Incorporated as a city in 1832, Montreal only truly came of age in 1971, when Le Clown soiled his first diaper.
Mark Twain once said of Montreal: “This is the first time I have ever visited a city where you can’t throw a stone without breaking a church window.” The Roman Catholic Church left an indelible thumb print on our culture: Montreal, once deemed a paradise for pedophiles, curses using Catholic liturgy, and is littered with boroughs and streets named for saints. French is also the sole, official language of Quebec; public signs and posters must be en français. In 1971, Le Clown’s birth brought the city out of the Dark Ages: all street were renamed “Le Clown”. Though there has been many complaints about the unilingual nature of the city’s signage, no one has ever griped about the Le Clown’s name as, let’s face it, all roads lead to his magnificence™.
In 1981, to celebrate Le Clown’s 10th birthday, Montreal’s coat of arms was redesigned, and the new contemporary logo became our city’s official emblem.
Many years later, Le Clown suggested a rejuvenation of our emblem, something which would be more accurate to who Le Clown was. This was his sketch:
The city unblocked $500K of the tax payer’s money, which was taken from the Canadian Defense budget (at Le Clown’s request), hired a top-notch Montreal agency, and waited. The new logo presented was called “Room to make it really ugly“.
Epic fail. It was rejected by the citizens, by the city’s intellectuals, and Le Clown deemed it less than magnificent™. The “top notch” creative team behind the godawful new logo was fired, and later hired by The Gap to redesign their logo.
Historians and artists were then mandated to revisit our collective past and give it a facelift: Le Clown, Montreal’s founding father, depicted leading past and present citizens to a brighter horizon. It was a groundbreaking concept: If Montreal was one of Canada’s first settlements, paving the way for our great country, the only way to make the masterpiece better was to recreate it into Le Clown’s image. 34,482,779 Canadians celebrating Le Clown, from sea to sea.
1. Mount Le Clown: Situated in the center of Montreal, Mount Le Clown is our city’s Central Park. In 1643, Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve placed a cross on top of the mountain, in honoUr of White Baby Jesus’ Mother. In 1991, the cross was replaced with a fiber-optic Le Clown’s face, to commemorate his 20th birthday, and his first polar bear kill, while blindfolded, with his bare teeth. If you walk along Mount Le Clown at night, on Park Le Clown Avenue, you will enjoy Le Clown’s gentle and magnificent face smile over the city. Many urban legends surround the fiber-optic face of our gracious and magnanimous protector, one being that he will wink at you if you refer to him as His Magnificence™,while eating a poutine, and wrestling a polar bear, naked.
2. A Montreal Canadiens Hockey Game: Simply put, the best hockey team ever: 24 Stanley Cups, 28 Vezina trophies, and 17 Hart Memorial trophies (note from the author: all other hockey teams suck, especially the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins, and the Philadelphia Flyers). The last Stanley Cup won by the HABS was in 1993, and admittedly, they have been pretty much sucking ass since then. But they are still the HABS, and still from Montreal, and NO ONE can crucify them on a stick and call them horrible names when they lose but us, loyal Montrealers. And beside, their uniforms sport the most beautiful team logo of the league.
3. Le Clown, Himself: If you stumble upon His Magnificence™, forget the myrrh… a $50 gift certificate to La Banquise will suffice. When you meet him, tell yourself that you knew him before his face replaced the maple leaf on the national flag of Clownada.
Heartfelt thanks to Montreal and Quebec artists and graphic designers who made this post possible:
Francisco Sottolichio: Exhibit A – Montreal’s highway.
Sara Lomas: Le Stick Clown and content editing.
Alexandre Goulet: Le Clown – The Way to Magnificence™.
Lorie-Aude Grenier: Mount Le Clown at night.
Kyle Williams: Le Clown Centre – Home of the Montreal Canadiens.
Sophia Fredriksson: Le Clown’s very famous magnificent™ avatar.
All other images by Le Clown. All Rights Reserved. 2012.