Now in its 20th year, Canada’s Walk of Fame honours excellence in multiple disciplines including Arts, Business and Science. Honourees are commemorated like in Hollywood with a star on the sidewalk in Toronto’s Entertainment District, immortalizing their contributions to their native Canada and abroad. Among those celebrated at this year’s Gala, held at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, were:
Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (Sports & Athletics)
Andrea Martin (Arts & Entertainment)
Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg (Arts & Entertainment)
Andy Kim (Arts & Entertainment)
Col. Chris Hadfield (Science & Technology)
Jimmy Pattison (Business & Entrepreneurship)
Leonard Cohen (Legend Inductee)
Jessie Reyez was named the 2018 Allan Slaight Honour Recipient, an award given to an up-and-coming force in the music industry. Past winners include the likes of The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes, who have gone on to achieve great success internationally.
Fans and Media filled the outdoor tented Red Carpet affair, followed by a taped ceremony, which is to be broadcast on CTV at a later date in December. Several familiar Canadian faces graced the event including the likes of Jully Black, Rush, The Tenors, Marilyn Denis, Brian Mulroney, Russell Peters, The Arkells’ Max Kerman, Stella Bowles, Kurt Browning and several more.
See some Snaps:
Tessa Virtue x Scott Moir
Seth Rogen x Evan Goldberg
Andrea Martin x Marilyn Denis
The Arkells’ Max Kerman
Jeffrey Latimer (Canada’s Walk of Fame CEO) x Rush’s Geddy Lee
We had the pleasure of chatting with the likes of honourees Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen (starring in Disney‘s eagerly-awaited The Lion King), Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue on the carpet. We asked them about the importance of being recognized in their own homeland.
Goldberg x Rogen: “It’s much more valuable than rest of the world combined!”.
Virtue x Moir: “We love being back in Canada. It was important for us to train on Canadian soil in the leading-up to the 2018Pyeongchang Winter Games games. It’s thrilling to be back here, it’s home. It means so much more to us to be given the magnitude of what it means to be Canadian and the support we’ve received over the years. We should be giving Canadians something in return. We keep getting these honours and I wish we could give Canadians a slight glimmer of what they’ve given us.”.
We ask what they’re most excited about at the 2018 Canada’s Walk of Fame Gala.
Goldberg x Rogen: “Seeing the little ‘maple leaf’ on the ground! We don’t often get awards because of some of the things we’ve made. We get to see a version of it (gesturing to the unveiling of the star). We get to touch it, lick it and all that! We’re just the story of every Canadian boy. It’s great!”.
Virtue x Moir: “The inductees are what I’m (Moir) most excited about. I can’t believe I’m up for the same type of award as Chris Hadfield. To be in the same room. I think that’s going to be a highlight.”.
There aren’t many awards which Canadian-born Actress Anna Paquin hasn’t earned. The Winnipeg-born star has the distinction of being the second-youngest actress ever to win an Oscar for her work in Jane Campion‘s 1993 Film The Piano, and also a Golden Globe Award win too for her popular role in acclaimed HBO Series True Blood as Sookie Stackhouse. In addition to recent work starring in CBC series Alias Grace and Bellevue, the latter which brought her to Toronto earlier this year, Paquin has a high-profile recurring role as Rogue on the X-Men Franchise.
Despite being based in America, Paquin gets a heroine’s welcome home being honoured with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. She sees herself honoured alongside national treasures like two-time Olympic Champion Donovan Bailey and Scientist/Activist David Suzuki. Receiving inductions post-humously are Humanitarian Viola Desmond (seen on our most recent $10 note), Telecommunications Pioneer Ted Rogers, and Musician Stompin’ Tom Connors (Cineplex Legends Inductee). JUNO Winner Shawn Hook received this year’s Allan Slaight Honour.
Paquin arrived at the 19th edition of the ceremony glamorous in shimmering flower adornments and black (dress by Pamella Roland), husband Stephen Moyer opening the door for her as she exited her SUV like the perfect gentleman he is. She now can count herself among the 173 notables honoured with stars along the walkways of Toronto’s Entertainment District. Singer/Songwriter Jann Arden filled Gala hosting duties.
Paquin and Moyer (born Emery) both recently collaborated together on upcoming Film The Parting Glass, filmed here in Toronto. Moyer directs, with their True Blood Co-Star Denis O’Hare penning the Script.
Beyond Famous: Canada’s Walk of Fame, an hour-long Documentary hosted by past Inductee Eric McCormack, airs on Global TelevisionSunday, December 3, 2017 at 8 PM ET.
As the din of the screams, tears and cheers that greeted Shawn Mendes, the last person to walk down the red carpet, dissipated into the air, I entered the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts to watch returning Master of Ceremony, the very charming and professional Jason Priestley, host and introduce the most deserving inductees to this year’s CANADA’S WALK OF FAME.
Before each of the inductees had their moments to shine on the beautifully-adorned stage (which had screened clips and interviews of previous honorees that included Michael J. Fox and Anne Murray before the show started) there was a buzz of anticipation in the air. It is not very often that we get the chance to see some of the greatest talents this country has to offer.
Olympic gold medalist, Silken Laumann, spoke of courage and overcoming adversity. A somewhat unusually subdued Don Cherry and the very eloquent Ron MacLean showed us why they were so deserving of this accolade. After the effusive introduction from songstress extraordinaire Molly Johnson, author of “The Book of Negroes” (and brother to singer Dan Hill), a humble Laurence Hill, mesmerized the audience with his personal story of family and strength. Multi-talented and multiple Gemini Award winning actress, Wendy Crewson, gave the most passionate and fiery speech about the art of the craft that had the audience cheering. I have become even a bigger fan of Shawn Mendes, after he shyly and nervously accepted the Allan Slaight Award, then came back later in the show to sing two songs. This talented young man from Pickering has class AND talent!
There was then a lovely tribute to the late, Ottawa-born Lorne Greene who will be forever known as Ben Cartwright in the television classic, “Bonanza”. Vancouver Canucks‘ Trevor Linden had fun talking about the lack of hockey skills the last inductee. Michael Bublé, has, but what Bublé lacks on the ice, he more than makes up for in talent! Not only does he command the stage when he sings, in accepting his award, Michael Bublé was the consummate entertainer. His speech was funny, slightly ribald, modest and genuinely moving when he talked about his wife and son. Newly-minted Canadian, Johnny Reid, ended the show with an inspirational song from his new album.
You may have noticed that I have been vague about many of the exciting things that occurred on stage at the CANADA’S WALK OF FAME celebrations. My intent is to tease only and ensure you watch this show, as I will again, when it is televised on the Global Network on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 8 PM EST. Watching it will give you another reason to be a proud Canadian! More here.
Canada’s Walk of Fame 2015 took place at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts yesterday and our George Kozera was there to partake in the festivities!
The ceremony now in its 17th year, rolls out the red carpet and shines a bright light on Canadian talent and excellence over an array of fields: entertainment, science, politics and sports. Among those honoured at the ceremony yesterday were:
Michael Bublé Don Cherry & Ron MacLean Lawrence Hill Silken Laumann Wendy Crewson Lorne Greene
While these names were celebrated, other Canadian notables also were present including this year’s Allan Slaight Award recipient and Pickering teen pop sensation Shawn Mendes, lauded for his musical accomplishments including a Billboard Hot 200-topping 2015 debut, Handwritten.
TV star Jason Priestley returned home to Canada to host the affair, while Actress/Singer Jill Hennessy who was in town supporting her new disc I Do, walked the carpet also. The Vancouver Canucks’ Trevor Linden also was on-hand to present to Michael Bublé and Canadian crooners Johnny Reid and Molly Johnson also were on-hand.
This year’s inductees join a prestigious trail of stars who have been immortalized with their names engraved on stars situated on the sidewalk around King Street West x Simcoe Street in our Entertainment District.
Canada’s Walk of Fame 2015 airs Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 8pm EST/PST on Global Television. George‘s recap to come.
The stars shined bright tonight on the yellow carpet at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts as the 2014 Canada’s Walk of Fame Tribute Show commenced on a chillier-than-average October day. The annual Fixture which originated in 1998 honouring individuals who have contributed greatly to the Canadian Cultural landscape, saw representatives from multiple disciplines recognized with an equally star-studded list of Presenters. Their achievements are commemorated via a star plaque situated between John to Simcoe Streets in Toronto, in and around the Entertainment District.
Among those honoured this year were the likes of Actor Ryan Reynolds, Actress Rachel McAdams, Olympian and Hockey Icon Hayley Wickenheiser, Philanthropist Louise Arbour, Musician Jeff Healey and iconic Rock Outfit, The Band. Their Peers including Jian Ghomeshi,Wendy Crewson, Tom Cochrane, Jay Baruchel, Clara Hughes, Peter Fonda and more were on-hand to introduce each of this year’s Star Recipients.
Director and Film/Television Star Jason Priestley filled Host’s duties more than ably with his quick wit, poking fun at everything from the traffic in Toronto to the perception that all Canadian Actors hang with one another while in Hollywood. We had the pleasure of chatting with Priestley on who his Canadian Heroes are and why it is he chose to be involved with Canada’s Walk of Fame. On his Idol, he says “It was The Relic on The Beachcombers back in the day. That’s how long ago I left Canada.”. He adds, “I left Canada in the mid-80s but I’m so thankful every day I grew up here. I want to Theatre School here and Canada’s been extremely important to me as an Artist and a Man. That’s why it’s important for me to be here recognizing these great Entertainers and Political Figures.”.
We spoke quickly to Ryan Reynolds who arrived sans pregnant Wife Blake Lively and he reveals to us his greatest Canadian Heroes. “Michael J. Fox for starters, Atom Egoyan (whom he collaborated with on 2014’s The Captive), Gordon Lightfoot… I loved Barenaked Ladies growing-up” says the Vancouver-born Honouree. “There’s no shortage of Canadian Heroes, I could definitely do this all day!”. Reynolds upon receiving his Star, spoke to some of the highs and lows he’s faced in his Career, telling the Audience “My ability to laugh at myself has saved my life. Canada’s greatest export in fact is sarcasm.”. He proceeded to thank his Mother Tammy who was in-attendance and Lively, whom he describes as “An Alien. Like MacGyver-meets-Brigitte Bardot!“.
Prized Hockey Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser had full control of the stage today, speaking eloquently about her success and how our national treasure of a sport, Hockey, has afforded her many privileges in life. She brought along a ten-year-old Cancer-surviving Hockey Player named Grace whom had her leg amputated, lauding her courage to continue fighting in the name of the Sport. Wickenheiser also thanked her Son Noah on-stage, whom she admits isn’t a Hockey Fan. She went-on to thank him for his understanding in all her travels away from home, drawing emotional reactions from some of the Audience members.
McAdams certainly was the Belle of the Ball, looking one-part Classic Hollywood Starlet and one-part Grecian Goddess in a dual-tone flowy number. Despite being rushed-in and unable to accommodate many Media interviews, she made a strong impression, tearfully receiving her Star on the Walk of Fame. The Actress, in-town currently filming the Drama Spotlight, admits “As much as I love adventure, there is nothing more nourishing to my soul than coming home.”. McAdams went-on to credit York University for giving her a foundation and skills which she still draws-upon still to this day as one of Hollywood’s top Actresses.
Musical Tributes also were given to Inductees Jeff Healey and The Band, with JUNO Winner Sean Jones and The Treasures (ft. Tom Cochrane and more) putting on a dazzling display for the Audience respectively. Scarborough’s The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye) was named Recipient of the Allan Slaight Award, honouring one young Canadian for making a positive impact. His latest Disc KISS LAND debuted atop the iTunes Album Chart and in three short years, he has seen his star rise on the international front.
Global Television airs the 2014 CANADA’S WALK OF FAMETRIBUTE SHOW on Friday, December 19, 2014 at 8:00 PM EST.