Walk on by

What is fame? Is it honourable, something of heft, reputation, renown or is it just possessed by someone who drives fans to acts of dizzy demonstration? It’s hard to think well of the definition as applied by Canada’s Walk of Fame to its current inductees.

You’ve probably stepped on those stars in the sidewalk along King and Simcoe Streets in Toronto’s entertainment district. There are a few truly deserving winners such as Alexander Graham Bell, Mordecai Richler and Team Canada 1972. Some, like Rush, were wise before their time; the rock group was inducted into the Walk well before the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame chimed in. But, for the most part, the Walk of Fame is a harmless exercise with too many granted status simply because they found work in Hollywood. Think Mike Myers, Alan Thicke and Pamela Anderson.

This year’s seven inductees include several for whom talent is tangential: Michael Bublé, who never heard someone else’s song he didn’t want to sing, plus Lorne Greene and Wendy Crewson, two more transplanted Canadians in Los Angeles.

But there were also two other inductees who established a new low to qualify for fame: Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, the Abbott and Costello of Canadian broadcasting. Now I know what Andy Warhol meant when he said, “In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.” Does Coach’s Corner even last that long?


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