TORONTO – Even with his collection of smash hits, millions in worldwide album sales and countless awards, Corey Hart says his induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame is the ultimate honour.
“There’s nothing that comes close to it,” said the Montreal-born singer-songwriter. “This is the most meaningful career event of my life.
“I always wanted to write music, and I always wanted to touch people with what I did. To be recognized by my country for my body of work and what I’ve accomplished in my lifetime is beyond humbling.”
The “Sunglasses at Night” hitmaker was among six honourees celebrated at the Walk of Fame induction ceremony on Thursday.
Joining Hart in the 2016 class were NHL Hall of Famer Darryl Sittler, actor-director Jason Priestley, filmmaker Deepa Mehta, veteran fashion entrepreneur and journalist Jeanne Beker, and the late stage and screen icon Al Waxman.
For Priestley, who catapulted to international fame on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” he sees the Walk of Fame as an inspirational symbol for Canadian youth of the ability to aspire to and achieve their loftiest goals.
WATCH: Former Beverley Hills 90210 star Jason Priestley signs his star as he is inducted to Canada’s Walk of Fame.
“So you’re from Thunder Bay, (Ontario) so you’re from Bella Coola, British Columbia – it doesn’t matter,” said the Vancouver-born star.
“You can become a famous artist, you can become a famous musician, you can become a New York Times bestselling novel. Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams and don’t be afraid to dream big. That’s what the Walk of Fame is really all about.”
For Beker, who hosted the long-running and internationally syndicated “Fashion Television,” there was an air of serendipity around the honour.
She recalled how her father, a Holocaust survivor, started a slipper factory in 1950s – the same building which now houses the Walk of Fame office.
“My parents proved to me that anything is possible in this country,” said Beker. “Dreams can come true, if you really believe and you’re fearless and you’re tenacious. …
“To be celebrated at home like this is really something.”
READ MORE: Sittler tells Leafs fans to have faith
Sittler, a former Toronto Maple Leafs captain, said it was “pretty neat” to have his newly minted star in the same city where he is also featured on the Legends Row monument with other former Leafs greats outside the Air Canada Centre.
Sittler said it felt particularly special to share the Walk of Fame honour also bestowed upon his childhood idol, the late Montreal Canadiens legend Jean Beliveau.
“You see a lot of these Canadians that did a lot and were inspirational to a lot of people,” he said. “To have your name and star beside them is pretty pretty cool.”
Indian-born Mehta said as an individual who came to the country late in life, the honour was “the culmination of everything that I love about Canada.”
“It is a country that embraces immigrants and it is a country that embraces diversity, and to be among these people is a huge thing.”
Sharon Gless starred alongside Waxman on the ’80s detective drama “Cagney & Lacey.” Gless said she knew him for 20 years, and worked with him in the U.S. for seven years. Still, she was unaware of the magnitude of the late entertainer’s fame in Canada until after his death in 2001.
“He never told us,” said Gless. “(He was) a wonderful actor. So generous in spirit, and never, ever boasted.”
In addition to the 2016 inductees, country star Brett Kissel is the recipient of the Allan Slaight Honour, which is presented annually to a young Canadian making a positive impact in the music industry.
The event is slated to be televised Dec. 18 on Global.