Oscar Peterson month wraps up this weekend on my show!

Peterson to be honoured on postage stamp
MONTREAL – Canada Post plans to honour jazz icon Oscar Peterson this summer by issuing a postage stamp in his honour on his 80th birthday.
The stamp marks the first time a living individual ñ other than the Queen or a member of the royal family ñ will be honoured on a postage stamp for his personal achievement, says Charles Verge, president of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada.
Oscar Peterson would be the first living individual, save members of the British royal family, to be honoured with a stamp for his personal achievements.
“I’ve always believed that Canadians prefer seeing stamps that they have a relationship with,” Verge told CBC Arts Online Thursday. “Most Canadians don’t remember dead politicians of 200 years ago and are not interested in them. They would be interested in seeing people who have some relationship to their knowledge base.”
Modern personalities also help attract people to the hobby of stamp collecting, Verge said, noting that Canada Post recently picked singer Bryan Adams’s portrait of the Queen for a new stamp.
Though Adams must have talent to have been selected to photograph the monarch, his celebrity as an internationally known musician has “brought that particular stamp into the domain of Bryan Adams fans,” Verge said. It has also racked up “a large amount of sales.”
Early on, Canada Post had a policy that the only living person who could be depicted on a stamp was the sovereign. The policy gradually grew to include members of the royal family. Over the years, the agency has also portrayed other living Canadians.
“There are many living individuals on stamps,” Verge said, pointing out that hockey players, theatre actors and Canadian astronauts have all been depicted on postage commemorating landmark anniversaries of institutions like the NHL, the Stratford Festival or the Canadian Space Agency.
“Here we’re saying that Mr. Peterson is being honoured for Mr. Peterson, basically,” Verge said.
South of the border, the U.S. maintains its policy that no living person ñ save the president ñ shall be honored on postage, and that prominent individuals are only eligible for commemorative stamps 10 years after the person’s death.
Other countries are much more liberal about whom they honour on postage. Austria, for example, has issued stamps featuring Peterson as well as actor and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Canada Post has scheduled the Peterson stamp for issue on Aug. 15, the Montreal-born pianist’s birthday.
“We are recognizing a legendary Canadian, someone whose life work is established,” Cindy Daoust, marketing manager for Canada Post, told the Montreal Gazette. “His legacy as a pianist and as a composer is solid.”
Though the stamp advisory committee has approved the suggestion, it has yet to determine the design or what image is to be used, she added. “This is still very much a work in progress.
Canada Post is “not going to rush and put everybody on stamps,” Verge said, suggesting that the agency may be using this stamp as a trial run.
“You won’t see Avril Lavigne or Shania Twain or Celine Dion on stamps tomorrow,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that they will never be on [Canadian] stamps. It just won’t happen tomorrow.”