All Eyes on Ogilvy

The faintest hint of winter's first flurries had just subsided as a small throng of people began to gather outside the storied ...

The faintest hint of winter's first flurries had just subsided as a small throng of people began to gather outside the storied Ogilvy department store at Ste.Catherine and de la Montagne. Passers-by who happen to be at the right place at the right time stopped to snap photos, media who'd received the call attended with large recording equipment, and eager children awaited the curtain to go up on a Montreal holiday tradition that dates back to 1947.

Just as the Grand Prix signals the unofficial start to summer, and the St.Patrick's day parade means that Spring has sprung, so too does The Mill in the Forest mechanical holiday window mark the launch of the holiday season, as synonymous with Christmas as the Nutcracker.

This year the chic maison is offering a twist on tradition by teaming up with Harricana by Mariouche to lend the display a modern fashion touch. Known for its eco-design philosophy and transformation of beloved pieces from yesterday into trendy designs to be worn again, the Quebec label has adorned the more than fifty animal figurines from the famous German brand Steiff with recycled fur clothing and accessories, some of which are available until November 19th at the Harricana pop-up on the store's ground floor, and until January 5th at the Cabinet Éphémère pop-up on the 5th floor.

And as an example that puts the saying 'it's more important to give' into practice, part of the proceeds from the sales of the signature fur keychains will be donated to the Montreal Diet Dispensary, providing nutrition and moral support to women in need during their pregnancy and in the first months after giving birth.

Ogilvy en fête

From the magic and charm of the window launch last week comes Wednesday night's Ogilvy en fête, the 5th edition of the yearly blowout holiday extravaganza featuring all manner of revelling on every level of the store. Lead by honorary co-chairs from the worlds of business and the local community, the downtown landmark will be lit up with a thousand lights to host over 2500 guests on its six storeys and, as in past years, the evening will benefit the CHU Sainte Justine Foundation. First held in 2010 where the event raised $280 000 in proceeds, it has since netted $260 000 per year.

And it's easy to see why with a set-up this simple and enticing: tickets are $100 and entitle attendees to a 15% discount on virtually all in-store merchandise, in addition to access to a celebrity-laden fashion show,  one-of-a-kind 'retail-tainment' throughout, bar service highlighting different libations, and substantial gourmet treats courtesy of Montreal's top restaurants who set up throughout the complex. Last year, long lines for many of these became rather cumbersome, so hopefully organizers have found a way to streamline flow and circulation.

For information and tickets please visit

And as if you need more convincing to attend, here's a recap of last year's soirée...


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