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Montreal artist builds giant bulldog in snow bank to warm people’s hearts

Commuters on Highway 640 in Saint-Eustache were in for a surprise as they were greeted by a giant snow sculpture of a sad-looking dog. Global's Anne Leclair reports.

Build it and they will come.

That’s the attitude of this former graffiti-turned-tattoo artist who is turning heads with his frozen work of art in Saint-Eustache.

Jessie Armand wanted to lift people’s spirits in the dead of winter while giving his local car dealership a bit of publicity.

“A dog connects to a lot of people,” he said.

“It’s always about what should I do to make people turn around and say ‘ah’ or ‘cute’ or ‘wow’.”

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It’s a welcome work of art for many motorists who are dreaming of the dog days of summer.

“It’s an amazing little sculpture,” said Ste-Eustache resident Bernard Barth.

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Jessie Armand and his giant bulldog snow sculpture near Highway 640 in Saint-Eustache. Tuesday, March 14, 2017.
Jessie Armand and his giant bulldog snow sculpture near Highway 640 in Saint-Eustache. Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Anne Leclair / Global News

It took 15 hours and six strong artists to chip away at the ice and sculpt the eye-catching masterpiece off Highway 640, just north of Montreal.

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It was finished by morning rush hour on Monday and has become the talk of the town.

“That’s very beautiful, I never thought that they can make this with some ice and snow, that’s excellent,” Steve Maheux said.

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A steady stream of drivers pulled off the service road all day to get a closer glimpse and capture it on camera.

The sculpture is roughly 10 metres high and just as wide. It was created as part of a publicity stunt in the parking lot of Le Roi du Camion.

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“It’s one of my buddies. He was looking for a perfect snow bank to do a sculpture, so we have a perfect snow bank right here,” said the dealership’s owner Danny Martorana.

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“It just looks nice in front of our building and we like to look at it.”

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So far, the visibility seems to be paying off with a few extra drop-in customers, but the goal was never to boost business, it’s about bringing a smile to people’s faces.

“I had to find something big enough that would go into their blind spot and automatically make them have to look at it. Whether they’re in a bad mood or not, they’ll smile for the first part of the day,” Armand said.