TORONTO — Musicians Randy Bachman and Sarah McLachlan are among the six latest inductees to Canada’s Walk of Fame, which plans to move its sidewalk “stars” — currently located in the city’s entertainment district — to a monument-style display in an undisclosed location.
President and founding director Peter Soumalias revealed the location change Tuesday after announcing this year’s list of honourees, who also include the late comedy actor Phil Hartman, ballerina Sonia Rodriguez, football player Russ Jackson, and the 1972 members of Team Canada.
“We do have long-term plans, some which we’ll announce later this year and some which we’ll announce next year in our 15th anniversary, and at the forefront is relocating the stars that are currently on King Street,” he said. “We have spent a lot of time analyzing and researching that, and we will go to more of a monument than a sidewalk star — something at eye level and something that will be thoroughly interactive with the people that will come down to visit.”
Canada’s Walk of Fame has had to replace some of its red granite stars in its 14 years of existence — including plaques belonging to Detroit Red Wings right winger Gordie Howe and Star Trek actor William Shatner — due to cracks and other damage.
Established in 1998, Canada’s Walk of Fame recognizes achievements in music, sport, film and television as well as the literary, visual and performing arts. It also encompasses science and innovation.
This year 30,000 Canadians from 135 countries sent in nominations, which were evaluated and whittled down by a committee during “very heated” discussions, said Soumalias.
“Tomorrow or later today I know that I will be fielding calls from fans and family members of those that didn’t make it and explaining why they didn’t make it this year and encouraging them to try next year,” he said.
This is the first time Canada’s Walk of Fame has inducted an entire team. The honour comes ahead of September’s 40th anniversary of the famed Summit Series that Canada won over the Soviet Union.
“There comes a moment that defines a country’s identity and certainly for me and many of us of our generation, that moment was September of 1972,” said Soumalias.
Previous inductees into Canada’s Walk of Fame include basketball star Steve Nash, actor Michael J. Fox, writer Margaret Atwood and roots-rock band Blue Rodeo.
“I think we have an extremely rich arts culture in Canada and it’s very important that we nod at that and the work of the individuals specifically, because we’re a small fish besides the States and it’s very important, I think, for Canadians to show that we are paying attention,” said Devin Cuddy, son of Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy, who performed at Tuesday’s inductee announcement.
The latest inductees will receive their tribute on Sept. 22 at Toronto’s Ed Mirvish Theatre. Soumalias said he expects Bachman and McLachlan will perform at the show.
The Canada’s Walk of Fame awards will be broadcast in October on Global.