POLITICS

Canada Post unveils stamps dedicated to legendary Canadian rock bands

07/19/2013 04:49 EDT | Updated 09/18/2013 05:12 EDT
OTTAWA - Sending letters now comes with some rock-and-roll flare after Canada Post launched its stamp series depicting legendary Canadian bands.

Four bands — Rush, The Guess Who, The Tragically Hip and Beau Dommage — are honoured in the series, which went on sale Friday.

The bands have collectively sold millions of records worldwide and can boast large fan bases built up over decades.

Drummer Garry Peterson of The Guess Who said the band members had a role in designing their stamp — the band name in white emblazoned over a red maple leaf with a black background.

Peterson said they opted for a logo instead of a group photo, which is the case for the stamps of The Tragically Hip and Beau Dommage.

"There have been many, many, many talented musicians that have helped the band to the position of prominence in music that it has today," he said. "It was appropriate just to have the Canadian maple leaf because we are a Canadian band."

The Guess Who was founded in 1962 and is still recording and performing shows around the world.

Peterson said despite various accolades and tributes over the years, the issuing of a stamp in honour of the band is "very special."

"I feel the same way now as the first time we had a hit record in the United States," he said. "Who would think that guys from Winnipeg, Manitoba, would have a stamp set forth for them? It's kind of unbelievable."

Peterson said the band first heard about the stamp a few months ago, and they were sworn to secrecy about the design.

It's the first time in the Canadian Recording Artist stamp collection that whole bands are shown instead of individual artists.

Canada Post spokeswoman Anick Losier said past tributes have included Bryan Adams, Joni Mitchell and Stompin' Tom Connors.

"We're really quite excited ... as you know these bands have all had a tremendous impact on Canadian music," she said.

Collectible items are launched in conjunction with the new stamps but they sell out quickly, she said, adding that a Rush frame was sold out in pre-orders before hitting the shelves.

Each band had a different focus for their stamp, whether it was a particular band photo or album cover, she said.

"What we try to do is really capture some of the key images that really represents these bands," she said.

Losier said there's a stamp advisory committee that will choose the next artists who will be added to the collection.

New stamps are added every two years and the 2013 series was announced in April to coincide with the Juno Awards.

Losier said she hopes that long-time fans will enjoy the stamps but that they will also help to open a door to those unfamiliar with the bands' music.

"Maybe some of the newer generations can really discover these bands," she said.