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DISPATCH 01: We now have a newsletter

March 2020

The COVID-19 crisis is redefining everyday life and reshaping social, political, and cultural landscapes the world over. At The Shop, we’ve got our chins up as we continue doing what we do best: understanding Québec. And to keep you in the loop, we’ve decided to bring you a weekly roundup of what’s happening here, based on advertising, communications, and human-interest stories that have piqued our interest. Here are this week’s top picks. And a few that fell a little short.


Children’s hand-drawn rainbows are popping up in the windows of several Québec homes, inspired by a feel-good initiative that originated in Italy. Using the hashtag #AndraTuttoBene, which here became #ÇaVaBienAller (it’s going to be okay), these drawings aim to inspire hope and optimism while colouring the province’s increasingly bleak neighbourhoods. Québec Premier François Legault even used the phrase to reassure fellow Quebecers during a recent press conference. When all is said and done, the people of Québec will rise up and stand strong. Young and old, we’re resilient and we’re not giving up. Because it’s going to be okay.
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Photo credit | @mamzel on Instagram

Insta laughter is the best medicine

You can tell a Québec comedian they can’t perform. But telling a Quebecer they can’t still enjoy a laugh? Good luck! What began with Mathieu Dufour’s SHOW-rona virus on Instagram has turned into a full-blown online humourfest. Québec’s latest cohort of comedians is taking social networks by storm, bringing a little bit of levity to the daily lives of their ever-loyal fans. Proof that even in the new normal, as we all adjust to life amid a global crisis, it’s in our nature to stick together and make each other laugh. That’s community spirit, Québec style.
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Photo credit | @guyalepage on Instagram

Corrola-virus… Too soon

You know when someone says something that’s just so wrong, you can’t help but think, “Too soon”? Well, let’s just say that’s how everyone here reacted when a Toyota dealership in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, in the Laurentians, had the not-so-brilliant idea of surfing the wave of the coronavirus to sell cars with the—wait for it—“Corolla-virus.” What’s that? You hear the sound of an entire province groaning inwardly, too? Well, everyone except whoever came up with the idea, that is. They were probably pretty proud. For a few minutes, at least.
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Photo credit | @fheb_mtl on Twitter

Our hero, Horacio

Ever since March 13, there’s one thing all Quebecers have in common: the belief that Horacio Arruda, Québec’s Director of Public Health, is our hero. He’s been on the job from the very first day of the COVID-19 crisis, always visible and active at press conferences alongside François Legault and Danielle McCann. His natas (Portuguese tarts) and jokes about “trading organic products” might be what’s earned him a Facebook fan page (and memes galore!). But it’s his man-of-the-people appeal and friendly and reassuring tone that have made him a sweetheart among Quebecers everywhere.
Learn more.

Photo credit | @sante_qc on Twitter

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