Canada's Walk of Fame


Canada's Walk of Fame

Infobox generic
style0 =class="infobox" style="width:22em; font-size:90%;"
color =red
name =Canada's Walk of Fame
sub0 =
img1 = Canadaswalkoffame.gif
width1 = 200px
cap1 =
lbl1 =Established
row1 =1998
lbl2 =Location
row2 =Toronto
lbl3 =Founder
row3 =Peter Soumalias
lbl4 =Inductees
row4 =113

Canada's Walk of Fame, Toronto, Ontario is a walk of fame that acknowledges the achievements and accomplishments of successful Canadians. It consists of a series of stars imbedded in 13 designated blocks worth of sidewalks in Toronto, located in front of Roy Thomson Hall, The Princess of Wales Theatre, and The Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street as well as Simcoe Street. The first group of members was inducted in 1998, and it has since expanded to include a young filmmakers competition and there are plans for a permanent museum. There are 113 Canadians on the walk of fame, including athletes; coaches; actors, directors, writers and producers of movies, television and stage; singers, songwriters and musicians; playwrights; authors; comedians; cartoonists and supermodels.

History

The Walk of Fame was first conceived back in 1996 when founder and current president Peter Soumalias suggested the idea of a Walk of Fame for famous Torontonians to the board of the Toronto Entertainment District Association. They rejected his idea but he went on to establish a Walk of Fame for Canadians in partnership with Bill Ballard, Dusty Cohl and Gary Slaight. In spite of a lack of funds, research and no media plan, they managed to succeed and the first class of inductees was inducted in 1998. The Walk of Fame has since become a popular tourist attraction in Toronto and has been named the number one Canadian recognition event. In 2005, the Walk of Fame's board of directors held a contest to design a new location for the Walk that would keep it free of snow in the Winter. The winner was announced in September of 2006 and the walk moved to Metro Square, next to Roy Thomson Hall. [cite web|url=http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2006/09/13/walk-fame.html|title=History |author=Peter Soumalias|date=2006-09-13|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Canadian Broadcasting Corporation] However, in 2008, negotiations with the city of Toronto fell apart and the Walk of Fame would not be moving, although organizers will continue to look at three locations on private land in downtown Toronto. [cite web|url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080604.wbuzzbreak04/BNStory/Entertainment/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20080604.wbuzzbreak04|title=New Walk of Famers revealed |author=Guy Dixon|date=2008-06-04|accessdate=2008-06-04|publisher="Globe and Mail"]

The Walk of Fame has since partnered with several different organizations, such as the Mary Pickford Institute to produce a young filmmakers competition. There is also a music competition that was launched in 2007, and a book is planned, which at the moment is titled "108 Great Canadians". There are also plans to manage a festival of Canadian films and plans for a permanent "Museum of Canadian Achievement".cite web|url=http://www.canadaswalkoffame.com/thewalk/history.xml.htm|title=History |author=Peter Soumalias|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Canada's Walk of Fame]

Induction process

Canada's Walk of Fame runs an annual contest in which Canadians can nominate potential inductees. [cite web|url=http://www.canadaswalkoffame.com/pressreleases/releases.cfm?aid=647|title=Canada’s Walk of Fame Asks Canadians to Nominate 2007 Inductees in Nation-Wide Contest Launching February 1|date=2007-01-29|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Canada's Walk of Fame] In 2000, prior to the introduction of the online voting system, over 30,000 nominations were received via letters, fax and e-mail.cite news|title=Walk on the 'famous' side; New pathway-to-the-stars entries include William Shatner and Gordie Howe|date=2000-03-22|accessdate=2008-02-28|page=E07|publisher="The Record"|author=Andrew Flynn] Now submissions are accepted on the official Walk of Fame website and thousands of nominations are received every year, which are then collected into various files and are then sent to selection committee. The committee then analyzes the nominees based on the following criteria: the nominee was born in Canada or has spent their formative or creative years in Canada; they have had a minimum of 10 years experience in their field; they have had a national or international impact on Canada’s Cultural heritage.cite web|url=http://www.canadaswalkoffame.com/aboutus.xml.htm|title=About Us|date=2007-01-29|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Canada's Walk of Fame] Following the Selection Committee's evaluation, the nominees that meet all of the requirements are forwarded to the board of directors, who then select the inductees.

The process differs greatly from that of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Hollywood version allows only celebrities of the silver screen, television, radio, live theatre and singers/musicians, while Canada's Walk allows people of more diverse occupations, as listed above. While most celebrities on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are American or have achieved their fame in the United States, Canada's Walk of Fame is exclusive to Canadians. For someone to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, they must be nominated by a sponsor who must agree to field the approximately $25,000 cost of installing a star. [cite web|url=http://www.hollywoodchamber.net/icons/WOF-NominationForm07.pdf|title=Hollywood Walk of Fame NominationForm|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Hollywood Walk of Fame] From there, the names are submitted to a nominating committee of five people, who pick 10-15 names to award stars to annually. The only criteria for it are: "professional achievement, longevity of five years or more, contributions to the community and the guarantee that the celebrity will attend the dedication ceremony if selected." [cite web|url=http://www.hollywoodchamber.net/icons/nomination.asp|title=Hollywood Walk of Fame Nomination Procedure|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Hollywood Walk of Fame] Canadian stars are inducted in an annual group ceremony; while the Hollywood Walk of Fame rarely inducts more than two major stars at a time. Celebrities can have more than one star on the Hollywood Walk, the same celebrity can receive as many as five stars under the various categories. This does not happen with Canada's Walk of Fame, although some may have an individual star but are also included as part of a larger group, such as John Candy, Martin Short, Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara who have their own star but also were in Second City Television. [cite web|url=http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/article/220072|title=Catherine the great|author=Rob Salem|date=2007-06-03|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Toronto Star]

Induction ceremony

New inductees are inducted annually at an unveiling ceremony where their star, a stylized maple leaf, is revealed. The first was held in 1998 and only four of the twelve living inductees attended: Karen Kain, Norman Jewison, Barbara Ann Scott and Rich Little. The 2007 ceremony was held at Toronto's Hummingbird Centre, was attended by all eight inductees [cite web|url=http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2007/06/09/walk-fame-lift.html|title=Pinsent, O'Hara among new stars on Canada's Walk of Fame |date=2004-06-23|accessdate=2007-06-09|publisher=Canadian Broadcasting Corporation] and was hosted by Eugene Levy.cite web|url=http://www.canadaswalkoffame.com/pressreleases/releases.cfm?aid=728|title=Eugene Levy To Host 2007 Canada s Walk of Fame on CTV|date=2007-02-28|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Canada's Walk of Fame] Past hosts include Trish Stratus, [cite web|url=http://www.cbc.ca/arts/story/2006/03/08/walk-fame-inductees.html|title=Pam Anderson, Crazy Canucks to join Walk of Fame|date=2006-03-08|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Canadian Broadcasting Corporation] Tom Green, [cite web|url=http://www.canadaswalkoffame.com/pressreleases/releases_2005.xml.htm|title=Canada's Walk of Fame 2005 inductees announced|date=2005-03-08|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Canada's Walk of Fame] Jann Arden, [cite news|title=Canada's own star-studded walk unveiled in Toronto|date=1998-06-26|accessdate=2008-02-28|page=A18|publisher="The Record"|author=John McKay] Kurt Browning and Catriona LeMay Doan. [cite news|title=Walk of Fame gala; Canadian stars honoured include The Tragically Hip, Gretzky, Monty Hall and Alex Colville|date=2002-05-29|accessdate=2008-02-28|page=A18|publisher="The Hamilton Spectator"|author=John McKay] The ceremony is broadcast by CTV.

Canadian Legends Award

First awarded in 2008, the Canadian Legends Award will be awarded posthumously to "Canadian pioneers in film, music, sport, arts, and innovation." Sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment and Universal Studios Canada, the first recipients of the award were siblings Norma and Douglas Shearer. [cite web|url=http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/entertainment/story.html?id=4371a73f-30bc-4193-819f-21cf3e9d32c4 |title=Albertans to take Canada's Walk of Fame|author=Canwest News Service|date=2008-06-04|accessdate=2008-06-04|publisher="Calgary Herald"]

Criticism

In 1998, Laurie Brown of the CBC criticized the Walk of Fame calling it "just an attraction to lure tourists to theatres in the area" and claiming that it would only honour Canadians with international impact, saying "if it was truly for Canadians, then I think there would be more of a national bend to the whole thing. But I doubt I'm going to see a star on the Walk of Fame that is only a known-name here in Canada."cite news|title=Sidewalk constellation; Walter Ostanek, Leslie Nielsen in group joining Canada's Walk of Fame |date=2001-06-02|accessdate=2008-02-28|publisher="The Record"|author=John McKay] There has been mild criticism over the lack of Canadian roots of some of the inductees, such as Jack Warner, Louis B. Mayer and Mack Sennett.cite web|url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2004/06/23/walkoffame040623.html|title=Stars come out for Walk of Fame gala |date=2004-06-23|accessdate=2008-01-02|publisher=Canadian Broadcasting Corporation]

References

ee also

* List of inductees of Canada's Walk of Fame
* List of Canadian awards
* Toronto International Film Festival

External links

* [http://www.canadaswalkoffame.com/ Official website]


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