That Connecting Link: Canadian Stamp Collecting and the Modern Practices of Philately

2012, Culture, History, Temporary Exhibit, Toronto Pearson International Airport
Canada Post, Canadiana, collecting, iconography, paper, philately, stamps
About This Project

Date: March 6 – August 9, 2012

Partner: Toronto Pearson Internation Airport

Venue: International Departures, Terminal One – map

Project Members: Melanie Derschowitz and Chelsea Carss


That Connecting Link aims to explore Canadian identity represented through its stamps as well as investigate the practices of philatelist, or stamp collectors. The section on Modern Philately will emphasize stamp collecting in the present. It looks to portray stamp collecting as a contemporary and relatable activity. While the Canadiana section shows the diversity of all of Canada through its stamps.


The exhibition will be on display in the International Departures of Terminal One at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. It is comprised of 20 display cases spread across the length of the space. Since access is restricted to the terminal, only international travelers will have the opportunity see the exhibit. Therefore, it is a family-friendly exhibit, intended to engage all ages.


Planning That Connecting Link began in September 2011. The planning and research process took six months. At the beginning of February, we began collecting and receiving our loan objects and editing and printing our text. By the end of the month, we had our graphic designs for the text panels, and our mounts were in production at Museumpros. Installation took an entire day at the Airport. The exhibition opened on March 6, 2012. It closes on August 9, 2012.


That Connecting Link acts as a way to introduce visitors to the practice of stamp collecting. The exhibition is separated into two subthemes that focus on stamps and stamp collecting: “Modern Philately” and “Canadiana through Stamps”. Each subtheme has ten topic display cases that explore the diversity of philately. Our strategy for the presentation for this exhibit was to create three-dimensional displays utilizing various stamps, letters, envelopes, and other related material that support the themes of Canadiana and stamp collecting. The text panels, which are written in both English and French, give brief explanations of the topic displayed, allowing the visitors to engage with the material without feeling overwhelmed. Introductory text panels are also included with the displays to give a simple explanation of philately and explain the importance of stamps in the portrayal of Canada’s national identity.


We’d like to thank all of our partners, but particularly Lee Petrie and the Toronto International Pearson Airport and the Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation for allowing us to realize this project. Thanks to all our loan partners, and the professionals who gave us their time and expertise in bringing That Connecting Link to life.