Six Canadians, including actor Anna Paquin, former sprinter Donovan Bailey and environmentalist David Suzuki, were inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame at a gala staged in Toronto on Wednesday night that was emceed by the ever-amusing Jann Arden, herself a star honoree.
Three of the 2017 inductees were awarded posthumously: singer-songwriter Stompin’ Tom Connors, communications visionary Ted Rogers and civil rights leader Viola Desmond.
Donovan Bailey (Sports and Athletics) – legendary sprinter, two-time Olympic champion in the 100-metre and 4×100-metre relay, three-time world record holder and three-time world champion.
Viola Desmond (Philanthropy and Humanities) – Nova Scotia civil-rights pioneer who will be featured on the Canadian $10 bill in 2018.
Anna Paquin (Arts and Entertainment) – award-winning film, television and theatre actress, and the youngest Canadian to win an Academy Award.
Ted Rogers (Business and Entrepreneurship) – telco czar and founder of Rogers Communications.
David Suzuki (Science and Technology) – scientist, broadcaster, author and global environmental activist.
Stompin’ Tom Connors (Cineplex Legends Inductee) – a small town hero whose legacy ballooned to the point of selling 5M albums in his career and creating a folio of songs that continue to play in sports stadiums, karaoke bars and legion halls nationwide.
Also, Juno-winning singer-songwriter Shawn Hook is now the recipient of the prestigious Allan Slaight Honour.
Hook has had several high-charting hit singles in Canada off his albums, Cosmonaut and the Girl, and Analog Love, with “Sound of Your Heart” reaching the #1 position on the Billboard Dance Club chart. In April 2017, he released the platinum-certified single "Reminding Me," featuring Vanessa Hudgens. The two star in the music video and they performed the duet on the season 14 finale of So You Think You Can Dance.
Past recipients of the Allan Slaight Honour — which recognizes young, inspirational Canadians who have achieved international success in the music industry — include Drake, Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd and Carly Rae Jepsen.
One final honour was given to NB singer-songwriter Jaryd Stanley. The 24-year-old is the Grand Prize winner of its 5th annual Emerging Artists Music Mentorship Program, supported by RBC. The program, valued at more than $100,000, provides musicians with the opportunity to grow and develop their skills and industry connections, and take their budding music careers to the next level.
“The remarkable achievements of our 2017 Inductees are truly inspirational and embody what it means for an individual to achieve beyond fame. We are honoured to recognize their incredible accomplishments this year,” said Jeffrey Latimer, CEO of Canada’s Walk of Fame. “We have an exciting vision for the future of Canada’s Walk of Fame, to ensure that it not only celebrates Canadian achievement but acts as a catalyst for future greatness. We will shine a brighter light on our Inductees, and as we move into our 20th Anniversary in 2018, Canada’s Walk of Fame will mean more to more people, more often.”