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Canadian public has first-ever vote on postage stamp design

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The puzzle, an original design by Terrebonne resident Miriane Majeau, has been chosen as Canada Post's 2011 Mental Health Stamp, the first time in the post office's history a stamp design was chosen by public vote. Ms. Majeau's design received the most points, to win the stamp design competition. Overall, more than 286,000 votes were recorded.

"I'm very proud that my design connected with people. Dealing with mental health issues can be like putting a puzzle together," Ms. Majeau noted. "But as the puzzle comes together, as you find the right pieces and connect them in the right way, something beautiful and whole is revealed."

Ms. Majeau will receive a framed commemorative enlargement of the final stamp featuring her design, and a $500 honorarium will be donated to La Fondation les petits tresors de l'Hopital Riviere-des-Prairies, a mental health charity chosen by Ms. Majeau.

Of the more than 300 stamp designs submitted last fall, 75 were chosen as semi-finalists by a panel of mental health consumers, advocates, philatelists and designers. The Stamp Advisory Committee (a national committee that guides Canada Post in selecting stamp subjects and designs) narrowed that selection down to the five designs that were voted on by the public.

Concepts and design elements from the four remaining designs will be used on the Official First Day Cover envelope, and the souvenir sheet, for the 2011 Mental Health Stamp issue. "Each of these designs does an excellent job of raising awareness of the mental health issue and breaking down the stigma attached to it," said Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transportation) and Minister responsible for Canada Post.

The other finalist designs are: BEAUTIFUL HOPE (designed by Richard Green of Toronto (ON)), FORECAST HOPE (designed by Marie Tomeoki of Toronto (ON)), NO NEED TO HIDE (designed by Brian Blatnicki of London (ON)) and THE FACE OF MENTAL ILLNESS (designed by Norbert Lisinski of Courtice (ON)).

The 2011 Mental Health stamp will be issued on September 6, as part of the kick-off for the company's annual fundraising campaign, which last year raised $2.2 million dollars. More than 4 million of the stamps will be printed with a dollar from every booklet of 10 stamps sold donated to the Canada Post Foundation for Mental Health.

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