Walk to Fame to induct Cummings, Oh and Peters
Published Tuesday, June 28, 2011 4:52PM EDT
TORONTO - After sorting through tens of thousands of nominations which left organizers with a long list of more than 200 contenders, it was an astronaut, an author, a comic, a musician, a tennis pro and two actors who were selected as this year's Canada Walk of Fame honorees.
Astronaut Roberta Bondar, singer Burton Cummings, film stars Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Oh, comedian Russell Peters, tennis star Daniel Nestor and the late author Mordecai Richler will be honoured at a ceremony in Toronto on Oct. 1 and have their name enshrined on a sidewalk.
It was no easy feat determining which seven Canadians to select, said president Peter Soumalias.
"It's been a process and those of us that are involved ... will all tell you it is the single most difficult thing that we do, taking all of these names and suggestions from across the country and paring them down into a manageable list of honorees," he said.
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, and science and innovation.
"Public interest factors in no question," Soumalias said, noting that Reynolds got "thousands and thousands" of nominations from across the country.
"But the qualifying criteria is they have to have been born in Canada or certainly spent their formative creative years here; they have to have a body of work, so it's not one hit CD or one hit sitcom; and of course they all have to have left a mark and made an impression in their field."
Last year's class of inductees included filmmaker Sarah Polley and singer Nelly Furtado, while others previously honoured include Steve Nash, Michael J. Fox and Margaret Atwood.
Last year, the induction ceremonies were expanded to include several concerts. This year's Walk of Fame gala will run from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2 and include shows by Cummings and Chantal Kreviazuk.
Cummings will be honoured for a second time, having been recognized along with his band the Guess Who in 2001.
Not counting this year's honorees, 131 celebs or groups have already been enshrined to the Walk of Fame.