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51 On May 28, 2006, Canada Post and the United States Postal Service will release a joint stamp issue that celebrates the 400th anniversary of French explorer Samuel de Champlain's 1606 voyage along the coast of New England to Cape Cod.

According to Fugazi, the Montrйal company that created the two previous issues in this five-year series, the creative approach to the stamp brings together the best of both old and new. Staying within the boundaries of the esthetic developed for the series, the design firm found ways to combine elements that represent both the history of the subject matter and contemporary design techniques. The more traditional image of the boat is set against a contemporary map of the New England coast, since a map created in the time of Champlain might be too confusing to a contemporary audience. The fonts chosen for the stamp are also modern and the play of bright and dull colours also reflects the marriage of old and new.

The image of the ship has been reconstituted through discussions about shipbuilding in the time of Champlain with historians, and from Champlain's own notes. It is believed that the galleon featured on the stamp is similar to the ones Champlain sailed.

A skilled cartographer, Samuel de Champlain (c.1570-1635) played a key role in the early exploration of North America. In 1604, he joined Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons aboard the Don de Dieu to sail to North America. Serving as a geographer, Champlain explored various regions of the Atlantic, including the coasts of what are now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and New England as far south as Cape Cod.

In 1606, he accompanied lieutenant governor Jean de Biencourt de Poutrincourt on a mission to explore southward along the Atlantic coast. Beginning in Port Royal in what is now Nova Scotia, the expedition reached as far south as modern-day Cape Cod. Champlain's works document the cultures and geography of the east coast of North America during the early 17th century, and his maps are considered the first scientific documents relating to Canada.

Closely involved with French interests in North America for three decades, Champlain is also credited with the founding of Quйbec City in 1608. Later, he traveled inland, exploring the lake that still bears his name and journeying as far west as Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay, part of Lake Huron.



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