One of the city’s biggest music halls, the Métropolis is in the process of being revamped — and part of the refresh includes a new and arguably soulless name, M Telus.
Obviously, the new name stems from some type of corporate partnership with phone company Telus. The concert halls appears to be doing a thorough job of scrubbing the Métropolis name away: this week, the building’s historic marquee was removed (pictured above). The name change isn’t new — it was announced last December — but now that the Telus brand is being physically inserted into the space, people are reacting all over again.
On Facebook, Métropolis assuaged fears by noting that it will come back, but it’ll presumably come back with the Telus-approved name prominently on it.
And as Nightlife.ca notes, people are en tabernak, describing the name as “tellement vomit”, and asking for divine intervention to retain the Métropolis name (at least on the marquee).
It’s a small change, but as some noted, it does have somewhat of a sanitizing effect on the venue — seeing the name M Telus up in lights makes it seem dull, like a flourescently-lit cellphone store, and not the kind of place “cool youth” would go to drink beer and see a show.
One almost feels sorry for the social media manager forced to reply to the comments. The official Métropolis account didn’t really address the marquee question, instead suggesting that everybody should be thanking Telus for saving the Métropolis. But really, if Telus was that generous, the company wouldn’t need its name out front of the building, never mind the fact that the Métropolis is owned by Spectra, a subsidiary of the not-at-all cash-strapped Molson company.
While it might be common for huge spaces like stadiums to take on corporate branding (see: Bell Centre), it seems the general public doesn’t love having cultural spaces of a smaller magnitude plastered with advertising, particularly when it involves some tangible overwriting of history. And while it’s not the first case in the city, with Little Burgundy’s Corona officially named the Virgin Mobile Corona Theatre, in that case, Virgin (or Bell, who own Virgin Mobile) didn’t force a renovation of the building’s marquee.