The Globe and Mail turned its attention to the summer pedestrianization of Ste. Catherine St. in the Village today, focusing in particular on the controversy over the local merchants’ association’s requirement that all of the street’s bars, café and restaurants serve only Labatt’s products on their terrasses. It includes a couple of quotes from yours truly, along with some interesting comments from Steve Davies, VP of the New York-based Project for Public Spaces.
Across North America, summer festivals run by private entities take over parks and streets, often with exclusive rights to allow access and to sell products. Many of the examples are more intrusive than the Montreal beer sponsorship.
In one infamous example in the United States, Washington’s National Mall was fenced off for a Pepsi product launch and concert – a 2003 scene described by the Project for Public Spaces as “singularly shocking for its sheer scope and audacity.”
Steve Davies, a vice-president of the New York-based group that encourages sensible integration of private business in public spaces, says sponsors get in trouble when they start constraining normal commercial activity.
“It goes too far when they use a sponsorship to start telling dozens of private businesses what to do on public land over an entire summer,” Mr. Davies said.
Read the full article here.
Photo by John Morstad for the Globe and Mail