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Canada's Walk of Fame Announces the 2012 Inductees

June 19, 2012







(Toronto, Ontario) June 19, 2012 – Canada’s Walk of Fame together with RBC Visa Infinite Avion and Shaw Media announced today the names of this year’s inductees. Six new inspiring and celebrated Canadians, who have excelled in their fields and are a part of Canada’s legacy, will each receive their tribute on Saturday, September 22 at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre. The Canada’s Walk of Fame televised Awards will be broadcast nationally in October on Global (date and time TBA).

Canada’s Walk of Fame will add the following Canadian icons to its current list:


“We are honoured and excited to welcome these outstanding Canadians to the ranks of Canada’s Walk of Fame,” said Peter Soumalias, President and Founding Director. “Their exceptional achievements and incredible success are an inspiration for all Canadians in their own individual pursuit of excellence.”

Today’s announcement followed the annual inductee nomination campaign whereby Canadians from across the country and around the world had their say about who they felt should be inducted. Nearly 30,000 Canadians from 135 countries submitted their nomination to Canada’s Walk of Fame. Over 11 million Twitter impressions alone were generated from this campaign, including support from celebrities such as Shannon Tweed, William Shatner, Rob Lowe, Anne Murray and Kevin Pollak to name a few.

“The accomplishments of our six phenomenal 2012 inductees and their impact around the world are awe inspiring,” commented Barb Williams, SVP, Content, Shaw Media. “Through Canada’s Walk of Fame, we have a fantastic opportunity to honour them through this unique annual celebration. We are proud to continue this broadcasting partnership, which allows us to express our admiration and appreciation for these amazing Canadians.”

Once again, one of this year’s inductees will be honoured with the Cineplex Legends Award, sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment. This year’s recipient is acclaimed actor, comedian and screenwriter, Phil Hartman. The Cineplex 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.

The 2012 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 literary, visual and performing arts. Commemorating the 2012 inductees, the Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards will feature special guest performances and celebrity presenters.

Potential candidates for 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.

“For four years now, RBC Visa Infinite Avion has proudly partnered with Canada’s Walk of Fame, sharing the vision of recognizing great Canadians for their superior achievements,” said Prashant Sharma, Vice President, RBC Retail Credit Cards.

Tickets to the star-studded 2012 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards will go on sale to the public on Friday, June 22 at 10:00 am. To purchase tickets, go to www.ticketking.com or call 416-872-1212. The Canada’s Walk of Fame televised Awards will be broadcast nationally in October on Global Television and Slice™.

Additional announcements to follow, including this year’s Allan Slaight Award recipient. 

The 2012 Inductees

Randy Bachman   
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB

Legendary guitarist, songwriter, performer and producer Randy Bachman has earned over 120 gold and platinum album/singles awards and sold over 40 million records worldwide. He first scored Billboard radio chart success with his band The Guess Who in 1965 with the song, “Shakin’ All Over.” Five years later, they had sold more records than the entire Canadian recording industry to that point, even outselling the Beatles that year. Their hits included “These Eyes,” “Laughing,” “Undun,” “No Sugar Tonight,” and “American Woman.”

Unbelievably, after separating from The Guess Who, Randy's success with Bachman-Turner Overdrive would eclipse his earlier triumphs and give him yet another run at the pop music charts. Monstrous hits for the band included, “Let it Ride,” “Takin' Care of Business,” “Hey You,” “Looking Out for #1,” and “You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet” which reached #1 in over 20 countries.

Known for his unwavering passion to create music, Randy Bachman started to work on a solo album with collaborations featuring friends Neil Young, Burton Cummings, the late Jeff Healey and Fred Turner. The creative process took an unexpected turn. After being apart for over 20 years, Bachman & Turner was born. The band kicked off their world debut in Europe at Sweden Rock Festival and High Voltage Festival.

Noted for his contributions as an iconic Canadian rock musician, Randy has been the recipient of many honours, including the Order of Canada, and ASCAP’s Global Impact honour. More recently, he has become a radio personality, hosting his top-rated weekend show Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap on CBC. He has also become a national bestselling author. Randy Bachman continues to play an integral role in the evolution and growth of the Canadian music industry and consistently inspires others to succeed.

Phil Hartman – Cineplex Legends Award    
Hometown: Brantford, ON

Phil Hartman was known as The Man of A Thousand Voices for his gifted impersonations and voiceover work. During his eight-season tenure at Saturday Night Live, he was known as The Glue, for holding the show together week after week with his ability to transform into hundreds of different characters. But Phil Hartman was actually a true Renaissance man: an amazing career as a graphic artist in rock and roll, designing over 40 album covers and logos for groups such as Poco, America and Crosby, Stills and Nash, and winning a Grammy Award for his cover of Poco 7.  A gifted improviser, writer, teacher and performer, Hartman began his career at the famed Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles. During his time there, Hartman worked alongside Paul Reubens and helped him formulate the Pee Wee Herman character. He went on to co-write the classic movie, Pee Wee’s Big Adventure and to star as Capt. Carl in the Pee Wee Herman Show, as well as Pee Wee’s Playhouse.  He spent eight seasons on Saturday Night Live, where he won an Emmy for his writing, and was nominated for two others; nine seasons on The Simpsons, where he portrayed the insincere Troy McClure and the ambulance chaser, Lionel Hutz and four seasons on News Radio, as the pompous, but ultimately loved Bill McNeal. Hartman amassed countless movie roles and an endless list of commercial and animated voice roles during his career. In 1997, he was inducted to the Brantford Walk of Fame in its inaugural year. In 1998, Hartman’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 49.

Russ Jackson   
Hometown: Hamilton, ON

When Russ Jackson emerged on the CFL scene in 1958 as a scholar-athlete from McMaster University, there were doubts that a Canadian could be successful as a quarterback. Traditionally, this position was filled by American players. By 1969, however, all uncertainties had vanished as Jackson displayed an ability that belied his passport.  Displaying rare confidence, poise and toughness, he developed into one of the greatest quarterbacks in CFL history.

Playing all of his twelve years in an Ottawa uniform, Jackson led the Rough Riders to three Grey Cup wins (1960, ’68, ’69) in four appearances. Three times he was given the Schenley Award as the league’s outstanding player (1963, ’66, ’69), and twice he won the Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy as the top player in the Eastern Division (1959, ’69).

On the field, Jackson was a threat both throwing and running the ball.  He maintained a 6.6-yard rushing average for 5,045 yards while completing 53.3 percent of his passes for 23,341 yards, connecting for 184 touchdowns in the air and accounting for 55 majors on the ground.
In 1969, he capped off his career in dramatic fashion. That year, he led his Rough Riders to a Grey Cup win, capturing the award for the game’s outstanding player. Devoted Ottawa fans showed their love from the stands with signs that read “In Russ we Trust.” For his heroics on the gridiron, he was presented the Lou Marsh Award as Canada’s Outstanding Athlete of the Year.
After coaching for two years with the Toronto Argonauts (1975-76), Jackson left the football field.  With the mathematics and teaching degrees he earned while climbing the football ranks, he went on to become a respected high school math teacher and principal.

In 1986, the Canadian Inter-University Athletic Union created an award in his name to be annually presented to the football player who best exhibits athletic ability, academic achievement, and devoted citizenship, qualities, which were best exemplified by Jackson himself. In 1970, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada, and three years later he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Sarah McLachlan   
Hometown: Halifax, NS

Few artists have risen to the pinnacle of success that Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter Sarah McLachlan has achieved over the last two decades. Since her recording career began in 1988 with her debut album Touch, Sarah has sold over 40 million recordings with five of her albums reaching the Billboard Top 15. Her studio and live albums have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the RIAA. She boasts a career total of 21 JUNO Award nominations, and is an eight-time JUNO Award-winner. Her three Grammy Awards include Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for I Will Remember You in 1999, Best Pop Instrumental Performance for Last Dance in 1998, and Best Female Vocal Performance for Building A Mystery also in 1998.  She single-handedly founded the touring festival Lilith Fair, which brought together two million people over its three-year history from 1997-1999 and raised more than $7 million for charitable causes. The 1999 Lilith Fair tour gave rise to Sarah’s four-time platinum album Mirrorball, which included the timelessly emotional track I Will Remember You. In 1998, Sarah accepted the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Visionary Award for advancing the careers of women in music. In 2003, the singer founded the Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach Program for the purpose of providing free music education classes to inner city youths whose school music programs have been reduced or abolished by budget cuts. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of her multi-platinum recording career, Sarah released a greatest hits album entitled Closer: The Best of Sarah McLachlan in 2008. After a seven-year break from recording new music, Sarah released the highly anticipated studio album Laws of Illusion in 2010.

Sonia Rodriguez   
Hometown: Toronto, ON

A native of Toronto, Sonia Rodriguez studied dance in Madrid with Pedro de la Cruz and at the Princess Grace Academy in Monaco. She joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1990 and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2000.

Ms. Rodriguez’s repertoire with the National Ballet has included principal roles in Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, La Fille mal gardée, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Song of the Earth and Opus 19/The Dreamer. She has danced lead roles in numerous George Balanchine ballets, including Apollo, Mozartiana, Stravinsky Violin Concerto, Theme and Variations, Serenade, the Sanguinic variation in The Four Temperaments and Diamonds from Jewels.

Ms. Rodriguez created the title role in Romeo and Juliet by Alexei Ratmansky as well as Cinderella, Princess Vasilisa in The Firebird and roles in A Delicate Battle, The Comforts of Solitude, The Four Seasons, Pur ti Miro and Watch her. She danced the title role in the North American premiere of Christopher Wheeldon’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In 2005, she danced the role of Dulcinea in the world premiere of Suzanne Farrell’s re-staging of Balanchine’s Don Quixote at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Rodriguez has held numerous guesting engagements, most recently including the Gala of International Dance Stars in Cincinnati and the International Ballet Festival of Miami.

In 2011, Ms. Rodriguez was honoured with Spain’s Officer’s Cross of the Civil Merit and wrote her first children’s book, T is for Tutu: A Ballet Alphabet.

Team Canada 1972   
Hometown: Various

This year marks the 40th anniversary of what is arguably one of the most important sporting events in Canadian history. In September 1972, Team Canada and Team USSR took part in the Summit Series between the best hockey powers in the world. The Summit Series was the first competition between the Soviets and an NHL-inclusive Canadian national ice hockey team. Most Canadians expected the series to be a one-sided win for the NHL's best professionals. At that time, the Soviets had dominated World and Olympic play since 1962, but they were only amateurs. For years, the best amateur teams in Canada were easily able to win World Championships and Olympic gold medals, but by the 1960s this was no longer true. Canada's top amateur clubs found themselves unable to compete with the Soviet Union and other top European countries. The International Ice Hockey Federation denied them the use of professional players, and as such, Canada withdrew from international competition in 1970. Canadian fans were longing to see a series that would pit their best professionals against the best the Soviets had to offer. In September of 1972, they got their wish!

This epic eight-game series has become one of the most fascinating sports spectacles of the 20th century. On September 28, 1972, Paul Henderson scored the series-clinching goal against goaltender Vladislav Tretiak. Canada won the series four games to three with one tie, instantly igniting widespread nationalism and pride.

The overall success of the series led to the creation of the Canada Cup in 1976 and has since been succeeded by the World Cup of Hockey in 1996.  The team as a whole was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of fame in 2005. For the 35th anniversary of the series, Canadian and Russian junior teams competed in the 2007 Super Series.

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 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.  For a complete list of inductees to date along with more information on Canada’s Walk of Fame visit: www.canadaswalkoffame.com.

Vanessa Andres
Holmes Creative Communications
t: 416-628-5612; e: vandres@hccink.com

Adrienne Kakoullis
Holmes Creative Communications
t: 416-628-5610; e: akakoullis@hccink.com