Terry Fox, Christine Sinclair among 2013 inductees into Canada’s Walk of Fame

by Rhiannon M. Kirkland

Eight Canadians have been selected to receive the honour of having their names cemented in Canada’s Walk of Fame (CWOF) in Toronto’s Entertainment District. This years inductees are Bob Ezrin, Terry Fox, Victor Garber, Craig and Marc Kielburger, Oscar Peterson, Christine Sinclair and Alan Thicke.

CWOF was created in 1998 to celebrate “Canadians who have excelled in music, sport, film, television as well as the literary, visual, performing arts, science and innovation in order to engage and inspire the next generation.” A televised award ceremony will be held on Saturday, September 21 at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto. The additions bring the total number of inductees to 151. CWOF also includes a festival with popular Canadian performers and emerging artists.

“From music industry icons and celebrated actors to a world-class athlete and international activists, this year’s inductees truly reflect the diversity of Canadian enterprise and talent,” said Randy Lennox, President and CEO of Universal Music Canada and Talent Chair, Board of Directors, Canada’s Walk of Fame.  “As a nation, we should be proud of the indelible marks these individuals have made both here at home and abroad.  Their wide array of accomplishments deserves our recognition and celebration.”

Bob Ezrin is a music producer who has worked with Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, U2, Peter Gabriel, Deep Purple, KISS, Johnny Reid, Lang Lang, Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, K’naan, will.i.am, The Tenors, Elton John, Fefe Dobson, Lou Reed and Rod Stewart among others over the course of his 50 year career. In 1958 he landed a job as a child actor at CBC in Toronto. From there worked in radio, theatre and music. This led to a position as a music producer for Nimbus 9 Productions in Toronto. He produced “Wavin’ Flag” with K’naan and Young Artists for Haiti that won a Juno for 2011 Single of the Year. He was born in Toronto and currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Terry Fox is likely the most recognizable name on the list of this year’s nominees. There are 14 schools and 15 roads named after him. At age 18 he was diagnosed with bone cancer and had his right leg amputated above the knee. Despite his own situation he was moved by the suffering of other cancer patients, especially young children, and decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He left St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980. His Marathon of Hope ended 143 days and 5,373 kilometres later on September 1 in Thunder Bay, Ontario when he was forced to stop running because the cancer had spread to his lungs. Despite having to stop he had moved and drawn the attention of an entire nation. He died on June 28, 1981 at the age of 22. The annual Terry Fox Run is still held across Canada and over $600 million have been raised for cancer research in Terry’s name.

While his name may not be instantly recognizable, his face certainly is. Actor Victor Garber has six Emmy and four Tony nominations and has starred in numerous memorable films. He played Canadian ambassador Ken Taylor in Argo and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone in Milk. His credits include The First Wives Club, Sleepless in Seattle, Legally Blonde, Titanic and the television drama Alias.

Brothers Craig and Marc Kielburger are best known for co-founding Free The Children, which conducts work in eight developing countries and has built more than 650 schools and dorm rooms that provide education to more than 55,000 children. They are also New York Times bestselling authors, syndicated columnists and human rights activists.

The Canadian women’s soccer team took the nation by storm at the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Their captain Christine Sinclair was one of the biggest reasons for that. She helped her team to win a bronze medal and served as the flag bearer at the closing ceremonies of those games. She has participated in three FIFA Women’s World Cups (2003, 2007, 2011) and two Olympic Games (2008, 2012). She has been named Canada Soccer Player of the year ten-times and has been a FIFA nominee for World Player of the Year six times.

Alan Thicke is an actor best recognized for his role as the patriarch on Growing Pains. He has also worked as a composer and wrote the theme songs for Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes. He writes a popular column for the Huffington Post. In March 2014, The Thicke of Things, a reality/comedy show starring Alan and family will premier of Global Television.

Oscar Peterson, the late Canadian jazz pianist and composer, will receive the 2013 Cineplex Legends Award. Each year it is given out posthumously to a Canadian who excelled and innovated in their field.

Carly Rae Jepsen of “Call Me Maybe” fame will be the recipient of the 2013 Allan Slaight Award for young and inspirational Canadians. The award “recognizes the achievements of young Canadians who have the ability to turn their talent into inspiration.” She will also be honoured at the September 21 ceremony.

“Each year, we are reminded of just how many Canadians have persevered in their fields, leaving us inspired in our own individual pursuit of excellence,” said Dan McGrath, Chair of Canada’s Walk of Fame Board of Directors, and Chief Operating Officer of Cineplex Entertainment.  “This year’s inductees are no exception and we are honoured to welcome these outstanding Canadians to the ranks of Canada’s Walk of Fame.”

In order to be eligible an individual must have been born in or spent at least ten successful years in Canada. They must also have “a recognized body of work that has had a significant influence on our cultural heritage.” About 30,000 Canadians from 130 countries submitted a nomination.

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