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31 January 2020

Black History Month: “Colored Hockey Championship”

Canada: Black History Month – Colored Hockey Championship, 24 January 2020. Images from Canada Post.

Specifications
Issue Date: January 24, 2020
Stamp Designer: Lime Design
Stamp Value: PermanentTM (domestic rate)
Quantity Produced: 140,000
Dimensions: 32 mm x 40 mm

Celebrate Black History Month with this booklet of 10 PermanentTM domestic rate stamps recognizing an important time in Canadian ice hockey history.

From 1895 until the early 1930s, All-Black hockey teams in the Maritimes challenged each other to exciting matches and – the ultimate prize – the Colored Hockey Championship. This stamp offers a glimpse into this historic hockey period with an illustration (based on an actual photo) of the Halifax Eurekas, the team that won the Championship in 1904.

More than just incredible athletes, these players made important contributions to Canada’s national sport with their fast-paced, physical games and their down-to-the-ice style of goaltending. Today we celebrate their achievements.


Stamp announced on 7 September 2019 by Canada Post stamp design manager Susan Gilson at the National Postage Stamp and Coin Show in Mississauga, Ontario.

The following is from an article published by Canadian Stamp News on 23 September 2019:

“This has been an interesting one,” said Gilson, who added this issue was handled by her stamp design manager counterpart Liz Wong.
“She did work with an illustrator to create this illustration based on photographs.”

With “very little” photographic evidence available of the Maritimes-based Colored Hockey Championship, Canada Post’s research and design teams were left to piece together whatever old photographs remain to create an accurate image, Gilson said.

“Different experts give opinions on the uniform and things like that, but it’s not based on any one image; it’s put together through a lot of different things.”

By the end of the 19th century, as Nova Scotia’s black population reached 6,000, segregation between black and white communities “prevented Blacks from playing hockey with white teams,” according to a presentation at the 2001 World Hockey Conference republished online at birthplaceofhockey.com.

“Since white teams refused to accept challenges to play, Blacks played contests with each other and seven teams existed in the Maritimes by 1900,” added the presentation, produced by Garth Vaughan.

“While regular games by white teams brought crowds of 200-300, Black games attracted up to 1,200 mainly white fans.”

Despite the initial success, the league fell out of favour as “verbal abuse flourished with both crowds and journalists,” Vaughan added, but its successful legacy – including some ahead-of-their-time rules – lives on today.

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