Donald Sutherland, 88, Honoured With New Postage Stamp

Donald Sutherland

Donald Sutherland received his own postage stamp, according to Canada Post, as a means of “commemorating the career of one of Canada’s most respected and versatile actors.” Photo: Canada Post

Donald Sutherland is no stranger to accolades, with Emmy, Golden Globe and Genie awards to his name — not to mention places on the Hollywood and Canada Walks of Fame and an Order of Canada. But on Thursday, the Saint John, N.B.-born acting legend, 88, received a new honour: his own postage stamp. 

Canada Post unveiled the stamp “commemorating the career of one of Canada’s most respected and versatile actors,” noting Sutherland’s performances in films like The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, Ordinary People, BackdraftA Time to Kill, Bethune and Bethune: The Making of a Hero, The Hunger Games franchise and many others.

Donald Sutherland
Photo: Canada Post


Donald Sutherland
The Donald Sutherland postage stamp. Photo: Canada Post


Sutherland, who is also the father of actors Kiefer and Rossif Sutherland and producer Angus Sutherland, told the Canadian Press from his Quebec home that, “It’s the biggest thing to me. I kept saying: ‘I’m a Canadian’ and now I’m a Canadian stamp.”

“This is really something. I think just now when I said it, all the hair stood up on my arms,” he added, before quipping, “But it is cold in here.”

The stamp, according to a Canada Post press release, was created in the style of a movie poster, featuring the names of some of Sutherland’s most famous films in English and French over a profile image of the actor. It was created by the Montreal-based design firm Paprika and printed by Toronto’s Colour Innovations.

Sutherland also told the Canadian Press that the stamp meant a lot to him because stamps and mail were so vital in his early life, when he left home in New Brunswick and ended up in Toronto for school and then across the pond to England as a young actor. And he’s clearly thrilled at having his face on one, even though the use of “snail mail” has declined greatly in the digital age.

“Buy my stamp. Buy a lot of my stamps and send letters,” he said. “Send them to people. Just little postcards: ‘Hi, how are you? Donald asked me to send a stamp.’” 

Donald Sutherland
The Donald Sutherland stamp booklet cover. Photo: Canada Post


The good news for Sutherland is that, while Canadian postage use has declined steadily since 2012, stats for 2021 show that Canadians still sent nearly 2.5 billion pieces of mail that year.  

Sutherland, however, isn’t the only Canadian honoured this year with stamps from Canada Post. In June, Indigenous leaders Nellie Cournoyea, 83, and the late Thelma Chalifoux and George Manuel, received commemorative stamps “recognizing their dedication in advocating for the rights of their communities.” That same month, celebrated filmmaker Denys Arcand, 82, was honoured with a stamp for his body of work and for being “pivotal to the cultural landscape of Quebec for over 60 years.”

And in August, late Quebecois feminists and activists Léa Roback, Madeleine Parent and Simonne Monet-Chartrand received stamps “for their influence on women’s and workers’ rights,” which Canada Post noted “foreshadowed many of the advancements made in equality and justice in Canada.”