Influential Montrealers

One of the advantages that I have is that I’ve lived in Montreal all my life, so I have had profound influences by extraordinary Montrealers. I can talk about Maurice Richard with reverence and respect, I can talk about Henri Richard with reverence and respect, I can talk about Guy Lafleur or Gary Carter, and that’s just sports, but I can also talk about one of the founding fathers of French theater in Montreal, Jean Duceppe, with reverence, brilliant man.

I can also talk about Michel Tremblay, probably one of the most powerful writers of our time, and sadly very overlooked. I think that one of the more iconic figures of today would be Leonard Cohen. Leonard Cohen has been around Montreal for a long time, and he’s left his mark everywhere. It is in his passing that we recognized his greatness. This man was a poet who wrote songs, who captured the sizzle and the essence of this city, perhaps like nobody else did. And it was overlooked for quite a number of years. Reflect on the words of the song Suzanne, and then go down to the clock tower and sit on that bench, and you’ll get the words.

My belief is that that richness is what is imbued in Montrealers today at various levels, at various ages, at various economic stages in their life, and that’s what gives us something that nobody else has.