Sponsored Stamps of Canada

by Tony Brown

Introduced by Canada Post in 1990 as part of a general trend towards increased commercialization of postal services and as a means to provide additional revenue, the sponsorship of postage stamps is a somewhat controversial issue among philatelists. Those who attach considerable import to postage stamps as a medium that helps to define a country tend to feel that commercial sponsorships cheapen that noble purpose. Others are less concerned and view sponsorships as just another interesting facet to the hobby.

This article makes no judgement as to the correctness of sponsorships. Its aim is simply to present the facts about them. The author welcomes any feedback concerning errors, omissions and suggestions for improvement.


The Canadian Chamber of Commerce sponsored the 39-cents Canada Day issue commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Canadian flag. It was issued in a souvenir sheet of 16 on 29 June 1990 and featured a flag with fireworks. There was no visible acknowledgement of the sponsorship with the stamp.

The second postal sponsor was Petro Canada, with the souvenir miniature panes of the Majestic Forests of Canada issue. The regular issue (7 August 1990), commemorating the Nineteenth World Congress of the International Union of Forestry and Research Organizations, held in Montreal, was a sheet of 20 containing four different designs. The sponsored issue (17 September 1990) was a set of four miniature panes, each containing four subjects of each design. They were sold at Petro Canada gas stations as part of a special promotion. There is no visible evidence of the sponsorship on the miniature panes. The two images that follow show a block of four from the regular issue and one of the miniature panes from the sponsored set.


On 1 October 1990, MacDonald Restaurants of Canada became the first company whose logo was to appear on a postal issue. Their famous golden arches were printed on the selvedge of the Canadian Folklore - Legendary Creatures issue.


Environment Canada sponsored the next one, the Public Gardens issue of 22 May 1991. There was no indication of the sponsorship on the stamps, which were issued in booklets of 10.The sponsorship was supported, however, with a die slug program of an Environment Canada logo used randomly across the country.



The 150th anniversary of Queen’s University was celebrated by that organization’s sponsorship of a prestige booklet issued on 16 October 1991. Their sponsorship is acknowledged on the cover of the booklet (along with the names of other supporting organizations).


 The 100th anniversary of the invention of basketball was commemorated on the Basketball issue of 25 October 1991. There were two formats, a souvenir sheet containing one each of 40-, 46-, and 80-cents values, and a sheet of the 40-cents value. The sheet stamps bear the name of the sport’s inventor, James Naismith, and feature the French and English versions of the issue’s sponsor The Sports Network (TSN/RDS).



Kraft Foods of Canada sponsored the next two: the Winter Olympics Booklet (7 February 1992) and the Summer Olympics Booklet (15 June 1992).




On 8 September 1992, Laura Secord Inc. sponsored the Canadian Folklore Legendary Heroes issue, which featured Laura Secord along with three other heroes.




The Canadian Minerals booklet of 21 September 1992 was sponsored by The Mining Association of Canada, which was recognized on the back cover of the booklet. It was issued on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the geological survey of Canada.


Canadian Pacific Railway Hotels and Resorts sponsored the next one, the Historic Hotels booklet of 14 June 1993.


Canada Post’s fourth prestige booklet, issued 17 March 1994 and commemorating the 125th anniversary of the T. Eaton Co., was sponsored by that company. Their sponsorship is acknowledged on the booklet’s cover along with the names of other supporting organizations.


The logo of Walt Disney World is featured on the 1 October 1996 issue commemorating Winnie the Pooh. 1996 was the 25th anniversary of the founding of Walt Disney World. The issue was printed in two formats: a souvenir sheet of four, and a sheet of 12 that served as the front and back covers of a brochure about the origin of Winnie the Pooh.

On 3 March 1997, Canadian Tire sponsored a booklet of 12 commemorating the 75th anniversary of their company. The Canadian Tire logo was featured prominently on the selvedge. The traffic lights were also in the logo’s triangular shape.

Acknowledgement: The author wishes to thank Dave Whalley for compiling an initial list of sponsored stamps and who originated the idea for this article. Dave is a long time member of the North York Philatelic Society, North York, Ontario.

All rights reserved. No information contained within this publication is to be used for financial gain without the expressed, written permission of the author.

Updated: 25 April 1998