Con U Unveils Montreal Signs Project

The Montreal Signs Project restores iconic signs from Montreal businesses. Photo Riley Sparks

The Concordia University Archives and Concordia’s Communications department came together on Sept. 25 to celebrate the program’s 45th anniversary as well as the unveiling of the Montreal Signs Project at Loyola Campus.

The Montreal Signs Project, which saves and restores iconic signs from Montreal businesses, unveiled five different signs to be permanently on display in the CJ building.

Matt Soar and Nancy Marrelli spearheaded the project, which has salvaged the signs from Ben’s Restaurant, Monsieur Hot Dog, Warshaw Supermarket and the Paramount movie theatre.

While the collection allows for insight into Montreal’s cultural and commercial heritage, the reunion served as a tangible demonstration of the achievements of both the program itself and its graduates.

In a tent outside the CJ building, over 200 alumni, faculty and staff of the Communication Studies program viewed items from the university’s archives, such as issues of the Loyola News that date back to 1945.

“I think of my time here as one of incredible opportunities,” said alumnus Tracy McKee, who spoke at the reunion. “The opportunity to learn about the industry I was so interested in, the opportunity to meet new people and the opportunity to discover what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

At the time of its inception in 1965, the communication studies program was the first of its kind in Canada, prompting critics to question whether it was even a valid academic field of study. The program has since produced some of Canada’s foremost filmmakers and journalists.

Brian Lewis, the dean of the faculty of arts and science, concluded the speeches by discussing the merits of the program both in the past and present.

“Remarkably little has changed in the sense that we are still pioneers, we are still passionately committed, we are still the first communications program in Canada and we are still the best communications program in Canada and the world.”

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 07, published September 28, 2010.