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10 September 2020

Medical Groundbreakers

Canada: Medical Groundbreakers, 10 September 2020. Images from eBay and Canada Post.

Technical Specifications:

Issue Date September 10, 2020
Stamp Designer Mike Savage, Dale Kilian | Signals
Stamp Value PermanentTM (domestic rate)
Quantity Produced 130,000
Dimensions 38 mm x 30 mm

This booklet of 10 stamps shines a light on six Canadian champions who have changed the practice of medicine worldwide: Drs. Bruce Chown, Julio Montaner, Balfour Mount, M. Vera Peters, James Till and Ernest McCulloch.

These six physicians and researchers played leading roles in the development of innovative treatments, methods and practices ranging from pre-natal treatment to end-of-life care. While they may be not be well known, their contributions have changed, or saved, the lives of millions of people. Their work continues to inspire future generations of researchers and pave the way for new discoveries.

Canada Post press release:

New stamps highlight major medical breakthroughs
Tribute to six Canadian pioneers who revolutionized their field

TORONTO, Sept 14, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, Canada Post issued a set of five commemorative stamps celebrating six pioneers of medicine: Dr. Vera Peters, Drs. Bruce Chown, Julio Montaner, Balfour Mount and Ernest McCulloch, and researcher James Till. Their contributions in the fields of oncology, pediatric medicine, HIV/AIDS research, palliative care and stem cell studies have transformed the practice of medicine in Canada and around the world.

Dr. Chown, O.C., M.C. (1893-1986), was one of the first in the world to eliminate rhesus disease (Rh) that once resulted in the death of many newborns. Thanks to Dr. Montaner, O.C., O.B.C. (born 1956), HIV/AIDS has become a manageable chronic disease, its rate has greatly decreased and people with HIV have a lifespan comparable to the rest of the population. Considered the pioneer of palliative care in North America, Dr. Mount, O.C., O.Q. (born 1939) founded the world’s first comprehensive palliative care service in a teaching hospital. Dr. Peters, O.C. (1911-1993), revolutionized the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and breast cancer at a time when women medical researchers were little recognized. James Till, O.C., O. Ont. (born 1931), and Dr. Ernest McCulloch, O.C., O. Ont. (1926-2011), have transformed the notion of tissue renewal by proving the existence of stem cells.

This program recognizes the dedication of these remarkable individuals and many other health professionals, scientists and technologists, including those working to develop diagnostics, treatments and preventive measures to stop COVID-19.

About stamps
Designed by Mike Savage and Dale Kilian of Vancouver-based Signals, and printed by Colour Innovations, The Home Rate PermanentsTM stamps are available in a 10-pack. They also adorn the official First Day obliterated folds in the cities where these people have made their remarkable contributions.

Stamps and collectibles are available online at

Canadian Stamp News article:

Canada’s ‘medical groundbreakers’ celebrated in new five-stamp set

After nearly four months with no new issues, Canada Post released its five-stamp “Medical Groundbreakers” set honouring medical physicians and researchers on Sept. 10.

Available in 10-stamp booklets with two of each design, the set is Canada Post’s first issue since May 20, when it released a pair of stamps marking 100 years of radio history. The brief hiatus was triggered by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which caused some delays in new issues as the stamp program schedule was shuffled.

“Some of the temporary changes made to the stamp program and the way we distribute new issues to postal outlets remain in effect until further notice,” wrote Jim Phillips, director of stamp services, in the September issue of Details magazine, which has been printed and mailed to the Crown corporation’s subscribers.

Each of the six doctors is also an appointee to the Order of Canada.

“This enduring tribute to Canadian health heroes honours their groundbreaking work and brings more awareness to their contributions and discoveries,” said Lissa Foster, executive director of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame. “We can all be immensely proud of the global impact of these pioneering Canadians and our country’s contributions to health, here and in the world.”

Five official first-day covers – one for each stamp design – were also issued. The cancellations include Winnipeg (Chown); Vancouver (Montaner); Montréal (Mount); and Toronto (Peters and Till/McCulloch). There were 2,000 OFDCs printed for each design.The set is designed by Mike Savage and Dale Kilian, both of Vancouver’s Signals design firm. A total of 130,000 booklets were printed in five-colour lithography by Toronto’s Colour Innovations on Tullis Russell paper. Each stamp measures 38 millimetres by 30 millimetres (horizontal).

Self-Adhesive Booklet of 10 Stamps:

First Day Covers:


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