By Preeteesh Peetabh Singh
The annual Canada’s Walk of Fame (CWOF) festival was celebrated from Sept. 20 to 23. It featured some of Canada’s most celebrated performers and some exciting emerging artists.
The festival was held at a variety of venues in downtown Toronto, while the red carpet event and star unveilings took place outside the Ed Mirvish Theatre on Saturday, Sept. 22 followed by the awards ceremony.
Created in 1998, Canada’s Walk of Fame is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization that recognizes and honours Canadians who have excelled in sports, music, television, film, literature, visual and performing arts, science and innovation.
The inductees are immortalized every year, as their names are cemented forever in the sidewalks of Toronto’s Entertainment District in the form of a maple leaf like star. The glamorous nature of the festival has gained itself tremendous popularity in Canada.
The CWOF’s opening concert event at Nathan Philips Square included performances by musician and former inductee Tom Cochrane (2009) and emerging artist Suzy McNeil, who sung the 2010 Vancouver Olympic theme song ‘Believe’ which was an instant hit.
The inductees for this year comprised of Team Canada 1972. Who are still regarded as Canada’s greatest hockey team of all time. This year marked the 40th anniversary of their victory over the Soviets in the Canada-USSR Summit Series. Canada won the eight match series 4-3, with one tie, winning the last three games in dramatic fashion. This win ignited a feeling of widespread nationalism and pride. The team was represented by hockey greats, Paul Henderson, Frank Mahovlich, Wayne Cashman and Brad Park.
Russ Jackson, one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the Canadian Football League was also honored with a star at the awards function.
Rock icon Randy Bachman and celebrated singer-songwriter and eight-time Juno award winner Sarah McLachlan were inducted from the music field.
A special Cineplex legends award was given to Phil Hartman (1948 – 1998) who was known as the man of a thousand voices for his gifted impersonations and voiceover work in films. His brother Paul Hartman received the award on his behalf.
Inductee Sonia Rodriguez, a principal ballet dancer from the National Ballet of Canada, was also present at the function with her husband, acclaimed figure skater, Kurt Browning.
In a special category, Juno and Grammy award winning R&B artist, Melanie Fiona received the Allan Slaight Award. This award recognizes the achievements of young Canadians who have the ability to turn their talent into inspiration in the near future.
An Inductee Ball at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, which was attended by over 1,000 guests, followed the CWOF award ceremony.