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Montreal's Famous Creepy/Adorable Ogilvy Holiday Window Displays Are Going Back Up Downtown

Scenes of nostalgic holiday whimsy? Or something more sinister?

Senior Editor
Montreal's Ogilvy holiday window displays outside the McCord Museum.

Montreal's Ogilvy holiday window displays outside the McCord Museum.

Courtesy of the McCord Stewart Museum

They draw you in by preying on what's left of your childlike wonder. They dazzle you with intricate mechanics. They inexplicably upset your stomach. And they're coming back to downtown Montreal.

Ogilvy's famous holiday window displays are returning to the McCord Stewart Museum this year. Passersby on rue Sherbrooke will be able to stop and appreciate the elaborate animatronic tableaux, titled The Mill in the Forestand The Enchanted Village, beginning Friday, November 25.

A scene from Montreal's Ogilvy holiday window displays at the McCord Stewart Museum.A scene from Montreal's Ogilvy holiday window displays at the McCord Stewart Museum.Courtesy of the McCord Stewart Museum

The scenes are a spectacle of nostalgic holiday whimsy, with anthropomorphized critters in pastoral landscapes — tiny insignificant beings doomed to gleefully stage endless performances of romanticized hard labour and seemingly innocent land exploitation. It is, in essence, a satire of the mundane routines that belie the horrors of settler-colonial capitalism.

A scene from Montreal's Ogilvy holiday window displays at the McCord Stewart Museum.A scene from Montreal's Ogilvy holiday window displays at the McCord Stewart Museum.Courtesy of the McCord Stewart Museum

Anyway.

The window displays date to 1947 but only came under the stewardship of the McCord Stewart Museum in 2018. In a press release, the museum says the windows are "among the last of their kind in North America" and recall "the magic of other big department stores' windows, like Macy's New York and the Galeries Lafayette in Paris."

They'll be up until January 8.

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