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Postal images pack pop culture



Postal images pack pop culture, and new exhibition, at the Canadian Postal Museum

Gatineau, Quebec, November 9, 2006 – They are found in love songs and paperbacks, sitcoms and action films. Images drawn from the world of postal communications are surprisingly common in the realm of popular culture, and they are remarkably powerful.

This enduring influence can be found in a fun and thought-provoking exhibition opening at the Canadian Postal Museum, part of the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

The Post Goes Pop highlights the wealth of postal imagery found in popular music, books, movies, TV programs, and advertising. Often this imagery is drawn from the past – from the days before e-mail, text messaging, and community mailboxes. The exhibition explores the sources of the imagery, how it is used, and how it compares to current reality.

Among the exhibition highlights are love letters and postcards from the 1890s, Cliff Claven’s postal uniform from the TV show Cheers, and a karaoke booth where visitors can sing along to “Please Mr. Postman“, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” and other mail-related hits.

“The postal service and how we use it has changed dramatically over the past century,” said Victor Rabinovitch, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation. “But the old reality is still reflected in today’s popular culture. Why do the older images endure? Why do we still enjoy them? These are some of the intriguing questions raised in this fun exhibition.”

When the post goes pop, it usually employs one of four classic images: a love letter, a vacation postcard, a neighbourhood letter carrier, and a special delivery or registered mail stamp with its connotation of security and significance. The Post Goes Pop is design in four similar packages.

The exhibition features a wide array of objects and activities. Among the more memorable artifacts are heartbreaking love letters sent overseas in 1917 by an Alberta woman who was unaware that her soldier husband had already died at Passchendaele. Activities include a computer area where visitors can compose their own e-postcard and send greetings from the Canadian Postal Museum to friends and family. Throughout the exhibition, postal paraphernalia – historical and contemporary – is displayed, and video screens show postal-themed clips from movies and TV shows.

The Post Goes Pop encourages us to be more aware of postal imagery in our popular culture, to identify the roots of that imagery, and to understand why that imagery is so powerful and enduring.

The Post Goes Pop will be presented from November 10, 2006 to January 6, 2008 at the Canadian Postal Museum, located inside the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Media Information:

Chief, Media Relations
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7167

Media Relations Officer
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Tel.: 819 776-7169

Fax: 819 776-7187


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