Canadian International Philatelic Exhibition (CAPEX - 1978)


UPU Congress, Ottawa, 1957

Map of Canada encircled by a post horn.

Established in 1874, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) includes most postal administrations. Canada became a member in 1878 and hosted the UPU Executive Committee Meeting in Ottawa in 1933. In 1957, the 14th UPU Congress was held in Ottawa, with its proceedings occurring in the House of Commons. CAPEX 78 International Philatelic Exhibition, held from 9 to 18 June 1978 in the Automotive Building, Exhibition Place, Toronto, was the occasion to commemorate the centenary of Canada joining the Union. The acronym CAPEX stands for CAnadian Philatelic EXhibition.


Show imprint

developed by the UNPA

Sponsored by the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada, under the patronage of the Fédération Internationale de Philatélie (FIP) and under the auspices of the Federación Interamericana de Filatelia (FIAF), the CAPEX-78 show was at that date the largest and most important in Canadian postal history. This was the nation's second international stamp exhibition, the first having been held in 1951.


As participant in the exhibition, the United Nations Postal Administration (UNPA) in cooperation with ICAO designed the special blue show imprint for this exhibition; the flight paths of the UN Geneva stamps (Scott #77-78) are reproduced on this hand-stamp.


Several philatelic items released in relation with the United Nations issue ICAO Safety in the Air (12 June 1978) were stamped with the special show imprint as noted hereafter. Some countries represented at the exhibition had their own cancels.


United Nations Geneva - First Day Cover - 12 June 1978

Official Geneva cachet; Cover designed by Brazilian Artist J.C. Pirralho in a competition organized by the Art Museum of São Paulo




ICAO Safety in the Air card issued by the UNPA. This souvenir card illustrates the various stamps issued by the United Nations in honour of ICAO (1955 and 1978 issues), for its outstanding work over three decades. Statement by the Secretary-General, Kurt Waldheim. Facsimile signature of the Secretary General. The pictures show New York and Geneva cancels.


ICAO Safety in the Air card issued by the UNPA.

Joint cancellation Canada (Canadian stamp issued on 10 June 1978, 14-cent 10d Jacques Cartier) and USA (US Stamp issued on 22 May 1978, 15-cent Eagle “A”, orange in coil stamp).

For the design of the CAPEX 78 commemorative issue of three stamps, Canada Post has gone to

a stamp-on-stamp format which uses imperforate pairs of each of three of Canada's classics, a

pair for each denomination. Carl Brett of Toronto designed these stamps. The engravings were

executed by Robert Couture from original, which may be seen in the National Postal Museum,

Ottawa. The 14-cent first class letter-rate stamp reproduces a pair of the 10-penny blue Jacques

Cartier stamps issued in December 1854. François Riss originally engraved the portrait shown

after a painting of Cartier, which is now in the Hôtel de Ville of St. Malo in France.


Hungary - Emblems of CAPEX 78 and the UPU.

Hungarian stamp issued on 4 June 1950, brown and mauve; Children’s Day – Physical Culture.

CAPEX 78 special Circular Date Stamp for the Hungarian Philately.


CAPEX 78 – Canadian International Philatelic Exhibition – Toronto 9 to 18 June 1978.

Card 1: Prepared by Ashton-Potter Limited, to demonstrate the colour progression in the production of postage stamps by offset lithography.


CAPEX 78 – Canadian International Philatelic Exhibition – Toronto 9 to 18 June 1978.

Card 2: The Cartier Quadricentenary Stamp issued 1 July 1934 with copy of original steel engraved stamp. Original drawing and engraving made in 1885. Lower left inscription reads: Designed, engraved and printed by British American Bank Note, Ottawa.


CAPEX 78 – Canadian International Philatelic Exhibition – Toronto 9 to 18 June 1978.

Card 3: Canadian Bank Note Company Limited with illustrations of the 20-cent special delivery express stamp, issued on 1 June 1935 and an engraving below with inscription: "The engraved vignette symbolic of progress was hand cut in steel in 1926.  It was re-engraved in 1935 in reduced size to form part of the 20 cent special delivery stamps printed for the Canada Post by the Canadian Bank Note Company Limited".  At the bottom "Limited Edition" with CAPEX 78 insignia.


The above displays a set of the 3 printers miniature sheets (non-postal official CAPEX 78 philatelic exhibition cards engraved by Canadian Bank Note Company Limited; limited edition) issued for the 1978 CAPEX stamp show, each one "first day cancelled" with the appropriate United Nations and Canadian stamps.

A rare group as only 15 sets were prepared.

The set consists of 3 cards (matched set #07370), each cancelled on the first day for the 25c ICAO/UN stamp (Sc #299, 12 June 1978). Also present are the scarce UN blue show cancel with the flight paths and a Canadian CAPEX cancel tying the Canadian stamp (CAPEX, Canada Scott #754-756, 10 June 1978).



Canadian International Philatelic Exhibition – Toronto 9 to 18 June 1978.

With the two U.N. SAFETY IN THE AIR sets and U.N. New York First Day of Issue. Also Ottawa Postal Museum cancel.

The back of the cover shows the Capex 14-cent  stamp cancelled CAPEX 12.VI.78.

The logo of the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada (RPSC) is shown on the front of the above cover. This cover was addressed to Mr. Richard K. Malott, who was, in 1978, the Advertising Manager of the Canadian Philatelist Journal issued by the Royal Philatelic Society of Canada.