Some of Canada’s biggest names in everything from science and tech, to philanthropy, the big screen, and music hit the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday, December 1 for a talent-packed black tie affair. Whether they were there to celebrate a shiny new star, present one, perform, or support, a slew of homegrown celebs were in town to attend the 20th annual Canada’s Walk of Fame Gala.
Hollywood funny guy best friends, Vancouver natives Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg showed up to celebrate their induction in the Arts and Entertainment categories. On the music front, guests to grace the high-energy red carpet included Andy Kim (the “Sugar, Sugar” singer was one of this year’s inductees), Sarah McLaughlin, Barenaked Ladies, Max Kerman of The Arkells, and The Tenors, who later wowed the crowd with a tribute to the late, great Leonard Cohen, who also received a star this year.
Canada’s beloved figure skating power duo Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir were among this year’s inductees and were upbeat (and, naturally, gorgeous) on the red carpet. The new star in the Science and Technology category went to Col. Chris Hadfield. Other 2018 inductees included Andrea Martin (Arts and Entertainment) and Jimmy Pattison (Science and Technology).
Here’s what some of our home and native land’s finest had to say to us:
Photos provided by George Pimentel.
Seth Rogan on misconceptions about Canada from Americans:
“Americans don’t put any thought into what Canada is like in any way, shape, or form; they don’t even get there. There are no conceptions about Canadians, so there are no misconceptions about Canadians because they literally don’t think about us. They don’t care. What about Americans makes you think they would care about Canada? Now that Trump’s president, though, it’s like ‘you lucky fuck…can I move there?’ That’s actually what it’s about now; a lot of questions and outward jealousy. It used to be completely dismissive, non-thought, but now it is outward jealousy.”
Sarah McLaughlin on moments she realized she ‘made it’:
“I don’t know if there was a moment where I thought ‘I’ve made it,’ but there were a bunch of ‘aha moments.’ I remember my first gig when I was seventeen years old. I had grown up playing classical music and classical recitals and hated it. Then, I was doing a show in front of 400 people – some covers and some originals – and was watching people fully and completely engaged in the moment with us, and I remember thinking ‘this is the best drug. This is what I want to live forever for the rest of my life.’ That was an ‘aha moment.’ Getting the Order of Canada was a hell of an ‘aha’ moment. I still pinch myself some days; I live such an incredible and charmed life.”
Tessa Virtue on what makes her most proud to be Canadian:
“We’re so fortunate to able to travel as much as we do, and any time we’re abroad and someone comments that we’re ‘so Canadian,’ I take that as the highest compliment. Because you know what that means; it means we come from a place where people are kind, polite, welcoming, and inclusive. These days, more than ever, that is meaningful; Canadians have this warmth about them that is just so kind and we try to live up to that because we consider it the standard.”
Evan Goldberg on famous Canadians who inspired him growing up:
“John Candy, Michael J. Fox, everyone from SCTV. And that’s why we got into comedy. There are an extraordinary amount of Canadians who are in comedy, and it’s inspiring.”
Seth Rogan on whether he checks out live comedy when home in Canada:
“We go to Just for Laughs almost every year. And that’s the only time we see comedy. We OD’d on comedy shows in the early 2000s.”
The Arkells’ Max Kerman on Canadians who impacted him growing up:
“I loved – I still love – Joel Plaskett. He’s a great east coast singer and songwriter and the way he treated his fans was always really sincere; he is an amazing performer, and he sings about his community. I know he’s not the biggest name, but growing up, he left a big impact on me. I remember listening to one of his records at Soundscapes on College when I was about seventeen – back when they had those listening stations – then seeing him perform in Hamilton.”
Dr. Roberta Bondar on moments she has felt most proud to be Canadian:
“To see the planet from space is extraordinary; to see for yourself that there really is a planet and to see Canada and to hear the national anthem in my ear buds was quite extraordinary. I had it pre-recorded. My aunt was a professional musician on the piano and organ. I also had a rendition sung to me by a gentleman who used to sing with the Ottawa Senators who sung it in Sault Ste. Marie, my hometown.”
Marc Kielburger on who he idolized as a child:
“So many people; whether that be the Terry Foxes, the David Suzukis, or Stephen Lewis. Canada has produced such extraordinary changemakers on a national and global level. I will never forget our time with June Callwood, a Toronto icon (founder of Casey’s House) and a dozen non-profits in the city. Her advice to us was that change in the world isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. It’s the small actions we bring to every day that really make a difference.”
Craig Kielburger on who he idolized as a child:
“They were or childhood heroes, especially given we started so young. Some people looked up to sports stars – hockey, baseball, or basketball players – we looked up to these Canadians who chose to make part of the fabric and part of the DNA of the country by giving back. To see the service work they have done; it’s so inspiring that today we are honouring some of these Canadians who helped make a difference.”