Canadians love bears, and it’s little wonder: Our country is home to large numbers of them, including two-thirds of the world’s polar bear population. That’s why Canadian Geographic and Canada Post teamed up to create Bears, a new stamp series showcasing Canada’s bear species, featuring photography by Robert Postma and Michelle Valberg and designed by Andrew Perro. The newest series was officially unveiled at 50 Sussex, headquarters of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 24.
Just as the RCGS does through its work in Canadian Geographic, Canada Post prides itself on telling unique Canadian stories through its stamp program. The four bears featured on Canada’s latest stamps — the black bear, grizzly bear, polar bear and rare Kermode bear — are part of that story. The images by Valberg and Postma, both regular Canadian Geographic contributors, were carefully selected by Canada Post for their quality and what they reveal about the iconic species.
“In the bear's faces, we see their character, their spirit, their tremendous power,” says Susan Margles, Senior Vice-President of Corporate Affairs for Canada Post.
Although best known for her Arctic photography, Valberg, who is based in Ottawa and is one of Canadian Geographic’s inaugural Photographers-in-Residence, has a passion for capturing the beauty and variety of all of Canada’s wild nature.
“Michelle is a renowned explorer, adventurer and wildlife photographer who has an innate ability to capture glimpses of the natural world,” says John Geiger, CEO of the RCGS. “She believes the world around us mirrors what we see in ourselves: our beauty, our simplicity, our complications and our responsibilities — and this is certainly reflected in her photography.”
Three of the four images featured in the stamp series are Valberg’s. Robert Postma, the other photographer for this stamp issue, is an award-winning, Yukon-based photographer who was on assignment in Alaska and unable to attend the event.
The Bears stamp series is available on Canada Post’s website and at outlets across the country.