The Jacques Cartier stamp, issued in 1984, has been chosen to explain the selection process
for a stamp designer, because it is well-documented.
The idea of a joint issue between Canada-France to mark the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier's arrival in Canada was raised in June 1982 on the occasion of the Philexfrance International Philatelic Exhibition. In April 1983, an official agreement was concluded between the two postal administrations: the stamp design would be the work of a Canadian, while the engraving and printing would be taken care of by the French.
The Stamp Advisory Committee invited three Canadian artists to submit artwork. Each artist was provided with historical documentation to facilitate the preparation of their works. One artwork proposed by Pierre-Yves Pelletier shows the Canadian portion of the route travelled by Cartier in 1534. The map features a sailboat of the era. The artwork also shows the name and denomination of both countries, which would have been a world's first. Competition winner Yves Paquin's artwork proposed several components from Cartier's life: the manor of Limoëlou near Saint-Malo, the Saint-Malo coat of arms, the cross erected at Gaspé, his ship the Grande Hermine and a long peace pipe.
Artwork proposed by Pierre-Yves Pelletier for the Jacques Cartier stamp.
National Archives of Canada, Post Office Department fonds, Acc. 1990-033
Artwork proposed by Yves Paquin for the Jacques Cartier stamp.
National Archives of Canada, Post Office Department fonds, Acc. 1990-033.001011