Monday, August 29, 2011

Exhibition at Parc Gallery

dog parc gallery opened on Saturday, August 27th. Despite warnings of Hurricane Irene perhaps interrupting the final hour of the vernissage, nature kindly held back and we had a stunning afternoon of sunshine, dogs, dog-lovers, art lovers and friends. It was wonderful to see so many of the dogs who had their portrait taken last fall - and some of them seemed to take a particular shine to their own portrait! We had many good conversations about the park, the people and the animals around us who, it must be said, stole the show.

Emily Kirkman captured a lively moment at the vernissage.

Thank-you to everyone who helped us make the exhibition happen: Shauna Janssen, our curator, Emily Kirkman, our photographer, Marie-France Daigneault and Nuria Carton de Grammont, who helped with the tables of catalogues and food, and Judith Bauer who provided us with a much-appreciated table top! Merci Isabelle Renaud of 100 Laisses (at 41 McGill) for your generous gift of dog and cat treats, and for thoughtfully bringing drinking bowls for our canine visitors. Thank-you so much, park users who came to the event. We still have a few catalogues for those of you whose dogs are in the show - we are happy to get these to you by mail or via a visit to the park, whatever works best for you. Send us a note via this blog, or by email:

A great day! Wouf x.

CTV coverage - 26 August 2011

CTV and Christine Long visited pouf! and a number of dogs and humans in Parc Gallery on Friday afternoon, August 26th. Here is the clip from the 6pm news. Thanks to Jesse for posting this on youtube!

Great pictures of Caroline the Basset Hound making a friend of Christine Long, who herself has a Bull Mastiff. Many thanks to Maya Soren for her help in making contact with Christine.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

CTV at Parc Gallery

It was a beautiful day for CTV's visit to Parc Gallery yesterday. Thank-you to all the dogs and companions  who came out for the interview. The footage was shown on the 6pm news last night and can be seen above.

Vernissage at Parc Gallery Today at 3pm!

The portraits are up! Here is a picture of Zirreh with Zirreh. We hope everyone can join us for dog and human snacks at the vernissage.

Friday, August 26, 2011

One last reminder! CTV interview in Parc Gallery, 1pm today!

We could use as many people and dogs in the park as possible - to send the message as best we can that this park is in use and is needed for now and the future. Hope to see you there!

View of Parc Gallery from the winter shack

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Should you need to use the facilities...

Open-air art exhibits are great things! But they do leave the question of what to do if one needs the bathroom, open. Here is a map of some places in walking distance to Parc Gallery. They are cafés and restaurants, including one particularly child-friendly café, called (Parent)These, on rue Notre-Dame. Everything is within a 5 to 12 minute walk from the park.

Many thanks to Kathleen for pointing out that, for visitors coming to Parc Gallery via the canal path, there is a public facility at the Parks Canada building at the St Gabriel locks. Much appreciated information!

Getting the word out

Hello dpg followers and visitors,
As of today, we have contacted the following politicians about our project, hoping to spread the word about Parc Gallery and its uncertain future:
Maire de la Ville de Montréal, Gérald Tremblay
Maire de l'arrondissement, le Sud Ouest, Benoit Dorais
Conseiller de ville/City Councillor, Jocelyn Ann Campbell, Member of the Executive City Council responsible for Social and Community Development, Families and Seniors
Conseiller de ville/City Councillor, Alan DeSouza, Vice-Chairman of Sustainable Development, the Environment, Parks and Green Spaces
Conseiller de ville/City Councillor, Helen Fotopulos, Member of the Executive City Council responsible for Culture, Heritage, Design and Women’s Issues
Mr Tyrone Benskin, MP for the South-West, who has already responded and expressed interest in the project!
We have also sent a copy of our catalogue and press release to Serge Goulet, Co-President of Devimco, which has most control over the spaces surrounding the park.
In an effort to get a wider community interested, we have also sent catalogues and press releases to Phyllis Lambert, the well-known urban activist and founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Madame Lambert was instrumental in creating the heritage movement in Montréal in the 1970s. She is also, we know, a dog lover, so we hope this project takes her interest. A similar package went out to Mirko Zardini, the present Director of the CCA, and to Dinu Bimbaru, Director of Héritage Montréal.
We would appreciate other suggestions for politicians, public figures of influence, or professionals in urban planning and heritage who should receive a copy of the catalogue.

An example of the package that was sent out this week. 

French catalogues are ready!

Salut tout le monde,

We are very happy to have received the French version of our catalogue yesterday. Our translators, Louis Tardif and Marie-France Daigneault Bouchard, did a great job. We will be making a gift of the catalogue to everyone who participated in our portait-taking session last September. At our vernissage this coming Saturday, please come to the table with the dog treats, and you will only have to provide your dog's name - an envelope with your catalogue will be set aside for you.

If you want to purchase additional copies, we are charging $15 per copy, to cover the costs of producing the catalogue and the portraits. We will have change!

Looking forward to seeing everyone again!

Sample page from the French catalogue!

Thanks to Isabelle Roy!

A shout-out to Isabelle Roy, who kindly helped us by translating the cover letter we sent out this week to francophone politicians and other players of interest in Griffintown. Our warm appreciation to Isabelle, who is the co-founder of the facebook page dedicated to Parc Gallery (see link at right).

Some versions of the cover letter, translated by Isabelle Roy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Portraits are ready!

Dear dog parc gallery followers and participants,

We were very excited today to receive the printed versions of the dog portraits taken last fall. They are lovely! Here is a short video that shows each of them, in brief.

And here are a few shots which show the scale of the portraits. Can't wait to share them with you in person this coming weekend.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Getting the City involved - carefully

One of our goals with dog parc gallery is to get word out that Parc Gallery is an important community amenity that must be protected for the future. As our publication explains in more detail, the City's planning documents suggest that this park is not a park - it is empty space. So we have to get officials to recognize that it is indeed a green, public space. This week, pouf! is sending out copies of our publication to councillors such as Alan DeSousa, Vice-Chairman of Sustainable Development, the Environment, Parks and Green Spaces, and Helen Fotopulos, Responsable for Culture, Heritage, Design and Women's Issues, among others. We are targeting members of the City of Montréal Executive Council, which deals directly with urban planning and development issues.

What we have to be careful about, however, is the tendency of politicians to resort to the spatial needs of families over other types of city dwellers. A green space in the middle of a rapidly developing neighbourhood might well appeal to politicians as something to save - but for whom? The Percy Walters Park controversy - see Edith Dora Rey's beautiful website - saw a much loved downtown dog run transformed into a bifurcated space for children and dogs - a change which pleased the adults of neither user group. This cannot happen at Parc Gallery. So be sure to tell your borough Councillor and local MP that not only do you want Parc Gallery saved, you want it saved for dogs!

Edith Dora Rey, Percy Walters Parkhouse, watercolour, 2009

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Parc Pilote, Vieux-Montréal

Parc Gallery is not the only dog park in the city to be affected by major planning initiatives. Over the past winter, pouf! investigated the design and history of Parc Pilote, run by the Club canin du Vieux-Montréal (CCVM). Parc Pilote is an important amenity for residents of Old Montréal, where the rules regarding dogs are extremely strict. This is a beautifully-designed dog park, incorporating fencing, interspecies fountains, lots of seating and even public art. It successfully repurposes some of the land left over from the creation of the Bonaventure Expressway. But what will happen to Parc Pilote when the Bonaventure is lowered, as part of the revisioning of the southern access to the city? Read our article in Le Vieux Montréal to learn more about this sister park to Parc Gallery.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

CTV will be coming to Parc Gallery on Friday, August 26th, 1pm

Christine Long, who does the "What's On" spots on CTV, is coming to Parc Gallery with a film crew at 1pm on Friday, August 26th. She is going to interview pouf! about the exhibition, but also hopes to meet dog park users - human and animal - to learn more about the importance of this place for the neighbourhood.

If you and your dog(s) are free, it would be amazing to have your company during this interview. This is a great opportunity to show how much people and dogs love and need this park. Please spread the word and join us on Friday, August 26th for another kind of close-up!

English catalogues are ready!

Followers of our project know that we have created a catalogue to accompany our exhibition that opens August 27th. We were very happy to pick up the English version yesterday - 100 copies, some of which will be on sale at the vernissage. A special shout-out to Rubiks Printers on Bishop (thanks Jeff) for the special care they took with our little book. The version en français will be printed by next week, and ready for the vernissage also!

Vivre ici...

Yesterday we went to Parc Gallery to post some notices about our vernissage on August 27th. We saw other posters, much larger than ours, also announcing upcoming changes to the neighbourhood. One in particular, modified by an unknown individual, made a beautiful comment on the "revitalization" that is presently taking place so close to Parc Gallery.