Canada's stars glow brightly on Walk of Fame
It was cold and wet in downtown Toronto Saturday but some of Canada's most famous stars were shining as they were inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.
Actress Pamela Anderson, David Letterman sidekick Paul Shaffer, humourist Eugene Levy and others joined the list of Canada's most famous stars and had their names engraved in a Toronto sidewalk.
"It feels pretty damn good, actually," said Levy, who was born in Hamilton, Ont. "It's a kick. I was kind of blasé up to today, trying to play it down, but it was pretty exciting."
Levy is being recognized for his work on the SCTV comedy series as well as the American Pie movies and other comedies such as A Mighty Wind and Best in Show.
The entertainers braved the wind and wet of a Toronto spring day and attended a gala at the downtown Hummingbird Centre.
The presenters included such as notables as Dan Aykroyd, actress Jennifer Coolidge and Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, who joined wrestler Trish Stratus on the stage.
The first honoree to arrive, Ottawa-raised actor Brendan Fraser, saluted two Mounties and mugged for the cameras on his way down the carpet.
Fraser, the star of The Mummy, George of the Jungle as well as Gods and Monsters, said his great-grandfather was a member of the RCMP, adding that the Mounties had shown him the proper way to salute.
"It's slow up, quick down," he told Canadian Press.
Fraser was born in Indiana, the son of a Canadian foreign service officer.
Game show host Alex Trebek, who was also inducted, offered a diplomatic "no comment" when asked who's funnier, Canadians or Americans.
About 100 fans, many wearing rain ponchos and toting umbrellas in the cold rain, turned out to see the inductees arrive in their limousines. They screamed Anderson's name as the British Columbia native, clad in a silky black dress, headed into the Hummingbird Centre.
Calgary singer Jann Arden was also honoured, as was Robert Goulet, who was born in America but spent his youth in Edmonton.
Goulet began his career as a radio announcer on CKUA in Edmonton, and achieved fame when he was cast in the musical Camelot as Lancelot opposite Richard Burton and Julie Andrews.
He went on to star in musicals, movies, TV shows, and has 15 albums to his name.
The awards weren't limited to entertainers. Olympian skier Nancy Greene Raine came from her home in Whistler, B.C., to welcome the members of the Crazy Canucks ski team, Dave Irwin, Ken Read, and Steve Podborski, who amazed the world with their skiing prowess in 1975. Fellow skier Dave Murray died in 1990 after a lengthy bout with cancer.
The show has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 1998, when the first dozen celebrities were inducted. They included famed figure skater Barbara Ann Scott, impressionist Rich Little, director Norman Jewison and ballerina Karen Kain, comedian John Candy and Canada's most famous pianist, Glenn Gould.
Shaffer, keyboardist and leader of late-night talk show host David Letterman's house band, appeared on stage Saturday with Dan Aykroyd, who walked the red carpet sporting sunglasses in the rain.
The Walk of Fame was founded by Toronto businessman Peter Soumalias, who has said this year's honorees were chosen from over 100,000 submissions received from around the world.
To qualify, a candidate must have been born or spent his or her formative years in Canada, and have been successful for a minimum of 10 years.
Previous recipients include Alanis Morissette, Paul Anka, Jim Carrey, Shania Twain, Wayne Gretzky and Michael J. Fox.