NFB logo gazes no longer upon the Metropolitan Expressway
Aluminum emblem will be cleaned and installed in Film Board's new downtown HQ
After almost 50 years of gazing out over the Metropolitan Expressway and beyond, the "Man Seeing" logo was removed from the National Film Board's headquarters on Wednesday.
The aluminum logo will be cleaned before being installed inside the new NFB offices in a building on Bleury Street in the Quartier des Spectacles, which will open later this year.
The logo came down in a ceremony attended by family members of its designer — Georges Beaupré, the creative director of the NFB's publicity department at the time — current and former NFB staff, and members of Heritage Montreal.
The accompanying letters that spell "National Film Board of Canada" in English and French are still on the building, but will be removed later before being cleaned and stored.
Beaupré, who died in 1986, designed the logo in 1968. Hugo McPherson, the NFB's commissioner at the time, wrote about it in a memo to staff:
"The figure represents mankind. … The raised arms with clasped hands suggest celebration. The head is like the iris of an eye. The NFB's new logo is MAN SEEING. This is visionary man, animated man."
When the building on Côte-de-Liesse Road opened in 1956, it was a state-of-the-art film production studio — the first of its kind in Canada.
The four-hectare complex of six separate buildings was modelled on a Hollywood film studio. One building was for wardrobe and costumes. Film was developed in another.
A third housed a giant sound stage — a soundproof, hangar-like building big enough to house multiple sets.
The move to the Quartier des Spectacles, where the NFB will be a tenant of the Montreal Housing and Development Corporation (SHDM), was announced in September 2014.
With files from Radio-Canada