2005 - Canada's Walk of Fame Festival
Canada's Walk of Fame inducted a parade of Canadian-bred and internationally-renowned showbiz and musical talent at the 2005, 8th annual Canada's Walk of Fame Star Unveiling and Tribute Gala Show. This year's list includes outstanding international music industry shapers and high-profile dancers and actors, and a heavy-weight-champ-come activist!
The 2005 Canada's Walk of Fame Inductees are: Paul Anka, Singer/Songwriter; George Chuvalo, Athlete; Michael Cohl, Concert Promoter; Pierre Cossette, Producer; Rex Harrington, Dancer; Daniel Lanois, Music Producer; Alanis Morissette, Singer/Songwriter/Actor; Kiefer Sutherland, Actor; and Fay Wray, Actor.
"This is a very exciting year for Canada's Walk of Fame," said Soumalias. "It is wonderful to highlight another group of Canadians that possess such immense talent. We are proud to induct Canadians that have changed the face of Canadian arts and culture."
The 2005 Canada's Walk of Fame Festival spanned four days this year. Kicking it off was the NBC Universal Movies n' Music event at Yonge-Dundas Square, where hot new Canadian Bands were showcased followed by a feature movie presentation highlighting Canada's Walk Of Fame Inductees like Kiefer Sutherland, Michael J. Fox, and Fay Wray. Movies n' Music is generously supported by our partner Cineplex Odeon Cinemas. Festival week also saw the addition of Canada's Walk Of Fame's first benefit rock concert - ROCK THE WALK. Rock the Walk supported MusiCan and The Canadian Film Centre. Bands played to a packed Mod Club and $100 000 was raised to support these two excellent groups. The festivities culminated with a walk down the Red Carpet, Star Unveiling, a CHANEL Cocktail Reception, the Tribute Gala Show and an exclusive After-Party.
View 2005 Gala Photo Gallery
2004 - Internationally Renowned Honourees
A cavalcade of Canadian-born, but internationally renown, showbiz and sporting achievers, will be celebrated at the June 23 Canada's Walk of Fame 2004 induction ceremony in Toronto, Chair Peter Soumalias announced today. The list includes outstanding living legends plus four Canadian founders of Hollywood who helped shape the film industry.
Soumalias, Chair of the Walk's Board of Directors, and Veronica Tennant, 2001 Canada's Walk of Fame inductee, announced the 2004 inductees at a gala luncheon at the Windsor Arms hotel in Toronto.
View 2004 Gala Photo Gallery
2003 - Coaches and Comics
From ballots to binders, we heard you loud and clear!This year, more than 250,000 ballots were received from Canada, while 1,000 more were sent from other countries.
Peter Soumalias, the Walk’s co-founder and Chairman of the Board says every year ordinary Canadians alert the Board to candidates the Board would not necessarily have thought of, often dropping off binders of information on their choice.
"Canadians are generally much smarter than we are," he said. "If the choice had been up to us, we probably would have chosen a recognizable, top-list hockey player, but it was Canadians who said, `Scotty Bowman.'"
Lynn Johnston was also, at first, a less obvious choice, Soumalias said. Then the Board realized that publishing a successful comic strip in 2,000 newspapers in 23 countries certainly qualifies as success!
View 2003 Gala Photo Gallery
2002 - A Firmly Cemented Reputation
A Firmly Cemented Reputation
With five years of blood, sweat, and triumph behind it, Canada's Walk of Fame is all grown up. There are now 62 2-foot by 2-foot granite stars immortalizing 62 of Canada's best and brightest embedded in the sidewalks of Toronto's world-class theatre district. Of this year's inductees, Peter Soumalias, the Walk's co-founder, says, "It's a very impressive group. Every one of them has made a very significant impact." And with over 60,000 public nominations to choose from, and "literally hundreds of deserving Canadians" the hardest part "is deciding who gets in."
View 2002 Gala Photo Gallery
2001 - Granite Galaxy
In its fourth stellar year, Canada's Walk of Fame has gone from "the new kid on the block," to a national institution. The stars it honours are national treasures to be reflected upon now, and into the radiant future, paved star by shining star.
Selected from tens of thousands of nominees – including those suggested on the Web – 13 new stars are "set in stone" in the heart of Toronto's King St. Theatre District. As passers-by stroll over the granite galaxy of Canadian stars, they are reminded of the joy our luminaries have brought to so many – both here at home and around the world!
This year's Gala honours:
Inuit painter and sculptress, Kenojuak Ashevak
Poet & novelist, Margaret Atwood
Hockey legend, Jean Beliveau
Four-time world figure skating champion, Kurt Browning
Rock icons, The Guess Who
Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, Ferguson Jenkins
Olympic sprinter & activist, Harry Jerome
Film director & playwright, Robert Lepage
Actor, Leslie Nielsen
Polka king, Walter Ostanek
Film producer & director, Ivan Reitman
Opera soprano, Teresa Stratas
Prima ballerina, Veronica Tennant
View 2001 Gala Photo Gallery
2000 - A National Treasure
A National Treasure
In just a few short years, Canada's Walk of Fame has taken its esteemed place as a recognised and essential way to pay tribute to Canada's most talented stars. Sanctioned by all levels of government and treasured by the citizens of Canada, the new millennium sees Canada's Walk of Fame heading for the stratosphere! From over 30,000 public nominations, 13 illustrious stars take their place in the nucleus of our hearts and minds, as the third set of inductees into Canada's Walk of Fame.
Final preparations for the third annual Canada's Walk of Fame Tribute Gala started in the early hours of June 23, 2000. Simcoe Street was closed off between King and Wellington, bleachers were erected for the public, an area was set aside for the press, and everything was made ready for the unveiling of the stars.
At 6:00 p.m., the first sleek black GM sedan pulled around the corner of Simcoe Street bringing the first celebrity of the evening to the red-carpeted entrance area, where they were greeted by hosts Ted Woloshyn and Susan Hay. Each inductee spoke to the assembled crowd, then proceeded to their place on the sidewalk and unveiled his or her star.
The luminaries included inductees Maureen Forrester, Evelyn Hart, William Hutt, Ginette Reno, the Royal Canadian Air Farce, Gordie Howe, Martin Short, and William Shatner. The presenters included David Warrack, Veronica Tennant, Steve Smith, Eugene Levy, and Al Waxman. The spectators were also treated to glimpses of many, many other famous Canadians who arrived for the tribute gala.
Guests mingled with celebrities at a cocktail reception in the lobby of Roy Thomson Hall. At 8:00 everyone moved into the auditorium for the show, serenaded by The Guido Basso Orchestra playing a grand opening welcome. In the centre of the stage was a huge shining silver star, lit by a myriad of coloured lights. And so the show began!
The first host of the evening was Kurt Browning, four-time World Skating Champion, who burst onto the stage wearing in-line skates. He skated, he sang, he leapt through the air in a performance that was at once beautiful, breath-taking, and very funny. Kurt introduced the first three Presenters, special people selected by the inductees to speak about them. Each presentation was supported by a video vignette of the career highlights of that inductee.
Next, Kurt seamlessly handed off hosting responsibilities to celebrated tenor John McDermott. He sang Scotland the Brave to the accompaniment of the Guido Basso Orchestra, then introduced the next three presenters.
The third host of the evening was Paul Shaffer, musical director of the Lateshow with David Letterman. Paul's entrance in full ski regalia, his song, his antics, and his remarks delighted the audience as he introduced the three final presenters.
The finale saw the three hosts return to the stage for a rousing and original bagpipe tune, played by the incomparable Campbell Brothers, again accompanied by Guido Basso.
At the conclusion of the awards, the audience spilled out of the auditorium to attend one of the two post-show parties. The public audience was invited across the street to Stars on King, where they danced the night away to the music of Big Sugar. The gala guests were welcomed to a gourmet reception in the Roy Thomson lobby, and were entertained by Kim Stockwood and her band.
Nearly 2,000 people attended the third annual tribute gala. It was truly an extraordinary evening, and as Peter Soumalias, Chair of the Walk succinctly stated, "It was a night when the stars shone brightly in Canada".
Here are a few quotes from Tribute Gala 2000:
"We are all very excited to be here, we're all wearing Depends."
-Royal Canadian Air Farce
"The most thrilling event held in Toronto."
-Paul Shaffer, Late Night with David Letterman
"Now Canada's Walk of Fame is an object of genuine pride."
-Greg Quill, Toronto Star
"In accepting this award, there are a number of people who need to be recognized and should, but the truth is I did it all myself."
1999 - Star Power
Canada's Walk of Fame was an immediate hit when it was launched in 1998. And in 1999, its popularity continues to soar. In the inaugural year, a carefully chosen committee was entrusted with the task of selecting those who would be the privileged recipients of this granite homage.
In the following years, the public was invited to submit their nominations. The response has been overwhelming. The galaxy truly is filled with Canadian talent! From thousands of public nominees, 11 prominent stars were inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in its second year.
The second annual Canada's Walk of Fame Tribute Gala took place on May 27th, 1999 at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Ontario. The celebrations began at noon with the inductee's procession to Metro Square followed by an official ceremony and the unveiling of the stars on Simcoe Street. Once again, Traders star, Patrick McKenna, hosted the glittering evening event, which consisted of dinner, the awards show, and a spectacular grand finale of confetti-shooting cannons.
The triumphant evening included appearances by inductees Juliette, Hume Cronyn, Maurice Richard, Frank Shuster, David Cronenberg, and Rush. Presenters included Lorraine Thomson, Patrick Whitley, Roger Abbott and Don Ferguson, and Denise Donlon.
1998 - A Star is Born
There's no doubt about it: Canada has produced some of the most exciting,
original, and talented arts, entertainment, and sports stars the world has
But for all their international acclaim, their home and native land had never had a permanent monument to recognise these famous individuals that everyone could share – that is, not until June 25, 1998, the official birthdate of Canada's newest star: Canada's Walk of Fame.
Selected by the Board of Directors from over 100 nominations, 14 distinguished Canadian stars had the special privilege of being honoured at the Walk's inaugural ceremony.
The inaugural Canada's Walk of Fame Tribute Gala took place on June 25th, 1998 at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto, Ontario, after an afternoon public unveiling ceremony. SCTV alumni Joe Flaherty and Traders star, Patrick McKenna, hosted the glamorous evening, which consisted of dinner, the awards show (including numerous video clips) and a fireworks display to launch the Walk's premiere "Galaxy of Stars."
The evening included appearances by inductees Barbara Ann Scott, Karen Kain, Christopher Plummer, Rich Little, and Norman Jewison. Other Canadian luminaries on hand to present the inductees included Isabel Bassett, David Mirvish, Brian Linehan, and Bill Ballard.
The opening night performance of Canada's Walk of Fame was a smashing success. It kicked off – in fine style – a grand tradition of yearly Tribute Gala evenings.