The 11th Commonwealth Games, held in Edmonton in 1978, featured cycling, weightlifting, badminton, wrestling, boxing, swimming, shooting, bowls, and track & field, including a marathon. Canada had the opportunity to choose a tenth sport for 1978 and selected gymnastics.
The stamps were released as a series of six — 3 X 14¢ and 3 X 30¢. Each designed to work in colour aligned ‘se-tenant’ pairs each set against an elegant background of horizontal bands of silver and grey, common to all.
The orange pair depict the Commonwealth Games Stadium on one stamp, and running on the other — designed in such a way that the runners merge into the representation of the track in the stadium. The green pair features the city of Edmonton as symbolized by the Alberta legislature building presented against a stylized version of the foothills of the Rockies on one stamp, and lawn bowling on the other. The red and blue pair features the games symbol on one stamp, and badminton on the other. The position of the pictograph figures on the sporting varieties stresses the idea of individual competition.
The games symbol, designed by Edmonton designer Michael Prytula, is derived from four elements: The Canadian maple leaf; the Union Jack (with the red, white and blue colours of the Commonwealth); converging arrows depicting movement to Edmonton; and a series of V’s symbolizing the efforts of volunteers who make the Games possible.