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Sinclair, Fox recognized by Canada's Walk of Fame

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The Canadian Press
6/27/2013 4:34:00 PM
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TORONTO - As soccer star Christine Sinclair was announced as an inductee to Canada's Walk of Fame on Tuesday, she marvelled that her gutsy performance at the 2012 London Olympics is still being talked about.

"For it to still be relevant is still shocking to me," she said.

Sinclair joins legendary cancer activist Terry Fox, music producer Bob Ezrin, actor Victor Garber, pianist Oscar Peterson, actor Alan Thicke and human-rights advocates Craig and Marc Kielburger as the latest honorees to join the Walk of Fame.

Sinclair — who led Canada to a bronze medal at last summer's Olympics — said the Walk of Fame recognition is a reflection of what she and her teammates achieved in London.

"It helped put women's soccer on the map," Sinclair, 30, said of Canada's performance.

"And for mothers to come up to us after the Olympics and tell us, 'my daughter wants to play soccer because she thinks she can win a medal at the Olympics' — that's incredible."

Sinclair, along with the Kielburger brothers, are younger than most Walk of Fame inductees. But she doesn't want it to be a lifetime achievement award.

"I've got a long way to go still," Sinclair said, laughing.

Craig Kielburger said his induction only fuels his own advocacy work, founding Free the Children and Me to We.

"So much of our work is trying to get young people to follow their passions," said Kielburger, 30. "To be celebrated at a young age for the work that we do, I hope that it sends a symbol to other people not to wait."

For 15 years, Canada's Walk of Fame has celebrated Canadians who have excelled in music, sport, film, television, as well as the literary, visual, performing arts, science and innovation, for at least a decade. But while Kielburger doesn't quite fit into that range, it is a reflection of a national identity.

"Part of what I think makes us Canadian is our compassion," said Kielburger. "Celebrating that at the highest level is a wonderful ideal, because it shows young Canadians that that is quintessentially Canadian."

Dan McGrath, chair of Canada's Walk of Fame's board of directors, takes great pleasure in the range of people the Walk recognizes.

"We've got a great balance of Canadians from many disciplines. We don't just focus on just music, or just the arts, and it's really people who have made a difference in Canada," he said.

Typically, the Canadian Walk of Fame honours one posthumous inductee with the Cineplex Legends award, but this year two are being welcomed: Fox and Peterson.

"We decided to have two this year because we wanted to have a special recognition of Terry Fox as part of our 15-year anniversary," said McGrath. "Terry is just an incredible, incredible individual who inspired the entire country."

With the introduction of smartphone voting, McGrath said participation for this year's slate spiked, with nearly 30,000 Canadians from 130 countries submitting a nomination.

Pop star Carly Rae Jepsen of Mission, B.C., was announced as the fourth winner of the Allan Slaight Award, which recognizes young and inspirational Canadians. Past recipients include the rapper Drake and jazz-pop singer Nikki Yanofsky. Jepsen will be performing at the award ceremony on Sept. 21 at the Elgin Theatre.

This year also marked the first year the Walk of Fame has awarded the $25,000 RBC Emerging Artist Music Mentorship Prize, which gives up-and-coming musicians an opportunity to learn from established Canadian talent. Last week, Taylor Kurta, a 20-year-old self-taught guitarist and singer from Thornhill, Ont., won the cash prize and the chance to be mentored by Gord Sinclair of the Tragically Hip.

The names of this year's Walk of Fame inductees will be engraved on stars and displayed with those bearing the names of previous winners along King Street West and Simcoe Street in Toronto.

Past inductees include rocker Bryan Adams, TV host Alex Trebek, comedian Phil Hartman and hockey great Bobby Orr.

The induction ceremony will be broadcast nationally on Global Television and Slice this fall.

Christine Sinclair (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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