First Day of Issue (FDC) Silks

Canadian Operations

Colorano began its Canadian Operations with the first single commemorative stamp issued by Canada Post on January 31, 1973 (Bishop Laval stamp, Cat.#611) and ceased with the set of 4 Second World War - 1944 commemorative stamps issued on November 7, 1994. During this period, two basic categories of Colorano covers (commonly referred to as Colorano Silks) were produced.

  • First Day of Issue (FDC) Silks
  • Event Silks

First Day of Issue Silks

FDC Silks were produced for all Canadian commemorative stamps including issues of single stamps, sets of multiple stamps, miniature/sourvenir sheet, semi-postal stamps and dual stamps.

Colorano issued Canadian Dual FDCs when Canada Post and another country agreed to issue stamps on the same day commemorating the same event. The FDC's stamps are cancelled with each country's respective postmark showing the same date of issue. Dual Silks were issued in addition to the regular FDCs. There are varieties of Duals. For example. the U.S. Bicentennial issue Catalogue #691. These varieties are identified in the Canadian section of catalogue as 691A and so on. (Special Note: Catalogue #691E - Ray Novak advised this author that he secured a supply of blank First Day of Issue envelopes from Canada Post enabling him to produce this variety.)


First Day Covers were not produced for the following issues:

  • All definitive issues save one. An FDC was issued for the Non-Denominated "A" definitive stamp Cat. #907  (December 29, 1981).
  • Postal Code Stamps Cat. #815 & 816 (April 27, 1979).
  • CPC - Prestige Booklet Stamps Cat. #1272-3 (May 3, 1990).
  • “Greetings” Booklet - 1 - Stamps Cat. #1507-8 (January  28, 1994).
  • The practice for issuing Silks for Miniature/Souvenir  Sheets was to issue an FDC for  the Sheet and separate FDC’s for each stamp in the Sheet. With the impending sale of Colorano at the end of 1994,   FDC’s were issued for the last 2 Souvenir Sheets, namely, Cat. # 1523 - United Nations International Year of the Family and #1527  - Historic Public Service Vehicles, but not for the individual stamps.

Flawed Stamps

Unitrade’s Specialized Catalogue of Canadian Stamps lists a large number of flawed stamps issued by Canada Post during the period that Colorano issued Silks for Canadian stamps. As the flaws were not discovered until some time after the stamps were issued an indeterminable number of them found their way on to some Silks. The known Colorano Silks bearing flawed stamps are as follows:

Unitrade Catalogue # Description of Flaw
579i Missing medallion on centre Indian’s Shoulder
655 “Hair over barn”
692i Dot to left of arm
693i “chin strap”
693ii “flagstaff”
693iii “1’826”
693iv “UFO” to left of building
749ii “fire in the Chimney”
960i “dent on car”
966i “log in snow”
1012 “double anchor hole”
1107i pink print flaw
1107ii line in DE of DE LA BAIE
1249 doubling of weapons
1274i “dripping barrel”
1277ii “thread between dolls”

Event Silks

Colorano also issued a number of Canadian Event Silks consisting of 2 types. Type 1 Silks bear first day of  issue postmarks (FDC’s) and were produced in addition to the regular FDC. Type 2 Silks bear postmarks of the date the event took place.

End of Operations

At the end of 1994, the Novaks sold Colorano to:

Mr. Charles Schmid,
7 High Street,
Suite 300,
Huntington , New York,
U.S.A., 11743-3417

The issuing of Canadian Silks ceased at the end of 1994 except for the “Duck” stamps mentioned above and the occasional special situation. The stock inventory remained with the Novaks, who now operate under the name of First Day Associates.

Delayed FDC Issues - In 1994, envelopes bearing the Commonwealth Games stamps (Cat. #1517-22), the Billy Bishop stamp (Cat. #1525) and the Prehistoric Life stamps (Cat. #1529-32) and appropriately postmarked with each first day of issue, were produced but the cachets were not!!

When the Novaks sold Colorano, Ray Novak agreed to furnish appropriate cachets for these uncompleted Silks not later than the end of 2003. This author became aware of the situation in mid-2003 and offered Ray several suggestions for the missing cachets. Ray accepted one of these suggestions, namely, the one for the Billy Bishop Silk (Cat. #1525).

Ray finished this task before the end of 2003. This is quite possibly the longest time on record for the release date of a First Day Cover!!