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Avril Lavigne (left) and Chad Kroeger (right) (Associated Press/Janice Pinto for the Globe and Mail)

Avril Lavigne (left) and Chad Kroeger (right)

(Associated Press/Janice Pinto for the Globe and Mail)

STEPHEN QUINN

Rise, Vancouver, to the ultimate civic challenge – hosting Chavril’s wedding Add to ...

By now, you’ve likely heard enough about Chavril or Chadvril, or as the gossip site TMZ is referring to it: “A match made in music hell.”

But like it or not, the engagement of a rock star whose music is as divisive as it is monotonous to a pop star of little consequence may be the closest Canada ever gets to a royal wedding.

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I say we make the most of it.

Sometimes life hands you terrible-sounding lemons covered in clumps of mascara.

The potential economic benefits of the impending Avril Lavigne-Chad Kroeger nuptials cannot be overstated, and may be just what Vancouver needs to pull itself out of its post-Olympic, post-riot, slumping-real-estate-market dog-day doldrums.

Food trucks can only carry the city so far.

This is our time to shine, Vancouver! Unlike the 2010 Winter Games, there is no formal bidding process for a rock-star wedding extravaganza.

And no doubt many Canadian cities will be lining up to hold the event. Not least of all Napanee, Ont., Ms. Lavigne’s hometown, and headquarters of the Dixie Lee Fried Chicken empire. If you doubt her affection for the place, consider that both the town and the chicken have been immortalized in Ms. Lavigne’s song My World:

“Grew up in a 5,000 population town, Made my money cutting grass, Got fired by fried chicken ass, All in a small town, Napanee.”

So while it may be the sentimental favourite, Napanee – for all of its history, its charming main street, and its convenient central-Ontario location – simply doesn’t have the infrastructure for such a major event.

Mr. Kroeger has expressed some affection for his hometown of Hanna, Alta., but most of his positive associations seem to focus on drug use and acts of vandalism.

Also, like Napanee, the town simply doesn’t have the resources to pull off an event of this magnitude.

Major centres like Toronto may also be interested in hosting the wedding, but only Vancouver can lay claim to being the home of Nickelback.

The couple may also be exploring the possibility of a destination affair.

Which is why we need to act fast.

First off, no debate. No referendum this time. We need the city and surrounding municipalities (which also stand to benefit) to declare their unconditional love for the couple immediately.

This can be done through bumper stickers (think “I’m Backing the Bid”), civic proclamations, neighbourhood celebrations and so on.

The mayor could declare the securing of the wedding “a civic emergency” and as a result deploy the substantial resources of the newly created Citizen Volunteer Corps to spruce up neighbourhoods for photo shoots.

Radio stations could put into heavy rotation songs by Ms. Lavigne and Nickelback and play them even after they have satisfied their Canadian content obligations. The songs would have to be introduced without sarcasm and could never be played ironically.

We could also explore the idea of a reality television program documenting the city’s preparations for the event while highlighting local businesses and attractions. This would culminate with a special live broadcast of the wedding itself.

Concurrently, the city needs to launch a public information campaign to persuade citizens of the benefits of hosting the Lavigne-Kroeger wedding.

Messaging should appear along the following lines:

1) Hosting the wedding will once again put Vancouver on the world stage and reclaim some of the civic pride that was seen during the 2010 Winter Games.

2) Hosting the wedding will have huge economic benefits as wedding participants, their posses, the world media, fans, and various hangers-on descend upon Vancouver. Using the same formula Tourism Vancouver applies to conventions, each dollar spent will generate $10 in economic activity.

3) Selling the broadcast rights could generate millions of dollars.

4) Hosting the wedding will make Vancouver “cool.” It will reinforce the notion that we are an inclusive city willing to celebrate even those who are lyrically challenged.

5) Hosting the wedding will reduce homelessness and result in the creation of thousands of new units of affordable housing.

6) Hosting the wedding will accelerate the construction of a rapid transit line to the University of British Columbia.

In addition to the benefits listed above, holding the wedding in a public space will reunite roughly 90 per cent of the people who participated in last year’s Stanley Cup riot, thereby allowing police an unprecedented opportunity to identify and arrest more suspects.

If all of this hasn’t convinced you, I think perhaps Mr. Kroeger speaking for himself may do the job:

Hey, yeah, yeah, hey, yeah

We must stand together

Hey, yeah, yeah, hey, yeah

There’s no giving in

Hey, yeah, yeah, hey, yeah

Hand in hand forever

Hey, yeah, yeah, hey, yeah

That’s when we all win

Hey, yeah.

Stephen Quinn is the host of On the Coast on CBC Radio One, 88.1 FM and 690 AM in Vancouver. @cbcstephenquinn

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