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Canadian Centennial Celebration

Canadian Centennial Celebration Tea Cards

J. Lyons is primarily known for their British issues of tea cards. There is a lessor know set issued in Canada prior to 1967. The set is called Canadian Centennial Celebration. This scarce set is represented by 66 cards issued in preperation for the Canadian Centennial Celebrations of 1967. Each card features a color photographic image of some aspect of Canadian Life from coast to coast in 1967. The backs of the cards identify the image featured on the front, with the particular province identified as well, and have advertising for the various Lyons products, written in both French and English.

The cards were distributed in different manners for each product. In their Soup Packs there was one card per pack. Their coffee had a two card perforated strip per 1 pound bag. Their tea features 4 sizes of packaging. The 15 bag box had one card in it, the 30 bag box had a perforated strip of 2 cards, the 60 bag box had a perforated strip of 4 cards, and the 120 bag box held a 8 card perforated strip... or maybe it was strips of 4.

Their was also an album which you could send away for that was designed to display and collect the cards in.

Due to the lower population in Canada than in the US, print runs in Canada were much smaller compared with American Cards. Because of this the majority of all Canadian non sports cards are far scarcer than card issued in the US.

What do the cards look like?

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The Senate, Ottawa

St. Lawrence Seaway

Hunting Party

Grey Cup Game

Here are four cards that represent the 66 card set. They are approximatly 1 11/16" x 2 7/16" for a single card. Each card gives the province and what the photographed front is about.

There's a Variation?

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A day's catch

The Midway, C.N.E.

These two cards display the rare variation of a special message printed in red on the back. They made a smaller bunch with red stamping on the back touting "For your beautiful Canada Centennial Album send name, address and .25¢ to: THE TEA, P.O. Box 180, Station U, Toronto 18, Ontario." If you collect, you will attempt to collect both versions. I'll just betcha. This gets me to thinking. I know, dangerous, right? I wonder if they put this bright red message on the cards because no one was buying the albums. I know the albums are hard to come by as well. I also bet you are wondering if I show you what the album looks like. Relax, its pictured a little lower on this web page. You know I gotcha covered.

Do you have a list of the different cards?

Sure, that can be done. Feel free to click the top and sort the list any way you want. If you see a link then there is a picture to view.

Canadian Centennial Celebration - Cards Issued

Card Number Province Card Description
1 British Columbia The last spike  
2 British Columbia Logs floating in river  
3 British Columbia Old train in the Rockies  
4 British Columbia Vancouver  
5 British Columbia A day's catch  
6 Alberta Rocky Mountains  
7 Alberta Leduc oil well  
8 Alberta Calgary Stampede  
9 Alberta Oil refinery  
10 Alberta Cattle on ranch  
11 Saskatchewan Wheat harvest  
12 Saskatchewan Grain elevators  
13 Saskatchewan Trans Canada Highway  
14 Saskatchewan Mounties before a Musical Ride  
15 The West The Countess of Dufferin  
16 Manitoba Fort Garry  
17 Manitoba Winnipeg  
18 Manitoba Port of Churchill  
19 Manitoba Nickel mine, Thompson  
20 The West Wheat field  
21 Manitoba Grand Beach  
22 The West Indian outside his Tee-Pee  
23 The West Banff - Jasper Highway  
24 Ontario Fort Henry  
25 Ontario The Midway, C.N.E.  
26 Ontario Nuclear Power Plant  
27 Ontario Toronto new City Hall  
28 Ontario Big Nickel, Sudbury  
29 Ontario The Senate, Ottawa  
30 Ontario Alexander Graham Bell's homestead  
31 Ontario Upper Canada Village  
32 Quebec Place des Arts, Montreal  
33 Quebec Quebec  
34 Quebec Montreal skyline  
35 Quebec Manicougan dam  
36 Quebec Copper being poured  
37 Quebec Château Frontenac  
38 Quebec St. Lambert Locks  
39 Quebec St. Lawrence Seaway  
40 Quebec Hockey game  
41 Quebec Pulp and Paper Mill  
42 New Brunswick Beaverbrook Art Gallery  
43 New Brunswick Sardine seining  
44 New Brunswick Madawaska weavers  
45 New Brunswick Covered Bridge  
46 Nova Scotia Peggy's Cove  
47 Nova Scotia Scottish parade  
48 Nova Scotia Halifax harbour  
49 P.E.I. Fathers of Confederation  
50 P.E.I. Confederation Centre  
51 P.E.I. Fishing boats  
52 Newfoundland House moving  
53 Newfoundland Hunting party  
54 Newfoundland Signal Hill  
55 The Maritimes Drying codfish, Nfld.  
56 The Maritimes Potato harvesting, P.E.I.  
57 The Maritimes Low tide, St. John N.B.  
58 The Maritimes Schooners  
59 Yukon and N.W.T. Eskimo family  
60 Yukon and N.W.T. Ice breaker  
61 Yukon and N.W.T. Dog sleigh team  
62 Yukon and N.W.T. Eskimo artist at work  
63 Yukon and N.W.T. Old relics  
64 Canada Grey Cup Game  
65 Canada Canada's national flag  
66 Canada Parliament building  

What does the album look like?

Of course J. Lyons made a cool Canadian Centennial album to hold those 66 cards. But what does it look like? We at least have a peek at the cover and three pages. Many thanks to Terry Gomes for the peek into the album.

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Album Cover

Canada Section Quebec Section CARD 39

Canada section

Quebec section The West section

According to a writeup from J. Lyons, "The centennial album is 7 1/2" x 9" in size with 32 pages containing text and printed illustrations of historical interest. The illustrations PLUS the colorful set of 66 cards you collect will give you a souvenir book of Canada's Centennial to be proud of."

It is surprising to me how different the cards are from the cover. The cards are all pictures of Canadian life while the cover looks like it could be an album about flags. Of course, if you know anything about Canada, you recognize the flags as the flags of the provinces and territories with the Canadian flag smack dab in the middle. Understanding that makes the album cover make sense. The cards are broken up into the provinces and territories with the last three dedicated to all of Canada. Now that we look inside the album we see that the sections are broken down by the whole thing (Canada), province and territory as well. A consistent theme.

As I was reminded by a fellow collector, the celebration happened in '67 and Lyons planned for all this starting in early '66. There are adverts touting the series starting in early '66. Thanks Bobby Nagy.

A final point of interest is that when you sent in your quarter for the album, you had to indicate (by checking a box) whether you wanted the album in English or French. Sheesh! Sounds like another variation to collect!

About the only other things to talk about collecting are at least one cool magazine ad I have seen and a form that gives a bunch of facts about the series including the cards and the albums. It is full letter size and titled "Save Canada Centennial Picture Cards". At the bottom of the form is a section to cut off and mail in for your albums. On one side it is written in English and on the other it is in French. How convenient is that?

You know what? This is a fun little set to collect with quite a few variations to keep you plenty busy with this hobby of collecting.

Last modified: December 30, 2021

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