By David Friend, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Alessia Cara says getting recognition at this year’s Canada’s Walk of Fame gala event ranks among the most tremendous honours she’s received in her career.
“I feel like getting acknowledged by your own country in this way is huge,” the 23-year-old performer said on the red carpet before she received the special 2019 Allan Slaight Music Impact honour on Saturday night.
“It’s one of those things where I’m going to have to see it to actually believe it.”
The Grammy and Juno award-winning pop singer was among a group of Canadians being recognized for excellence in their respected fields, which include science, sports, entertainment and business. They will each be given stars in Toronto’s entertainment district.
Eight other influential names were added to Canada’s Walk of Fame during the event, including architect Frank Gehry, hockey player Mark Messier, investor Jim Treliving, and speed skater Cindy Klassen.
“When I look at all the inductees, these are Canadians that have made such a difference in the world,” Klassen said.
“It’s incredible to be a part of that, a very humbling experience.”
Fellow inductee Will Arnett, whose work on “Arrested Development” and “Bojack Horseman” has ushered him into the echelons of comedy fame, said he’s honoured the organizers considered him worthy — but he has a few suggestions for future ceremonies to spice up the Canadiana.
First, he’d change their name to “The Sorrys,” and that’s only the start.
“Instead of just a regular tuxedo, if we wore Canadian tuxedos that would be better,” he said, pitching the combo of denim jeans and jackets.
As for the red carpet? He’d like to see a Zamboni crawling across it before the big show.
“They should have an ice carpet. Had nobody thought of an ice carpet? I can’t understand why.”
Triumph guitarist Rik Emmett said he was amused when he learned the rock band’s star would be near a stretch of King Street West where generations of his family worked in the Canadian Pacific Express building where Roy Thomson Hall now resides.
“Not only my dad worked there, but my grandfather worked there, my great uncles and my great grandfather,” he said.
“So, it’s very special.”
Posthumous honours went to children’s entertainer Ernie Coombs, known by many families as TV host Mr. Dressup, and James Naismith, who invented the game of basketball.
A telecast of the 2019 Canada’s Walk of Fame Awards airs Dec. 15 on CTV and will be available to stream through Crave on Dec. 20.