Saturday, November 19, 2011

Guess Who's Coming to Town.........Scratch That ! He's Here Already ( Montreal)


                                                                MONTREAL- Grab your elfin hats and warm mittens, cuz Santa Claus is coming downtown.

For the sixth year running, the folks who do the Quebec City Carnival are putting on the show in Montreal, and they promise new costumes, new themes and new floats this year.

The parade will feature more than 1,500 participants, dancers, brass bands, elves and prancing reindeer, more than 20 mechanized floats large and small and the classic Christmas Star Fairy, once again played by Quebeçois singer Ima.

The parade will start at 11 a.m. at Fort and Ste. Catherine Sts. and go eastward to St. Urbain St.

............Yup , so you better watch out & all that stuff for the next month & a bit,.....Christmas coming soon.............                                                                    Have Fun and Remember Verdun
              I would imagine Wellington Street must be all dolled up by now ? Remember walking down Wellington after a light snow or it was always a neat moment, 


Les F said...

Ok here's my annual chance to post this old photo album of the Santa Claus Parade in Montreal, also a shot of the old Eatons train (while it was in the old CN shops,being readied for Eatons but being used for the CN employee's Family Christmas Party

Les F said...

It5's Ogilvy's 64th year decorating it's windows for the Christmas season,......seems to me it should be a lot longer than that,feels like I've been gone almost that long-lol

The holiday season has officially arrived in Montreal. Today marks the 64th year for one of the city's celebrated holiday traditions: the unveiling of the Ogilvy's Christmas window.

In 1927, Westmount stockbroker Arthur J. Nesbitt acquired Ogilvy's and promptly placed his 20-year-old son, James Aird Nesbitt, in charge of the store. In order to distinguish Ogilvy's from other department stores at the time, the younger Nesbitt put an emphasis on elegant interior design and invoked a number of traditions, many of which continue to this day.

It wasn't until 20 years later in 1947, when the idea for a mechanical window first crossed his mind. Nesbitt commissioned the renowned German toymaker Steiff, known particularly for their teddy bears, to build two sets. This year's display, The Mill in the Forest, alternates every year with The Enchanted Village.

Steeve Lapierre, Ogilvy's vicepresident of marketing, has overseen the installation of the window for the past 25 years. He says it takes roughly one week and seven employees to assemble the window, which always keeps the same layout.

"It's all about the magic and passion. It enchants everyone, children, parents, grandparents and even teenagers. People are really emotionally attached to our window," says Lapierre.

The entire display is designed to fit precisely into the window on the corner of Mountain and St. Catherine Sts. For this reason the size of the window can never change.

This caused a bit of a stir a few years ago when Louis Vuitton expanded its store within the store.

"We fought to keep the space because there's nowhere else where we can put our window," says Lapierre.

When not in use, each piece is kept in custom-shaped and numbered crates, which are stored in a secure warehouse. Such protective measures need to be taken because Steiff stopped making mechanical toys long ago. As a result, both sets are not only tremendously valuable among collectors, but irreplaceable objets d'arts as well.

In 2008, both sets were shipped to Brooklyn, N.Y., to get spruced up. There, in his workshop, Lou Nasti, whom some have called a modernday Geppetto, got straight to work.

"They came to us in terrible shape, completely broken, beyond using..." says Nasti, his voice trailing off momentarily. "All the figures and all the mechanisms were worn out after so many years of use. I took it back to my factory and restored it to perfect condition."

Nasti, who has worked in the field of mechanical animation for most of his life points out that what makes people smile when looking at the window is the workmanship.

"Everything looks so simple, but it takes a lot of work to make everything run smooth and happy," says Nasti. "It's just as interesting to see the back and underneath of the display, as it is to see the front. It's fascinating to see all the gears turning and the motors cranking and the levers going back and forth, and all the wiring. Everything fits together like a big puzzle. You look at it and you'd never think that it's as old as it is."