#FIRSTLOOK: HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2022 CANADA’S WALK OF FAME GALA
On Saturday, December 3, 2022, more than 800 guests converged at Toronto’s Beanfield Centre for Canada’s Walk of Fame Gala. The jewel event of the year, celebrating Canadian excellence and achievement, welcomed stars, philanthropists and business leaders to celebrate this year’s Inductees and Honourees during an unforgettable night of tributes and performances.
“It is an honour and privilege to bring together so many extraordinary Canadians and tell powerful stories that inspire us, connect us and remind us of why we love Canada,” said Jeffrey Latimer, CEO of Canada’s Walk of Fame. The evening began with star-studded arrivals on the Red Carpet, presented by Cadillac, where 2022 Inductees and Honourees, joined by their family and friends, each unveiled their commemorative star.
Following the red carpet, guests entered the grand ballroom for the 2022 Canada’s Walk of Fame Gala. Hosted by etalk’s Traci Melchor and iHeart Radio’s Jamar McNeil, the evening kicked off with a tribute to 2022 Inductee DEBORAH COX from a medley of Canadian powerhouse artists, including Grammy Award nominees Melanie Fiona and Glenn Lewis, JUNO-nominated James Baley and beloved drag performers Tynomi Banks and Jada Shada Hudson (Canada’s Drag Race), who delivered an electrifying performance of COX’ biggest hits. In addition, Los Angeles-based legendary music producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis flew to Toronto for the first time to present the songstress with her induction.
Also joining the celebration from south of the border was acclaimed American filmmaker and producer Joel Silver (Lethal Weapon, Die Hard), who was on hand to recognize the achievements of DIRECTOR X. Comedian Ronny Chieng (The Daily Show/Crazy Rich Asians) made a special trip to Toronto to pay tribute JUST FOR LAUGHS/JUSTE POUR RIRE. During his funny and powerful speech, Chieng praised the international comedy institution for inspiring him as a child growing up in Malaysia to pursue comedy as a career. Special tributes were also received from internationally renowned comedian Kevin Hart, The Tonight Show’s host, Jimmy Fallon, and 2009 Inductee Howie Mandel made a cameo as a hologram. Accepting for Just For Laughs/Juste pour rire were Bruce Hills, president of JFL and Charles Décarie, CEO and President of JFL Group.
Additional highlights include special appearances from past Inductees Helen Shaver (2004), who presented for awardwinning actor TATIANA MASLANY and Jason Priestley (2016) shared a video message for the ‘She-Hulk’ star. Poet and author Margaret Atwood (2001) returned to honour Canada’s most recognized literary advocate, HEATHER REISMAN, who also received a very personal and heartwarming bespoke poem from Ontario Poet Laureate, Randell Adjei, and award-winning singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie (1998) recognized THE TRAGICALLY HIP for their social and environmental pursuits. In lieu of a Gala last year, some of the 2021 Inductees were also in attendance, including Jully Black, Ajay Virmani, Bob Banting and Melinda Best, who attended on behalf of the late Frederick Banting and Charles Best – researchers who co-discovered insulin over 100 years ago along with 2021 Inductees John
Macleod, and James Collip, and Graham Greene who took to the stage for a special land acknowledgement.
Peter Mansbridge, Amanda Lang and Lisa LaFlamme were there to honour legendary broadcaster BARBARA FRUM. Barbara’s children Linda Frum Former Senator of Canada, and David Frum, social and political commentator, accepted the induction on behalf of their late mother.
Olympic medalist Andre De Grasse took to the stage to acknowledge the late LIONEL CONACHER as an inspiration in his career. Also on hand to pay tribute to the greatest all-around athlete were multiple generations of Conachers, including his grandson Lionel Conacher and great-grandchild Chas Conacher who gave a moving speech about his great-grandfather’s legacy.
The 2022 Canada’s Walk of Fame Honourees were also on hand to accept their award, including this year’s National Hero Honour recipient, renewable power entrepreneur, philanthropist and steadfast supporter of Ukraine, JAMES TEMERTY, and acclaimed band ARKELLS who accepted as the 2022 Allan Slaight Music Impact Honourees.
During the gala presentation, the spotlight also recognized future great achievers from Canada’s Walk of Fame ancillary programs, including the organization’s Community Heroes, presented by MLSE and Scotiabank, environmentalist Stella Bowles (2018), humanitarian Abhayjeet Singh Sachal (2019), women’s rights advocate Aditi Sivakumar (2020), and mental health activist Rabiah Dhaliwal (2021). These young Canadians under 30 positively influence the lives of others and make a profound impact in their communities and beyond. Blind music producer, recording artist and grand prize winner of the 2022 Canada’s Walk of Fame RBC Emerging Musician Program, MATTMAC stunned the audience with an original performance. The Garden Hill First Nation native was joined on stage by Indigenous youth dancers from across the country who are part of the Outside Looking In program.
Among the notable guests included former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, one of Canada’s most iconic sports figures and 2017 Inductee, Donovan Bailey, Canadian singer-songwriter and 2018 Inductee, Andy Kim, and 2019 Inductee Gil Moore of Canadian power trio Triumph. Yuliya Kovaliv, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada, was also in attendance and read a special message from Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to celebrate James Temerty’s National Hero Honour.
Toronto-based troubadour Donovan Woods capped off the evening’s celebration with a cover of The Tragically Hip’s “Ahead by Century.”
CELEBRATING GREATNESS: CANADA’S WALK OF FAME 2022, airs Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 7 p.m. ET on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app.
(Photo credit: George Pimentel/Canada’s Walk of Fame)