation mark in honour of Napolean-Alexandre Comeau, who was appointed postmaster there in 1877. (All of these stamps are currently out of print.)