Hollywood superstar and Canadian fan favourite Ryan Reynolds was honoured Friday with a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and a touching video including an original song by one of the Barenaked Ladies co-founders.
The B.C.-born actor is well known for his frequent tributes to his hometown of Vancouver and support for Canadian causes. On Friday he publicized a donation to the Canadian Red Cross for B.C. flood victims and urged fans to follow his lead.
Reynolds posted a video of the new song featuring musician Steven Page proclaiming “Canada loves you back” that showed the actor’s emotional reaction as he watched, wearing his new medal.
“A genuine Canadian icon, like Shatner or Alex Trebek, you’re almost as juicy as Bruno Gerussi and much better known in Quebec,” Page sings in one section of the humorous song.
“Of all the Canadian Ryans, you’ve got to be in our top three. We’ll drink American gin when your team in Wales wins and tell everyone you’re from B.C.,” it adds, referencing the Reynolds’ ownership stake in Aviation Gin and the U.K. soccer team Wrexham AFC.
The video features appearances by the aforementioned William Shatner, along with former Canucks stars Stan Smyl and Henrik and Daniel Sedin, along with multiple Canadians involved in non-profit and charity sectors.
“You shine a spotlight on the people who might not otherwise get to be seen,” Page adds.
As the song concludes, Reynolds responds that the performance was “stunning.”
“That made me cry. Well, I guess I’ve made it,” he said.
He later posted about his gratitude on Twitter, in his classic comedic style, thanking Page and Governor General Mary Simon and claiming he wasn’t crying — rather, that it was “maple syrup.”
“I’m glad I don’t have to be dead to experience something like this. I’m so beyond touched right now,” Reynolds wrote.
“I recommend making a list of people you appreciate, then immediately telling them. You don’t even have to write this list with the blood of your enemies. Just a regular pen works.”
Reynolds was one of six recipients of this year’s Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, in a cohort that included actor Catherine O’Hara, known for Schitt’s Creek and SCTV among numerous other productions.
Reynolds has previously made headlines in Canada for lending his voice — and wallet — to causes ranging from individuals fighting cancer and rare diseases to the fight against COVID-19, in addition to supporting food banks, homelessness charities and more.