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Saskatchewan artist Joe Fafard signed stamps for his fans at the Canada Post Main office in Regina on May 2. Christeen Jesse photo.

 

By Christeen Jesse

 

 Even though parts of it are buried under a pile of potash, Joe Fafard’s ties with his hometown of Ste-Marthe are as strong as ever.

 

 The renowned prairie artist’s work has been featured on Canada Post’s 2012 Art Canada issue stamps. On March 2, the three stamps were officially unveiled to a crowd of media and Fafard fans at the main post office in Regina.

 

 “I’m very excited and it really is a pleasure to be able to do this—to get this honour from Canada Post and Canada in general,” said Fafard, noting the stamps rank as the #1 honour he has received in his career.

 

 “This is the top. I think it’s because it involves people in general. It’s a very populist kind of thing—it’s not like an honorarium that’s isolated from the general population.”

 

 “I feel like I’m really part of the ebb and flow of the country. Everybody deals with mail in one kind or another and it’s something that everyone can get involved with. There are going to be four billion of them printed out so it’s a big deal.”

 

 And these stamps aren’t the only connection Fafard has to Canada Post. From April 1951 to October 1969, his father Leopold Fafard was the post master at the office in Ste-Marthe-Rocanville. Although the original post office no longer exists, Ste-Marthe-Rocanville has been chosen as the honorary cancellation site of the issue’s official first day cover.

 

 “The connection that my father had with his community was very important. He was a people person, and he just loved that kind of contact with people. I like that type of contact as well, and this stamp is like that contact that he had with people, so I’m very thrilled by the launch being there,” said Fafard.

 

 “We were 10 miles from Rocanville, where the potash is now. The location of the school that I went to is now under that pile. But Ste-Marthe, which is just two miles south of the pile, is still there and my family still lives there. So it’s a nice connection.”

 

 The three stamps feature images of Fafard’s famous artwork—the domestic stamp, titled Smoothly She Sifted, features one of his popular bovine sculptures, the U.S. stamp, titled Dear Vincent, depicts the Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, and the international stamp, titled Capillery, showcases a sculpture of three bronze horses. A classic Fafard horse is also featured on the first day cover, in a detailed drawing called Fancy.

 

 Fafard’s Canada Art issue stamps are now available for purchase from Canada Post.

 

WORD COUNT: 480

Christeen Jesse is a fourth-year Journalism student and a contributing reporter for the University of Regina School of Journalism's 2012 news service for weekly newspapers in Saskatchewan. Christeen was born and raised in Regina and has worked as a reporter with Global Calgary and at the World-Spectator in Moosomin, SK.

 

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

Website: www.christeenjesse.wordpress.com