November 03, 2020
Selling in Montreal
Dominic Papineau – Quebec Accounts Manager
I was asked to talk about what I do for a living and the environment in which I live. Obviously, in the middle of our confinement during the COVID-19 health crisis, it’s a little unusual to describe my job because it does not look anything like what I am doing currently.
Imagine yourself in the context that this crisis will be over soon, and that will give you a better idea of why I feel that I have the best job in the world, especially as I work for such a wonderful company like Friesens amid an enriching cultural domain! Could this crisis change the appreciation of my job? No way! Adaptation to the new rules can transform the way things are done, but the fact remains that Montreal’s style will resurface and a return to normal is inevitable.
Montreal is in the beautiful province of Quebec. The city lifestyle is unique in the world – the bars, the restaurants, the outdoor festivals, and all of its work (if we forget about the perpetual road construction) allows us to see and enjoy cultures from all over the world within just a few square kilometres. Obviously Quebec, the origin of the French language in Canada has given us the rich and diverse culture of Montreal – a touch of Europe in America – and each publisher knows where to find its place. Being a fan of Quebec literature, the pleasure in my work increases as I see relationships develop into friendships with the clientele, the various styles of the publishers, and the production of unique books.
One of the publishers with whom we work demonstrates very well the established style of new and trendy publishers in my region. Two blocks from the Jean Talon market is Éditions Québec Amérique /Cardinal. They have created an enviable style of publishing house by incorporating a café in the same building as their place of business. They have called this café “Chez l’Éditeur” (meaning “At the Publishers”). This gathering place for book professionals is attractive in its relaxed and jovial air, and in combining work and pleasure. It’s easy to make any excuse to visit them, especially since the lattes are excellent!
From client to client, I have been led to discover, understand and appreciate the richness of the cosmopolitan city that is Montreal. For example, publishers such as La Pastèque, have a storefront in the Plateau Mont-Royal.
Les Éditions Gallimard, in the very heart of the city, has its independent bookstore annexed to the same building as its place of business.
It is so convenient for me to visit more than one customer per day because they are all close to each other, though in different neighborhoods. Accessibility to the little pleasures of Montreal is easy and close at hand.
A book launch? A small lunch at a restaurant to discuss what’s coming up and how to prepare for it? Of course! I’m always up for it; how could I not like this job?