Even in death, he lives and looms large.
Iconic performer/composer Oscar Peterson, who Duke Ellington once referred to as the Maharajah of the keyboard, is among eight celebrated Canadians who will be inducted into the national Walk of Fame in September. He died six years ago.
In a distinguished musical career spanning six decades, Peterson recorded over 200 albums, won eight Grammy Awards, received 16 doctorates from American and Canadian universities, including York University where he served as chancellor and was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada in 1984 after being made an Officer 12 years earlier.
In 2005, Canada Post issued a stamp to honour Peterson, marking the first time that a living person – other than the reigning monarch – was recognized this way.
The inductees will be honoured during the Canada Walk of Fame Awards show on September 21 at the Elgin Theatre.
“Each year, we are reminded of just how many Canadians have persevered in their fields, leaving us inspired in our own individual pursuit of excellence,” said Dan McGrath, the chair of Canada’s Walk of Fame directors and Cineplex Entertainment chief operating officer. “This year’s inductees are no exception and we are honoured to welcome these outstanding Canadians to the ranks of Canada’s Walk of Fame.”
Randy Lennox, Canada’s Walk of Fame board of directors’ chair and president and chief executive officer of Universal Music Canada, said Peterson and the rest of this year’s inductees truly reflect the diversity of Canadian enterprise and talent.
“As a nation, we should be proud of the indelible marks these individuals have made both here at home and abroad,” said Lennox. “Their wide array of accomplishments deserves our recognition and celebration.”
The 2013 honourees will be added to Canada’s Walk of Fame, which annually recognizes individuals for their achievements in various fields, including music, sports, film and television, literary, visual and performing arts, science and innovation.
This year’s inductees bring the total of honourees to 151 since the Walk of Fame was established.
Previous inductees include Harry Jerome, who set seven world track records and helped create Canada’s sports ministry before passing away in 1982 and Canadian Hall of Fame baseball pitcher, Ferguson Jenkins.