‘A great, great honour’: Manitoban’s photograph selected for Canada Post stamp

The sumptuous sights of the Manitoba Sunflower Festival are set to make their way around the world thanks to a Winnipeg photographer.

An image snapped by Mike Grandmaison, a lens master who’s been behind the camera professionally for nearly three decades, is set to appear in Canada Post’s upcoming Far and Wide Series.

“There’s not that many people that over time end up having a stamp, so I think it’s always a great, great honour to be part of that,” he told CTV News Winnipeg in an interview.

The fourth edition of the series is billed as a traveller’s view of nine scenic locations in seven provinces and two territories, each taken by a different photographer from across the country.

Among the sights of Galiano Island in British Columbia and the Point Prim Lighthouse in Prince Edward Island is Grandmaison’s contribution – a field of bright sunflowers against a blue, cloud-speckled sky taken on the outskirts of Altona, Man.

Photographer Mike Grandmaison is shown in an undated photo. (Mike Grandmaison)

It turns out, the Winnipeg photographer is no stranger to the postal prestige. The sunflowers mark his seventh image to appear on a Canada Post stamp and tenth project with the Crown corporation.

His first was a photograph of the downtown Winnipeg skyline. It was tapped for a postcard and an Official First Day Cover celebrating the 1999 Pan American Games hosted by our city.

At the time, Grandmaison had just left his government gig to see if he could make a go of it as a photographer full-time.

“I made the jump, so now it’s been some 28 years of doing photography, which has all been great.”

A collection of Grandmaison’s projects with Canada Post, including his images of the University of Winnipeg and the Manitoba legislative grounds, is shown in an undated photo. (Mike Grandmaison)

His other stamp-worthy images include distinctly Manitoban sights, like the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in 2014 or the University of Manitoba in 2002, as well as shots from around the country, like the Cap-des-Rosiers Lighthouse in Quebec, which was selected for a 2007 stamp.

The shutterbug said having an image selected by Canada Post is a long, vetted process that can take many years.

Typically, a request will come in from a Canada Post member, a designer or a stock photo agency. They provide a list of images that they’d like to receive. The photographer then submits their snaps for consideration.

“Over the period of anything from a month or six, seven, eight months, there’ll be a selection made and usually, this will then go to committee for the selection and in conjunction with Canada Post, they will make a decision as to the final image.”

Grandmaison’s image of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is pictured on a 2014 stamp. (Canada Post)

Grandmaison’s passion for nature photography stemmed from his childhood spent outside, be it fishing with his dad or picking blueberries.

His work has also been featured in National Geographic Traveler, Canadian Geographic and Audobon Magazine. He is also the author of 20 coffee table books featuring his photographs, with another on the way on the Canadian Rockies.

When asked to choose a favourite photograph, Grandmaison said it’s akin to picking a favourite child, though he gives special mention to an image of a red maple taken close to his hometown of Sudbury, Ont.

“Some of these images have a lot of emotional attachment,” he said.

“It’s been a great, great career, of course, I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Grandmaison’s photograph of the Selkirk Settlers is shown on a 2012 Official First Day Cover. (Canada Post)

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