Is Gilles Villeneuve still taking sponsors?

A mini museum (and souvenir shop) to Gilles Villeneuve on Crescent St. during Grand Prix weekend

During the Grand Prix weekend, I noticed that this bar on Crescent St. had been converted into a museum honouring Gilles Villeneuve, the guy from whom the circuit the race takes place on gets its name.

There were photos of Gilles, videos of Gilles, and some original items in a section roped off lest anyone consider actually touching them. They were brought in from the Gilles Villeneuve Museum in Berthierville for the occasion.

Oh, and there was the souvenir stand. In fact, it seemed the entire point of it was to sell memorabilia related to Gilles Villeneuve. But I’ll give them some slack. It’s not like I paid anything to get in.

Anyway, fast-forward a month, and the government is considering levying a fine against the museum because those photos contained advertisements for tobacco products, which were caught by inspectors from the health department (apparently they have people who go around looking for tobacco ads).

The story makes it clear that the government hasn’t decided whether to fine the museum, which obviously doesn’t think it should be fined for showing historic photos to the public. But they haven’t ruled a fine out either.

Let’s hope some common sense prevails soon. After all, it’s not like Marlboro is paying the museum (or Villeneuve) for the ads anymore.

11 thoughts on “Is Gilles Villeneuve still taking sponsors?

  1. Bert

    This is a joke, the ministry and the whole government should be ashamed! if we can’t celebrate a hero, what can we do? Maybe we should Photoshop every picture of René Lévesque with a cigarette?

    On a side note, there was classic/historic car racing at the Circuit Mont-Tremblant this weekend, and many of the tobacco sponsored cars had modifications to hide said sponsorships. But not all the cars were done.

    I think the government should just kick it’s cigarette addiction!

  2. Maria Gatti

    We utilitarian-urban-chic etc cycling advocates (see website I link to) are fond of talking of “the elephant in the room”. Do these people forget what Gilles Villeneuve died of? Hint – it wasn’t cigarettes. Nobody out to ban car or petroleum industry ads, though they certainly cause at least as much loss-of-years-of-life as tobacco does, in part because many of their victims are younger.

    I don’t think a historical photo is at all the same thing as a current ad campaign. We see many historical photos of, for example, racist ad campaigns that would be cringeworthy today.

  3. wkh

    That’s stupid. It’s an historical photo, not an advertisement. Gawd.
    Also, is that the old Hard Rock Cafe? Pat and I almost went there the other day because it was hot and we knew it would be cool and empty since no one ever goes there. Then we noticed no one is ever going there again :-P and found somewhere else.

  4. emdx

    (Note to those who think their sarcasm meters are broken, I absolutely, fully and totally mean the following, there is no tongue in cheek, nor sarcasm in the following paragraphs. I personally cannot stand automobiles nor tobacco smoke — thanks to a childhood spent being smoked-up on the backseat of a nazi-inspired Volkswagen while both parents lighted-up).

    Tobacco is a killer, and makes one a douchebag for blowing smoke towards nonsmokers. So it is only natural that the State, in it’s duty to protect the population against itself, endeavours to do all it can to eradicate such an unhealthy and obnoxious practice.

    The automobile is a leading killer; it has killed more mankind than all the wars combined.

    Irresponsible use of an automobile is most always often by excessive speeding; such a stupid endeavour is undoubtlessly encouraged by the irresponsible display of what is euphemistically called “motor sports”, as if there was any redeeming value (even in sportsmanship) in making an engine go faster in order to beat other motorists to a given finish line.

    The overabundance of advertisements featuring irresponsible fast driving is no doubt a prime source of the abhorrent lawlessness one can see on the roads nowadays.

    30 years ago, you could witness one instance of red-light running per year. Nowadays, rare is the day where I do not see at least one red light runned (today is no exception). This is no doubt attributable to the mentality that one has to get there extremely fast, a mentality that is fostered by the existence of motor “sports”.

    Now, we hear a lot about “economic returns“ for such a stupid and incivic event as the “grand” “prix”, yet that money only goes into restaurants, bars and hotels, which are very often the venue of money laundering efforts and who pay their workers barely subsistance wages, so it is safe to say that such an obscene event does not benefit much the people in terms of, say, the reduction of the STM’s deficit.

    Unfortunately, it is not as easy to eradicate automobile as tobacco use; the gutting of public transportation over the last half-century has chained too many people to their cars to make eliminating them a feasible thing for the next few years; however, all measures should be taken to eradicate irresponsible use of automobiles, and, if needed, to remove any pleasure anyone might derive from running one of those contraptions.

    The hammerring of an exhibit about a leading jackass who has undoubtely inspired many crashes, wrecks and destroyed many lifes for purported violation regarding the advertisement of a noxious substance whose primary use is to annoy nonsmokers is a sign that, despite under the grip of a tremenduously corrupt political organization, the government is nevertheless still able to function and protect the people from tobacco advertising (which can lead to children adopting the noxious habit), and even the more so if the said “historic” exhibition is performed in a alcoholic venue.

    Commonsense is certainly to avoid the display of obscene objects in a bar where the human spirit is dulled by spirits and bound to take foolish decisions, especially when a motor vehicle is involved.

    1. Bert

      Tobacco is a killer – yes. But in all my years of following motor sports I have never felt the urge to light up a John Player Special, Rothmans, Players, Gitanes, Lucky Strike, 777 or a Marlboro. An I am also the child of (at the time) double-smoking-parent. If smoking kills, then maybe the government should ban cigarettes. Would that not solve the problem?

      Irresponsible use – About the most responsible use of a car is on a race track. Everyone drives in the same direction and it is easy to anticipate what the other drivers are going to do. It may be dangerous, but it is not irresponsible. Irresponsible is burning red-lights, talking on a cell phone (hands-free or not). You may get some “road-rage” in racing (known as “red-mist”) but I see far more of it on my 12km daily commute that I have ever seen at a race.

      Running red -lights – attributable to motor sports? What are you smoking? I would venture to say that most people who do not run red-lights / push yellows ARE motor sport fans. They understand the meaning of things like RED and YELLOW and GREEN.They understand the idea of being courteous and understanding what is going on around them and what the other drivers might be thinking. What may get to a motor sport fan is all the idiots out there who don’t know how to drive, but across 4 lanes of traffic at the last minute, talking on their phone, doing their make-up and reading the paper. The Mom who cuts in to the on-ramp/off-ramp at the last minute because Little Timmy has a piano course and they left late.

      Grand Prix weekend – Yeah, the money goes to bars and restaurants and hotels, and all the extra staff the they need to actually serve people and run the place. Sure, the owners make money, but they are not the only ones. All those extra bottles of Mumms and caviar, there is GST/PST on that no? There should be a 15% tip on that, no? As for the STM, Montreal was one of the first Grands Prix to be accessible by public transit, line-ups to get off the circuit often last for 2 or more hours after the race. I will put pennies to pounds that not everyone has a monthly pass and must purchase tickets.

      What is the harm in enjoying driving? Maybe if people found driving more pleasurable they would not be as frustrated and would not want to speed, run red lights, cut other people off. It would be like Disney Land!

      Hammering – I bet nothing is more noble than an Olympian or other stick-and-ball sports person, a steroid pumping, bat-corking, elbow-to-the-facing, hand-of-God hero. Heros! HEROS! Come to think of it, what the hell is a kid doing in a bar in the first place?

      Villeneuve is a hero and the museum is doing good work keeping his memory alive. Has no-one heard of a grand-father clause in the law? I can drive a 1950s Chevrolet without a seatbelt, because that is the way it was built and sold in Canada. I can buy a 1920s house with 1X3 construction and a 2 foot separation to my neighbour, because it was legal when constructed. Maybe if his car was Peugeot blue instead of Ferrari Red our “red” leaders in “La Capitale Nationale” would not see an issue.

      Having an oppressive government regulate me to within an inch of my life is ridiculous. I am an adult, I know how to run my life. If the government should run ever facet of our lives, I guess we should just had everything over to them. I heard Russia tried something like that in the 1920s… how did that work out?

      I repeat, if we are to eradicate all historic references to cigarettes should pictures and videos of René Lévesque be edited?

      1. emdx

        Perhaps car racers are responsible.

        But those who go about in jacked-up pimpmobiles and endanger passersby certainly aren’t. And since their conveyances are dressed-up to evoke car racing, it is quite safe to say that car racing prompts unsafe behaviour from irresponsible people.

  5. Becks

    emdx…interesting that you claim that “the State, in it’s duty to protect the population against itself, endeavours to do all it can to eradicate such an unhealthy and obnoxious practice.”
    If that statement was true then tobacco products would be illegal, the cultivation of tobacco products would be banned..but of course they aren’t…the state makes far too much money from the various taxes to ban them.

    You state, as if it’s an indisputable fact, that “The automobile is a leading killer; it has killed more mankind than all the wars combined.” Please give us the cites and the definitive statistics to back-up your statement.

    1. emdx

      Tobacco products are not illegal because they have been used by mainstream white, anglo-saxon & protestant men for centuries, quite unlike some other equivalent products that have been outlawed, mostly because they are mostly used by darker-skinned people who, very often, are not protestant and certainly not anglo-saxon.

      But I digress.

  6. Alex H

    sadly, companies like marlboro have continued to put money into racing sponsorships, using what might be described as “visual / memory cues” to continue to get their message across. They did this both in the indy racing league (where penske continued to run cars painted marlboro colors, just didn’t put the actual name on the car) and Ferrari in F1 which would run a barcode thing on their cars where the ads had been before, which at speed was still a reminder to long term fans.

    That being said, a history photo, car, or whatnot should be exempted back to the time it was created (aka, grandfather clause) provided no money is currently being spent as sponsorship to maintain the logos.

    at the rate these people are going, they will start to make the OLF look reserved and intelligent. Sort of like a drag race to see who can get their head all the way up their patoots the quickest.

  7. ProchaineStation

    Oh you don’t know Marlboro, they get things done.
    After the Ban on advertising, all f1 cars had to get rid of their tobacco ads, even the fia banned them after, but Marlboro payed Ferrari to put a subliminal ad on the car ever since, and only until now was it removed.


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