Walk of Fame Adds Seven Inspiring Canadians

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THUNDER BAY – Canada’s Walk of Fame together with RBC Visa Infinite Avion and Shaw Media announced today the names of this year’s inductees. The class of 2011 includes seven new inspiring and celebrated Canadians who have excelled in their fields and are a part of Canada’s legacy. Each will receive their tribute on Saturday, October 1 at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre.

The 14th annual Canada’s Walk of Fame will add the following Canadian icons to its current list of 131 inductees:

Burton Cummings
Dr. Roberta Bondar
Daniel Nestor
Sandra Oh
Russell Peters
Ryan Reynolds
Mordecai Richler

“Each one of our inductees has made their mark on Canada’s colourful landscape and helped define to the world what it means to be Canadian,” said Peter Soumalias, President and Founding Director, Canada’s Walk of Fame. “We are thrilled to honour and celebrate our inductees’ dedication and passion to both their craft and community at this year’s ceremony.”

Joining the 131 existing inductees, the 2011 honourees will be added to Canada’s Walk of Fame, which annually recognizes individuals for their achievements in various fields, including music, sport, film and television, science and innovation, in addition to the arts: literary, visual and performing. Commemorating the 2011 inductees, the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards will feature special guest performances and celebrity presenters.
“Canada’s Walk of Fame truly champions Canadians and their pursuit of excellence across all disciplines, and Shaw is a proud supporter of this important cultural initiative,” said Barb Williams, Senior Vice-President, Content, Shaw Media. “We look forward to our 3rd consecutive broadcast on Global and Slice™ highlighting another exemplary list of inductees this fall.”

Once again, one of this year’s inductees will be honoured with the Canadian Legends Award, sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment This year’s recipient is acclaimed author and screenwriter, Mordecai Richler. The Legends Award is given posthumously to Canadian pioneers in film and television, music, sport, arts and innovation. Cineplex Entertainment is proud to sponsor the Legends Award as well as Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Potential candidates of Canada’s Walk of Fame must have been born in or spent the totality of their creative or formative years in Canada. A minimum of 10 successful years is required to qualify, as well as a recognized body of work that has had a significant influence on our cultural heritage.

“As a sponsor for a third consecutive year, RBC Visa Infinite Avion is proud to be a partner of Canada’s Walk of Fame and its commitment to allow Canadians to share and celebrate the achievements of those talented individuals that continue to inspire us all.” said Karen Leggett, SVP, RBC Cards & Payment Solutions.

The 2011 Inductees

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. As an author, educator and celebrated landscape photographer, Dr. Bondar has also earned a reputation as a leading speaker and consultant within the medical and scientific communities, and in the field of corporate social responsibility as well as the environment. Recently created, The Roberta Bondar Foundation aims to help people see their environment in a positive light. Some of her numerous accolades include the Order of Canada, Order of Ontario, the NASA Space Flight Medal, Honorary Patron for Canada of UNESCO’s International Year of Planet Earth, and inductions into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame and the International Women’s Forum Hall of Fame. Dr. Bondar has received 24 honorary doctorates from Canadian and American universities, and in 2003, TIME magazine named her among North America’s best explorers. Dr. Bondar served two terms as Chancellor of Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. She is also an Adjunct Faculty Member in Trent’s Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program.

Burton Cummings Hometown: Winnipeg, MB: 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. “These Eyes,” “Laughing,” “No Time,” “American Woman,” “Share The Land,” “Clap For The Wolfman,” “Stand Tall,” “My Own Way To Rock” and “You Saved My Soul” all bear Burton’s distinctive stamp. As a member of the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Canada’s Walk of Fame with the Guess Who, Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame, Prairie Music Hall of Fame, six-time JUNO Award winner, recipient of the Order of Canada, the Order of Manitoba, the Governor-General’s Performance Arts Award, 22 SOCAN Awards and several BMI (Broadcast Music Industry) Awards for over 1 million airplays of his songs, Burton Cummings is one of the most celebrated rock artists in Canadian music history. He earned the first US platinum album by a Canadian artist with the Guess Who, and on his own, the first quadruple platinum Canadian-produced album. Altogether Burton has earned some 80 platinum and gold record awards. Recently, the bestselling book The 100 Top Canadian Singles ranked “American Woman” the greatest Canadian single of all time. His most recent album, 2008’s critically-acclaimed Above The Ground, was his first ever to feature all original songs. Canadian rock music royalty, Burton Cummings remains at the top of his game as an unrivaled singer, songwriter and recording artist with the extraordinary gift for entertaining and delighting audiences the world over.

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. Nestor has won 73 ATP Tour doubles titles, including 7 Grand Slam events, 2 mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, not to mention 3 Masters Cup Doubles titles. Nestor proudly represented Canada at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games, bringing home Gold at the Sydney Olympic Games. His continual athletic success has made him the only player in tennis history to win all four Grand Slams, all of the Masters Series events, the year-end Masters Cup and an Olympic Gold medal in doubles at least once. Ranked number one in the world in 2002, 2004 and 2008, Nestor continues to impress, recording his 800th career victory at the 2011 French Open.

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 commercials. After only three years at the National Theatre School of Canada, she landed the coveted title role in The Diary of Evelyn Lau, earning her a Gemini nomination for Best Actress, as well as a 1994 Cannes FIPA d’Or for Best Actress. Her career then continued to soar, as she won, the Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for the Fox Starlight film, Sideways. Further awards include two Genie Awards, a Cable Ace award for Best Actress in a Comedy, a Theatre World Award and a Golden Globe, Screen Actor’s Guild Award and five Emmy nominations for her role as ‘Dr. Christina Yang’ on the hit series Grey’s Anatomy. With numerous awards and outstanding performances under her belt, Oh continually showcases her ability to shine both on-stage and on-screen. Although she can be seen in various award-winning feature films and television series, including Rabbit Hole and HBO’s Six Feet Under, she never strays far from her theatrical roots, starring on New York stages in Dogeaters, Stop Kiss and Vagina Monologues.

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. Over the course of his 20-year career, he has headlined comedy festivals throughout North America and has performed sold-out arena tours worldwide. Peters has appeared on Showtime, Comedy Central, HBO, the CBC, BBC, CTV, CNN, TBS, CBS, ABC and NBC. His DVD releases, Outsourced and Red, White and Brown have sold in excess of 300,000 units. In 2009 and 2010 he was listed on the Forbes list of top earning comedians in the United States along with Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld. His first book, Call Me Russell was a number one bestseller and his new DVD / special, The Green Card Tour LIVE from the O2 Arena is in stores now.

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 including Serving the Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story and Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Reynolds landed his breakthrough role, co-starring on the hit sitcom, Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place. This series landed him the lead role in National Lampoon’s Van Wilder (2002), for which he earned an MTV Movie Award nomination for Breakthrough Male Performance and a Young Hollywood Award for Next Generation-Male. Since then, he’s become a sought-after Canadian actor and big-screen regular, starring in movies such as Definitely, Maybe (2008) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009). His starring role in The Proposal(2009) earned him two MTV Movie Award nominations including Best Comedic Performance and People’s Choice Awards nominations for Favourite Movie Actor, Favourite Comedic Star and Favourite On-Screen Team. Reynolds has also been recognized by the Teen Choice, Goya, Saturn, and Scream Awards, and won People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2010. His success continues with his latest lead role in Green Lantern (2011).

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. His most successful novels include The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959); St. Urbain’s Horseman (1971; Governor General’s Literary Award), Solomon Gursky Was Here (1990; Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize) and Barney’s Version (1997; Giller Prize for Fiction, Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humor). Richler wrote several screenplays and his adaptation of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974) earned him an Academy Award nomination. Richler’s popular children’s book Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang (1975) received Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the Ruth Schwartz Children’s Book Award. Richler was working on a script forBarney’s Version when he died and the film premiered in 2010, winning seven Genie Awards. Richler was made a Companion of the Order of Canada shortly before his death on July 3, 2001.

About Canada’s Walk of Fame: Established in 1998, Canada’s Walk of Fame (CWOF) aims to educate, inform, and inspire through the permanent celebration of achievements in Canadian music, sport, film and television as well as the literary, visual and performing arts, and science and innovation. In 2010, CWOF expanded to include a four-day festival of music, comedy and film featuring some of Canada’s most popular and iconic performers. The annual celebration culminates in a televised awards special that honours Canada’s finest stars from the worlds of arts, entertainment and sports. Each inductee is immortalized, their names forever cemented into the sidewalks of Toronto’s Entertainment District. To-date, 131 Canadians have been honoured, including Margaret Atwood, Howie Mandel, Steve Nash, Michael J. Fox and Blue Rodeo. A complete list of inductees along with more information on Canada’s Walk of Fame can be found at www.canadaswalkoffame.com.