Most people have enjoyed watching giant plush mascots bounce around arenas at sporting events or in other family-friendly locations. Mascots often represent an entire team or organization and they are especially beloved to small children. Although nearly everyone has seen and enjoyed a mascot, few people ever consider where they come from. In fact, many mascots are created in Canada in the warehouse of the famed “Creations JCT” company.
Creations JCT was started in 1983 by Jean-Claude Tremblay, a graduate of the Montreal Beaux-Arts School, and the organization has been dedicated to creating and producing mascots and puppets throughout the world ever since. The company also specializes in conceiving characters for various events such as press conferences, festivals, parades, sports tournaments and so on.
Founder Jean-Claude Tremblay actually started out as a professional mascot performer; even playing the role of the famed and beloved Youppi character from the Montreal Expos. Jean-Claude Tremblay has now passed on his art to his sons, Dominic and Maxime, and all three men are actively involved in the family business alongside a team of specialized personnel who contribute to bringing life to the beautiful mascots. Recently, Dominic Tremblay spoke with the Examiner about his experiences working with Creations JCT and his hopes of the future of the company:
Meagan Meehan (M.M.): How and when were you inspired to start your company and why did you choose the name Creations JCT?
Dominic Tremblay (D.T.): 30 years ago, my father was a performer for the Montreal Expos mascot, Youppi. The costume had been made elsewhere in the US at the time and Jean-Claude (my father), took the responsibility to repair and improve the mascot. He did such a great job that the team decided to order from him. Back then he never thought about making a business out of this; he was just having fun and doing it with passion. One thing led to another and people started hiring him to create their mascots because they were confident that he would do a great job. Since he was an artist (he had made the École des Beaux Arts de Montréal) he was more than qualified to do the job. The name Creations JCT came up because of his name: Jean-Claude Tremblay.
M.M.: Creations JCT had created hundreds of characters over the years. What kinds of venues do they get sent to?
D.T.: We ship all around Canada, USA, Europe and now other countries around the world. Our clients are often sports teams because our mascots are light, flexible and washable–three very important things to make a mascot successful!
M.M.: Out of all the mascots you have produced do you have a favorite? If so, which one and why?
D.T.: Our favorite mascot is of course Youppi because everything started with this character.
M.M.: To date, which creation is your most famous?
D.T.: Again I would say Youppi because this mascot is very popular here and around the world.
M.M.: Thus far, what has been the most rewarding part of working for Creations JCT?
D.T.: Working with my father is a great thing. We are a close family and I enjoy working with him. Another thing I like about our work is the challenge that we have to create characters that will look exactly the same as the design our clients are supplying and, believe me, this is a challenge!
M.M.: Where do you hope the company will be ten years from now?
D.T.: I definitely want the company to sell more of our mascots. I think our production can take a lot more. Also, maybe working with my children…who knows?
M.M.: Are there any upcoming projects and/or events that you would like to mention?
D.T.: We are working on our next trade show. It’s called IAAPA and it’s in Orlando, Florida, on November 17th-20th. We are producing beautiful mascot costumes for the show. People will be able to buy them at the show or order a brand new one as well. We are in booth 2661.
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To learn more about JCT Creations visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.