Actor Will Arnett is pictured with his star as he is inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame during an event in Toronto on Saturday, November 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Actor Will Arnett is pictured with his star as he is inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame during an event in Toronto on Saturday, November 23, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Alessia Cara, Will Arnett among those honoured at Canada’s Walk of Fame

A telecast of the 2019 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards airs Dec. 15

Alessia Cara says getting recognition at this year’s Canada’s Walk of Fame gala event ranks among the most tremendous honours she’s received in her career.

“I feel like getting acknowledged by your own country in this way is huge,” the 23-year-old performer said on the red carpet before she received the special 2019 Allan Slaight Music Impact honour on Saturday night.

“It’s one of those things where I’m going to have to see it to actually believe it.”

The Grammy and Juno award-winning pop singer was among a group of Canadians being recognized for excellence in their respective fields, which include science, sports, entertainment and business.

Eight other influential names were inducted into the Walk of Fame at the gala dinner and will be given a star in Toronto’s entertainment district. They include architect Frank Gehry, hockey player Mark Messier, investor Jim Treliving, and speed skater Cindy Klassen.

“When I look at all the inductees, these are Canadians that have made such a difference in the world,” Klassen said.

“It’s incredible to be a part of that, a very humbling experience.”

Fellow inductee Will Arnett, whose work on “Arrested Development” and “Bojack Horseman” has ushered him into the echelons of comedy fame, said he’s honoured the organizers considered him worthy — but he has a few suggestions for future ceremonies to spice up the Canadiana.

First, he’d change their name to “The Sorrys,” and then he’d redesign the evening wear.

“Instead of just a regular tuxedo, if we wore Canadian tuxedos that would be better,” he said, pitching the combo of denim jeans and jackets.

As for the red carpet, he’d like to see a Zamboni crawling across it before the big show.

“They should have an ice carpet,” said the proud Toronto Maple Leafs fan. “Had nobody thought of an ice carpet? I can’t understand why.”

ALSO READ: Shawn Mendes, Drake, Jessie Reyez pick up Grammy nominations

All joking aside, Triumph guitarist Rik Emmett said he was especially pleased when he realized the rock band’s maple leaf-styled star would be near Roy Thomson Hall, a stretch of King Street West where generations of his family worked in the now-demolished Canadian Pacific Express building.

“Not only my dad worked there, but my grandfather worked there, my great-uncles and my great-grandfather,” said Emmett, whose band played hits “Lay It on the Line” and “Magic Power.”

Presenters for the evening included 2002 inductee David Foster, who tipped his music producer hat to friend Treliving, owner of Boston Pizza and one of the stars of ”Dragons’ Den,” and Kurt Browning, who joined the Walk of Fame in 2001.

Browning said getting inducted was like “an introduction to a family” where he’s wound up playing host and presenter to gatherings numerous times since.

“I seem to be the mascot of the Walk of Fame somehow,” he said.

“I think it’s important that we feel connected and that we celebrate when someone from our Canadian family does well.”

Posthumous honours went to children’s entertainer Ernie Coombs, known by many families as TV host Mr. Dressup. His grandchilden accepted on his behalf.

A tribute to James Naismith, who invented the game of basketball, included his grandson Jim and Isiah Thomas, an NBA All-Star and former Toronto Raptors executive.

Thomas, who was instrumental in establishing the Raptors in Canada, said he wanted to pay tribute to the creator of the sport he’s invested much of his life in.

After the Raptors won the NBA championship this year, some wondered if basketball could eclipse hockey as the ultimate Canadian sport, but Thomas said he always saw room for both.

“Hockey will always be the godfather of Canadian sport,” he said. “However, we wanted to give the kids choices.”

A telecast of the 2019 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards airs Dec. 15 on CTV and will be available to stream through Crave on Dec. 20.

David Friend, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Duncan Christian School will be closed from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1 due to COVID-19 precautionary measures. (Citizen file)
Duncan Christian School, DogHouse Restaurant close doors due to COVID

Voluntary temporary closures announced as precautions

The new Malahat Skywalk is expected to be completed by this summer. (Submitted graphic)
Malahat Skywalk expected to be complete by this summer

$15-million project will see 650-metre elevated wooden pathway constructed

Tim Schewe
Drivesmart column: It’s the highway’s fault!

One component of Vision Zero (our current road safety strategy) is highway design.

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Mount Arrowsmith. Three skiers were rescued from the south side of the mountain on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 with one woman taken to hospital in Comox. (Nancy Randall photo)
Injured skier among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

A Sooke woman is speaking up after she was almost tricked by a lottery scam, claiming she had won $950,000 with Set for Life Lottery. (File Photo)
‘I wanted it to be true so badly’: Sooke senior narrowly avoids lottery scam

88-year-old received letter stating she had won $950,000

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Submitted photo of Town Park C Block apartment fire.
Apartment fire in Port Hardy forces residents to jump from building

‘Multiple people were transported to the hospital with injuries from falling’

Most Read