Local dépanneurs are finding creative ways to meet the Quebec government’s requirement that as of May 31 vendors had to conceal cigarette packages in stores, with fines of up to $2,000 for a first offence.
Imperial Tobacco offered free installation of shelving to product retailers, but refused to offer Harri Kuldip, owner of Ventura’s dépanneur at the corner of Duluth and Clark, the service because the shop did not sell a high enough volume of the company’s products.
Instead Kuldip used foam core covers as an alternative to metal shelving – saving more than $2,000. Montreal artist Jason Cantoro installed a silkscreen poster on the covers as part of his Cinqunquatre poster project.
With a $12,000 grant from the Quebec government, Cantoro has been placing posters in public spaces around the city since January.
“I don’t own it anymore; once it’s on the street, it’s everyone’s,” he said. “Art is often all about money – you have to buy, buy, buy, but I think it’s important to give people things for free.”
Cantoro considers the installation in Ventura’s dépanneur his finest piece so far, and likes how the icon of the barking dog works in the dépanneur setting.
“The German shepherd is there to protect [the dépanneur] from robbers. That’s the idea anyway,” he said.