In a year when Canadians will be focused on winter sports excellence, Canada Post is shining the light on three history-makers and record-breakers. Each woman honoured in this set of stamps has changed the face of her sport and left an indelible mark on the memories of her fans.
Louis Gagnon, Creative Director and Partner with Montreal's Paprika, explains that the three stamps were designed to have a classic memorial look. "The illustrations represent the athletes in full action, which contrasts with the simplicity of the design," he says.
"The vibrant, powerful style reflects the prowess of the three champions. The setting features an element that reminds us of the athlete's sport – and the colour scheme is influenced by the colours of the Olympic logo."
According to Stamp Program Manager Elia Anoia, both the production process and the final result are also dependent on the cooperation and involvement of the families, foundations and archives that act as keepers of the memory of the women recognized here. "This can be an emotional process for the family, particularly if the loss is a recent one. We hope that it's a positive and healing experience, a chance to remember the best of times – the families are thrilled by the fact that we are honouring these Canadian women with a stamp."
Barbara Ann Scott
Known as "Canada's Sweetheart," Barbara Ann Scott has inspired generations of Canadians to lace up and brave cold outdoor rinks to perfect their spins, jumps and figures. Early in her career, Scott won countless national and international prizes, then captured the gold medal in the women's singles figure skating event at the St. Moritz 1948 Olympic Winter Games, in Switzerland – a feat no other Canadian woman has achieved since. The Official First Day Cover (OFDC) depicting her graceful style is cancelled in her hometown of Ottawa, Ontario.
The skip of one of the most successful teams in Canadian curling history, Sandra Schmirler, along with Jan Betker, Marcia Gudereit, Joan McCusker and spare Atina Ford, topped multiple national and international wins with the first-ever Olympic gold medal in women's curling on February 15, 1998, against Denmark at the Nagano 1998 Olympic Winter Games. The OFDC is cancelled in Biggar, Saskatchewan, Schmirler's birthplace.
Born in Barrie, Ontario, in 1982, freestyle half-pipe world champion Sarah Burke was the first woman to land a 1080-degree spin in competition. She took the 2007 ESPY Award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete, and won four gold medals at the 2011 Winter X Games, plus one more at Europe's Winter X Games. She also successfully lobbied for the inclusion of her sport in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The OFDC is cancelled at Whistler, British Columbia, where Burke spent much of her time training and coaching.