February 22, 2006
Stratus to host Walk of Fame induction
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
Well, there may not be any wrestlers actually on Canada's Walk of Fame, but there will be one hosting the induction ceremony this year -- WWE diva Trish Stratus.
The WWE women's champ will do the honours on Saturday, June 3 at Toronto's Hummingbird Centre. The actual inductees for 2006 will be announced Wednesday, March 8 at the Paramount Theatre in Toronto.
"I'm really thrilled to be hosting, even though I wasn't the first choice," said Stratus in a press release. "Apparently the guys from Brokeback Mountain refused to wax."
"Trish is a multi-talented performer," said Canada's Walk of Fame CEO and President, Peter Soumalias. "Through hard work, dedication, and perseverance, she has risen to the pinnacle of her profession at a very young age. In many ways, she personifies the principles of Canada's Walk of Fame."
For the last couple of years, a campaign has been waged to get Stu Hart a star on the Walk of Fame, led by fan David Freitas.
"Stu Hart is deserving, and wrestling is deserving as it is huge entertainment worldwide," Heidi Pyper, Manager of Sponsorships, Communications and Special events for Canada's Walk of Fame told SLAM! Wrestling's Jason Clevett last year. "Stu as well as people like 'Whipper' Billy Watson are deserving of a star. We are limited by numbers, we can only do a few inductees every year and we will see Stu Hart on that walk for sure someday, it is just a question of when."
In a Canadian Press story on Stratus as host, she said she agreed that Canadian wrestlers like Bret Hart, Killer Kowalski, Lord Athol Layton and Little Beaver are some names that deserve consideration.
The Walk of Fame was established in 1998. To date, 93 Canadians have been honoured.
The 2005 inductions were Paul Anka, George Chuvalo (boxer), Michael Cohl (concert promoter), Pierre Cossette (TV/music producer), Rex Harrington (dancer), Daniel Lanois (musician/producer), Alanis Morissette (singer), Kiefer Sutherland (actor) and Fay Wray (actress). The host was Tom Green.
The ceremonies will be broadcast on CTV.
Greg Oliver has done his part for the organizers of the Walk of Fame. Just read the book The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Canadians for a list of the famous Canadian wrestlers. After all, everyone knows Killer Kowalski, Mad Dog Vachon and Roddy Piper; only the hardcore Canadian arts buffs know Jean-Paul Riopelle, Teresa Stratas or Kenojuak Ashevak. Email Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org.