Canada Post recognizes Eleanor Collins with stamp

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TORONTO — “Canada’s first lady of jazz” Eleanor Collins is getting her own commemorative stamp.

Canada Post says the 102-year-old music legend will be celebrated at a virtual event Friday that will reveal the stamp and pay tribute to Collins’ life and career “as an artist, musician and mentor.”

Collins is set to take part along with special guests who were influenced by and worked with her, including Nalda Callender of the National Congress of Black Women Foundation, filmmaker Sylvia Hamilton, and musicians Sharman King, Marcus Mosely, and Wendy Solloway.

The Edmonton-born Collins began performing in the 1930s on television and radio shows across the country, and has worked with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Oscar Peterson.

In 1954, she joined CBC’s “Bamboula: A Day in the West Indies” and became part of the first interracial cast on Canadian television. A year later, she starred in “The Eleanor Show,” which made her the first woman and first Black artist to headline their own national television series.

On her 95th birthday in 2014, Collins was invested into the Order of Canada for being “a civic leader and pioneer in the development of British Columbia’s music industry.”

An in-person event had originally been scheduled but was moved online due to recent COVID-19 protocols and restrictions.

Sadaf Ahsan, The Canadian Press