A Canada 150 doll is shown for sale in Ottawa on Thursday, June 22, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Canada 150 merchandise sales ‘off the chart’

It’s been said that Canadians are not brash about their patriotism, but you wouldn’t know it from the variety of merchandise, big and small, being snapped up in advance of Canada’s 150th birthday July 1.

From T-shirts to hats, flags to flasks, condoms to caskets, goods adorned with celebratory logos are popping up faster than you can say sesquicentennial.

“It’s been unprecedented. It’s off the charts,” said Glen Miller, co-owner of Great Canadian Gift Company in Ancaster, Ont.

“We had no idea that demand would be this high and I don’t think our suppliers did either. It’s becoming difficult to find some products.”

Miller’s company runs a website that offers T-shirts, coffee mugs, coasters, whisky flasks and more — much of it adorned with a multi-coloured, multi-triangle maple leaf that was picked in April as the federal government’s official Canada 150 logo.

“We even had a book celebrating 150 different beer labels … but that’s been sold out for a bit.”

The federal government is allowing people to use the official logo for free, but they must submit an application online that explains how and on what the logo will be displayed.

By mid-June, the federal government said, more than 6,200 applications had been approved for everything from quilts to fidget spinners to tractor trucks.

No application had been denied.

While the Heritage Department says many licences have been granted for Canadian-made products, there is no requirement that goods featuring the Canada 150 logo be made in Canada.

“Private-sector companies are free to source their products from any supplier they choose,” department spokeswoman Justine Lafond wrote in an email.

One product that caught people’s attention at a funeral industry trade show in Charlottetown earlier this month was a casket emblazoned with Maple Leaf flags and a version of the Canada 150 logo.

Caley Ferguson, president of Northern Casket in Lindsay, Ont., said the product is a one-off that was aimed at attracting people to his booth. The company later decided to auction it off and bids were received from funeral homes across Canada.

“All the monies raised from the auction, we are donating to the (winning) funeral home’s community’s Canada 150 events,” Ferguson said.

A U.S.-based condom manufacturer named One ran a contest to see who could design the best Canada-150-themed condom wrapper.

But there were no government logos in the contraceptive competition. Finalists included depictions of amorous moose, playful salmon and some word play centred on skiing.

As for the official logo, Miller said, people are warming up to its many hues and sharp angles — him included.

“On our Facebook page, we have received a few negative comments about the new logo — saying ‘That’s not my flag’ and that sort of thing, but I think overall it’s been very well received,” he said.

“I have to admit, myself, when I first saw it I wasn’t too positive on it.

“But I really like it now. It’s really grown on me … and I hope it sticks around for a while.”

Just Posted

Driver crashes into Red Deer business while fleeing police

A car smashed through a Red Deer business’ front window while fleeing… Continue reading

Police informer talks about his role in Castor undercover sting

Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank were convicted of triple murders last month

City of Red Deer invites residents to Let’s Talk

Interactive public forum to be held April 7

Lessons in altruism learned by Red Deer students

St. Francis of Assisi School launches community foundation project

Sylvan Lake council approves fire pits and mobile stage

Large fire pits for group gatherings will be located on pier next winter

Sutter Fund Chiefs ready to host Midget AAA Female Provincials

The second half of the season did not go as planned for… Continue reading

Wickenheiser says strengthening Olympic hockey bridge behind North Korea trip

CALGARY — Hayley Wickenheiser was conflicted about the unified Korean women’s hockey… Continue reading

Watch: Volcanic thunder is real, and this is what it sounds like

Behold, the rumble of volcanic thunder. No, this is not the sound… Continue reading

Cosmetics giant L’Oreal buys Toronto augmented reality startup ModiFace

TORONTO — When University of Toronto engineering professor Parham Aarabi first began… Continue reading

Report: ESPN president resigned over cocaine extortion plot

LOS ANGELES — The former president of ESPN said he resigned from… Continue reading

Conductor Levine, ousted after sex abuse inquiry, sues Met

NEW YORK — Conductor James Levine sued the Metropolitan Opera on Thursday… Continue reading

Five things about ‘Fortnite,’ the video game Drake shared with his fans

Drake’s a fan, as is Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews, along… Continue reading

Former Devils forward Kovalchuk aiming for NHL return after five years away

MOSCOW — Former NHL forward Ilya Kovalchuk says he wants to return… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month