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Véhicule Press began in 1973 on the premises of Véhicule Art Inc. (Montreal), one of Canada's first artist-run galleries. The large space occupied by both the gallery and the press at 61 St. Catherine St. West was once the Café Montmarte, the renowned jazz club of the 1930s.
Guy Lavoie, Annie Nayer, Marshalore, and Vivian Jemelka-White established Véhicule Press. For printing purposes, they began using equipment inherited from Kenny Hertz's defunct Ingluvin Publications and an ATF Chief 20 printing press originally purchased by artist Tom Dean to print Beaux-Arts magazine. In 1973, Véhicule Press submitted their first Local Initiatives Project (LIP) grant.
In 1975 the press became Coopérative d'Imprimerie Véhicule - Quebec's only cooperatively-owned printing and publishing company. Coopérative d'Imprimerie Véhicule was officially incorporated in 1976. Members of the coop included Guy Lavoie, Simon Dardick, Marshalore, Léo Vanasse, Vivian White, and Willy Wood. Véhicule Press was the publishing imprint of the coop. In the same year, an editorial board was formed to allow the Press to apply for Canada Council grants. The editorial board was composed of poets Andre Farkas, Artie Gold, and Ken Norris. Véhicule Press was accepted into the lock Grant Programme of the Canada Council in 1979. The editorial board was dissolved int eh same year.
In late spring 1977, Véhicule Press moved to 1000 Clark St. in the heart of Chinatown, and in 1980 it moved to an industrial space located on Ontario St. East. In spring 1981, the coop was dissolved and Simon Dardick (who had joined the press in the summer of 1973) and Nancy Marrelli continued Véhicule Press from Roy St. East in the Plateau area of Montreal.
Véhicule Press publishes poetry, fiction, essays, translations, and social history. Simon Dardick and Nancy Marrelli are the publishers and general editors of Véhicule Press; Patrick Goddard is Administrative Assistant; and Maya Assouad is Marketing and Promotions Manager.
Poet Michael Harris was the founding editor of the Véhicule Press Signal Poetry Series, established in 1981. The collaboration has resulted in over 50 books by 35 authors. Additionally, Michael Harris was the editor of The Signal Anthology: Contemporary Canadian Poetry (Signal, 1993). Poet, critic, and essayist Carmine Starnino became the editor of Signal Editions in January 200. 123 titles have been published in the Signal Poetry Series since 1981.Carmine Starnino is the editor of The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry (Signal, 2005).
Author Andrew Steinmetz is the founding editor of Véhicule's fiction imprint, Esplanade Books, established in 2003. Steinmetz was succeeded by author Dimitri Nasrallah, who has worked as the editor of the series since 2013.
Author Brian Busby is the editor of Ricochet Books, a series consisting of vintage noir mysteries, many of them set in Montreal.
Author Derek Webster became a Senior Editor of the press in 2018.
Covers for Signal and Esplanade Books are designed by David Drummond of Salamander Hill Design. John W. Stewart began designing covers for the press in the 1970s. At present, Stewart designs the Véhicule catalogue cover and occasional non-fiction.
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Input by Concordia University Libraries 2015-06-12.