At a press conference in Toronto yesterday, Canada’s Walk of Fame, along with Corus Entertainment, announced the names of its 2016 inductees. Each has been selected for having excelled in their respective field, for fuelling Canadian pride and for inspiring the next generation to follow in their footsteps. 2016 Canada’s Walk of Fame inductees are:
Jeanne Beker, Fashion Entrepreneur, Television Personality, Journalist
Darryl Sittler, Hockey Player, NHL
Corey Hart, Musician
Deepa Mehta, Filmmaker
Jason Priestley, Actor, Director
Al Waxman, Actor, Director (Cineplex Legends Inductee)
Jeanne Beker along with the family of the late Al Waxman was in attendance. Beker spoke enthusiastically at the event, calling the honour “the delectable icing on the cake of my career.” She added that “my parents were penniless Holocaust survivors who came to Canada in 1948. This honour shows that anything is possible in this glorious country.”
As had been announced earlier, the 2016 Allan Slaight Honour will be awarded to 26-year-old CCMA and JUNO Award-winning country music artist Brett Kissel. The Allan Slaight Honour recognizes young, inspirational Canadians who have achieved international success in the music industry. Kissel will be honoured alongside this year’s inductees during Canada’s Walk of Fame Celebration Events and will also be featured on the televised special. A video clip shown at the press conference featured a thrilled Kissel declaring “I’m speechless for the first time in my career.”
At the event, Melanie Hurley, CEO of Canada’s Walk of Fame, explained that “Each year, we shine the spotlight on remarkable Canadians who have excelled in their careers and have contributed to the cultural fabric of this country, inspiring future generations to follow in their footsteps. We are proud to honour this year’s inductees whose achievements will leave a lasting legacy for generations of Canadians.”
The well-organised and smoothly run press event was held in the historic Imperial Room of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, a room some of the Walk of Fame inductees would have played back in the day. Performing at the soiree was Ayaz Virani, recently named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2016 Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Performance, and his rendition of his original winning song was greeted warmly.
Industry notables spied by FYI included Steves Kane and Jordan, Joey Cee, and Bell Media President, Production & Broadcasting, Randy Lennox (talent head for CWOF).
The 2016 inductees bring the total of distinguished Canadians now represented on the Walk of Fame to 167. They all have a permanent place of tribute on Canada’s Walk of Fame in the streets of Toronto’s Entertainment District.
The new recipients will be honoured in a star-studded celebration during Canada’s Walk of Fame Celebration Events on Thursday, October 6 at the Allstream Centre in Toronto. The celebration will kick off with a public outdoor red carpet star unveiling from 4pm-6pm ET, followed by Canada’s Walk of Fame Broadcast Gala where inductees will each accept this recognition from special guest presenters that have impacted their life and/or career.
The Broadcast Gala will also feature surprise performances and will be filmed for broadcast to air as a televised special on Global on Sunday, December 18 at 8pm ET/PT. Presenters and performers will be announced at a later date. This year's Gala and Broadcast is being produced by Enter the Picture Productions Inc. Executive Producer is Lynn Harvey.
In a separate announcement yesterday, Canada’s Walk of Fame named Morocco-born, Carman-based 16-year old musician Faouzia as one of two winners in the CWOF Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Program. Faouzia will be performing her first concert in Toronto alongside all of the finalists on September 24 for Canada's Walk of Fame Festival at Yonge Dundas Square.
For more information on Canada's Walk of Fame, go here