Legendary runner and cancer activist Terry Fox, producer Bob Ezrin, actor Victor Garber and pianist Oscar Peterson are among the latest inductees to Canada’s Walk of Fame.
Rounding out the class of 2013 are actor Alan Thicke, Olympic soccer hero Christine Sinclair and brother activists Craig and Marc Kielburger.
“We’ve got a great balance of Canadians from many disciplines. We don’t just focus on just music, or just the arts, and it’s really people who have made a difference in Canada,” Dan McGrath, chair of the Canadian Walk of Fame’s board of directors, told a news conference Tuesday.
Now in its 15th year, the Walk of Fame has honoured Canadians who have excelled in music, sport, film, television, as well as the literary, visual, performing arts, science and innovation, for at least a decade.
“The reason it becomes harder to choose every year is that every year there are more people who will come into the fold who are deserving. Every year, there’s someone new who hits that 10-year milestone.”
Typically, the Canadian Walk of Fame only honours one posthumous inductee with the Cineplex Legends award, but this year two are being welcomed: Fox and Peterson.
“We decided to have two this year because we wanted to have a special recognition of Terry Fox as part of our 15-year anniversary,” said McGrath. “Terry is just an incredible, incredible individual who inspired the entire country.”
With the introduction of smartphone voting, McGrath said voting for this year’s slate spiked, with nearly 30,000 Canadians from 130 countries submitting a nomination. “We certainly saw a shift in people moving to using their phones, just as they have in anything else.”
This year also marked the first year the Walk of Fame awarded the RBC Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Prize, which gives up-and-coming musicians an opportunity to learn from the brightest Canadian stars. Last week, Taylor Kurta, a 20-year-old self-taught guitarist and singer from Thornhill, Ont., won the cash prize and the chance to be mentored by Gord Sinclair of the Tragically Hip.
The names of this year’s Walk of Fame inductees will be engraved on stars and displayed with the others along King Street West and Simcoe Street in Toronto.
Past inductees include rocker Bryan Adams, TV host Alex Trebek, comedian Phil Hartman and hockey great Bobby Orr.
The Walk of Fame ceremony is scheduled to will take place Sept. 21 at Toronto’s Elgin Theatre.
The show will be broadcast nationally on Global Television and Slice this fall.