Let me start by saying I don’t really like celebrities and I despise celebrity news, which I find vapid.
So when I first heard Denis Coderre was going to give Al Pacino the keys to the city last weekend, I couldn’t have been more annoyed. My reaction was: What has he done for Montreal? Why would he deserve such an honour?
And then I realized it’s not about what Montreal can do for Al Pacino, but what Al Pacino can do for Montreal.
He explained that he gave Pacino the keys to the city as a way to remind people that Montreal is “the place to be” for the seventh art, a term often used to describe cinema.
“It’s a [point of] pride for Montreal,” Coderre said.
Personally, I couldn’t care less about what Pacino or any other celebrity thinks of Montreal, including ex-NDGer Jay Baruchel, but there are millions of people who do and while Baruchel is off to Toronto leaving a trail of bad feelings behind about his home city, Pacino will be able to tell people around the world how he was received here and how great our city is.
I’ll take Pacino as a brand ambassador for Montreal over Baruchel any day.