Canada’s Walk of Fame Celebrating 14 Years !

Cover, Sept 30, 2011

By Bill Delingat

Most people, no matter where they are from have heard of and may have been one of the 10 million annual visitors to “the Hollywood Walk of Fame”; the  famous 15 blocks of more than 2,400 five-pointed stars embedded along Hollywood Boulevard and 3 blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The emblems symbolize five categories within the entertainment industry: motion pictures, broadcast television, music and audio recordings, broadcast radio and theatre /live performances.

Canada has its own Walk of Fame and just like the ever growing and internationally recognized TIFF, it is getting a lot of attention as Canada’s entertainment and music industry has become a major influence on the world with international recognition and awards from the Oscars to the Grammys. Canada is a bit different in their categories as we also celebrate Canadians who “have excelled in music, sport, film, television, as well as the literary, visual, performing arts, science and innovation.” Canada also has its own unique version of the star in the form of a 5 pointed Maple Leaf with a new look this year, using a 5 leaf logo just launched in time for the 2011 Gala Awards Ceremony. The Maple Leaf (like stars) is incised on the sidewalks of King Street West and Simcoe Streets in downtown Toronto. There are 131 stars that currently make up Canada’s Walk of Fame. They are located on 13 designated blocks worth of sidewalks in front of Roy Thomson Hall, The Princess of Wales Theatre, The Royal Alexandra Theatre and south on Simcoe Street. While most celebrities on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are American or have achieved their fame in the United States, Canada's Walk of Fame is exclusive to Canadians. Canadian Stars are inducted in an annual group ceremony; while the Hollywood Walk of Fame rarely inducts more than two major stars at a time. This year is The 14 Annual Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards honouring the outstanding roster of 2011 inductees in a 2 hour special presentation, that includes:

Dr. Roberta Bondar O.C., O.Ont, MD, PhD, FRCP, FRSC
Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, ON 

As the world’s first neurologist in space, Dr. Roberta Bondar has been globally recognized for her pioneering contribution to space medicine research.

Burton Cummings

Hometown: Winnipeg, MB

Very few artists have achieved the level of success and critical acclaim that Burton Cummings has enjoyed in a dazzling career spanning more than 40 years.  Whether as lead singer and songwriter with the Guess Who or on his own, Burton Cummings has amassed more hit records than just about any other Canadian performer in history.

Daniel Nestor
Hometown: Toronto, ON

Born in Yugoslavia, Daniel Nestor moved to Toronto in 1976 where he proudly became a Canadian citizen. Today, this Canadian tennis player is recognized as the third most decorated doubles champion in tennis history, winning multiple titles over the span of his epic career.

Sandra Oh

Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Born and raised in our nation’s capital, Sandra Oh is a life-long performer, appearing in her first play at the age of 10 and kick-starting her professional career at the age of 16 in television, theatre and commercial, Oh has won numerous awards including the Screen Actor’s Guild Award and five Emmy nominations for her role as ‘Dr. Christina Yang’ on the hit series Grey’s Anatomy.

Russell Peters

Hometown: Toronto, ON

Russell Peters is a global comedy rock-star and internet sensation.  His Youtube clips have been viewed over 60 million times and he has performed to sold-out crowds from Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, to New York’s Madison Square Garden, to the Sydney Opera House to London’s O2 Arena where he established a new attendance record.

Ryan Reynolds
Hometown: Vancouver, BC

Ryan Reynolds commenced his acting career at the age of 12 in the series, Fifteen. In 1993, Reynolds landed his first feature film role in the Canadian made Ordinary Magic (1993), for which he was nominated by the Young Artist Foundation for Best Young Actor Co-starring in a Cable Series. After working on several television shows, Reynolds landed his breakthrough role, co-starring on the hit sitcom, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place.

Mordecai Richler
Hometown: Montreal, QC

Mordecai Richler was a controversial writer who penned the truth as he saw it. His work included numerous novels, essays, short stories, children’s books and hundreds of journalistic articles published in Canada, the U.S. and Britain.

In addition, R&B sensation Drake will take home this year’s Allan Slaight Award.

The host for this year and an inductee himself in 2009 is “Howie Mandel”. Mandel is best known for his work on the Emmy®-Award winning “St. Elsewhere,” he has an international animated children’s series “Bobby’s World,” and started in the game show host business with  “Deal or No Deal,” Mandel has moved onto being one of the three judges for “America’s Got Talent” along with Sharon Osbourne and Piers Morgan.

Peter Soumalias, CEO and Founding Director, Canada’s Walk of Fame said “Howie has been a close friend and supporter of Canada’s Walk of Fame for many years and we’re very happy he’s accepted our offer to host once again this year,” Soumalias went on to say “There’s just something about Howie that makes him the perfect ambassador to welcome our inductees. Over the past few years as he’s hosted these awards, I’ve noticed his genuine enthusiasm and respect in regard to all the inductees on that stage. He shares their spotlight and simply radiates the pride we all share in the achievements of these great Canadians.”

Some of its inaugural inductees in 1998 included singer Bryan Adams and actors Christopher Plummer and John Candy. Since then entertainers like Kiefer Sutherland, Alex Trebek, Leslie Nielsen, and Shania Twain have joined the streets with sports figures like Mario Lemieux to round up the stars.

The 2011 Tribute Ball  will take place October  1st at the Elgin Theatre with the Awards Broadcast Airing on Sunday, October 23rd – 8pm ET/PT on 
Global and SliceTM

For the full listing of events and performances go to: