Storytelling is the theme of a Canada Post stamp designed by a Kwantlen Polytechnic instructor.
John Belisle has designed the 2023 Canada Post Community Foundation stamp, featuring an owl, a fox and a bear reading together in the moonlight.
“The theme of this stamp issue is the way in which stories and storytelling enhance the lives of children and youth,” says Belisle. “The illustration depicts a diverse group of animals gathering around a fire in the forest to read a story together. It reminds us of the joy that stories and storytelling bring, as well as the creativity and curiosity they inspire.”
This is the 25th stamp he’s designed for Canada Post.
The stamp issue is part of the foundation’s annual campaign to raise money for grants to support Canadian charities, schools and organizations that benefit children and youth.
“The illustration is rooted in the idea that the community stamp gives back to kids in communities that are in need, including mental health and education,” says Belisle.
Canada Post retail employees selected the design from Belisle, who is no stranger to the art of creating postage stamps.
Belisle, a graphic design marketing instructor, at the Wilson School of Design, has been creating stamps for 15 years. His postage designs include themes of the 2010 Winter Games and Star Trek, to Canadians in Hollywood and mental health awareness.
A huge challenge of designing the small squares is considering what the selection committee will respond to.
“Some of my best ideas have not been chosen. Stamps are small, so your ideas and artwork have to be imaginative but also quick reads visually, and to work that small you need small little fingers to create the artwork,” said Belisle.
Belisle’s previous design work also includes the bid books for the 2010 Winter Olympics, and brand identities and campaigns for more than 50 organizations in Canada and around the world, as well as several children’s and coffee table books.
The Canada Post Community Foundation supports a variety of initiatives, including literacy and language programs, youth outreach services, projects supporting Indigenous youth, gender and sexual diversity programs, arts and recreation projects, special education programs, and childhood health programs.