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

PHOTOS: Pink Shirt Day in Wetaskiwin

Community supports anti-bullying initiative

Update on Rose Country Inn Clean-Up

Debris from Rose Country Inn Fire

Leduc County votes to continue exploration of regional transit commission

Leduc County council voted to continue participation in the Regional Transit Services Commission

Wetaskiwin shelter will close early after assaults, other problems

Mayor Tyler Gandam said mental health, addictions overshadowing shelter’s purpose

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

Alberta government asks court to stay judge’s order regarding oilsands decision

Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Barbara Romaine gave Alberta 10 days to make a decision on the Rigel projec

Alberta must juggle sluggish economy, big deficits, lost jobs in upcoming budget

Premier Jason Kenney won last spring’s election on a promise to boost jobs, grow the economy

Calgary father convicted in toddler’s death from staph infection granted parole

Court heard that John was never seen by a doctor until the day before he died in November 2013

Premier, health minister announces first phase of Red Deer Hospital expansion

Alberta government is committing $100 million to begin expansion

Kenney warns cancelled energy projects stand in the way of Indigenous prosperity

Woodland Cree First Nation in northwest Alberta will receive a $187,688 grant

Most Read