1978 Canada
Canada #756a – Canada’s first souvenir sheet, issued for CAPEX.

On June 9, 1978, Canada opened its second international stamp exhibition, CAPEX ’78 (CAnadian Philatelic EXhibition). The first time had been in 1951.

1978 13¢ CAPEX Wildlife souvenir sheet
US #1757 – US CAPEX Souvenir Sheet

The exhibition was held to mark the 100th anniversary of Canada joining the Universal Postal Union (UPU). The UPU was established in 1874 to make sending international mail easier. Canada joined the organization on July 1, 1878.

1978 Canada Jacques Cartier CAPEX First Day Cover
Canada #754 – Jacques Cartier CAPEX First Day Cover

The exhibition was sponsored by the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada and was the largest and most significant philatelic exhibition in the country up to that time. In preparation for the exhibition, Canada prepared its first souvenir sheet, with a stamp-on-stamp theme. The stamps pictured imperforate pairs of three classic Canada stamps.

The 14¢ first-class stamp reproduced a pair of 10-penny blue Jacque Cartier stamps first issued in December 1854. The 30¢ stamp for overseas mail reproduced the ½ penny rose Queen Victoria issue of 1857. The $1.25 stamp covering the basic registration fee pictures a pair of the HRH Albert, Prince Consort, stamps from 1851. A fourth stamp, not part of the souvenir sheet, reproduced a pair of 12¢ Queen Victoria stamps from 1851.

1978 13¢ CAPEX Wildlife set of 8 single covers plus the se-tenant cover
Item #7511612 – Set of nine Fleetwood covers featuring the US CAPEX singles and souvenir sheet

Several countries issued stamps at CAPEX, including the US. In fact, CAPEX marked the first time the US issued a souvenir sheet in another country and it was only the second time the US had issued a stamp in another country. The First Day of Issue ceremony took place on June 10, 1978, at the CAPEX Station, Toronto, Canada. The sheet was also the first to feature stamps that had never been issued individually before.

1978 13¢ CAPEX Wildlife souvenir sheet Fleetwood First Day Cover
US #1757 – Fleetwood First Day Cover

To honor CAPEX, the souvenir sheet featured a wide variety of wildlife shared by both Canada and America. Stanley Galli, a wildlife artist, designed the stamps. In recognition of the relationship between the two countries, the sheet also included a statement in both French and English that read, “This tribute features wildlife that share the Canadian‐United States border.” Collectors from both nations were exceptionally enthusiastic about the sheet.

1978 13¢ CAPEX Wildlife souvenir sheet Colorano Silk Cachet First Day Cover
US #1757 – Colorano Silk Cachet First Day Cover

CAPEX ’78 ran until June 18. Canada would go on to hold more international exhibitions, also called CAPEX, in 1987, 1996, and 2022.

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One Comment

  1. I am a U.S. joint issue collector. Although the souvenir sheets isued by the United States and Canada at CAPEX ’78 are technically not joint issues I have included them both in my U.S. joint issue collection. I have found over the years that the U.S. and other countries will sometimes issue stamps with near similar dates and the same themes but not advertised as joint issues by postal administrations. I also include these stamps and covers in my U.S. joint issue collection. I invite comments about joint issues.

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