Avril Lavigne, Rick Mercer celebrated at Canada's Walk of Fame anniversary gala

TORONTO — Skate punk icon Avril Lavigne reflected on the humble beginnings of her more than 20 year singing career ahead of her induction into Canada's Walk of Fame tonight at a special anniversary gala in Toronto.

The "Sk8er Boi" singer-songwriter said it's meaningful to receive the honour celebrating her roots in Canada. She started singing in Napanee, Ont., and won a contest to perform with Shania Twain in Ottawa before she helped usher in an era of pop-punk music in the early aughts.

Media personality George Stroumboulopoulos, who's presenting her star, says Lavigne had enormous impact on many kids who grew up seeing themselves in her, and it's time she received her flowers.

The Walk of Fame, honouring notable Canadians for excellence in fields spanning from entertainment to humanitarianism, is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Hip-hop staple Kardinal Offishall is being honoured as this year's recipient of the Allan Slaight Music Impact Honour.

Hockey superstar Connor McDavid, "Killers of the Flower Moon" actress Tantoo Cardinal, the generation-spanning TV franchise "Degrassi" and political satirist Rick Mercer are also among this year's inductees.

"For 15 years that I had the TV show, I would come out of the subway and walk to the CBC, and I would walk along part of the Walk of Fame and say hello to certain people," Mercer said of being immortalized in Toronto's entertainment district.

"I think things like this happen and it's natural to wonder, is it over now? But I've got a few tricks up my sleeve."

Thirteen Canadian rock bands of the 1970s and '80s — including Glass Tiger and Loverboy — inducted into the Walk of Fame at a special event in September are also being celebrated.

The event is being hosted by Drew and Jonathan Scott of "Property Brothers" and Juno award-winning singer Deborah Cox, who received a star on the Walk of Fame last year.

The 25th anniversary broadcast of Canada's Walk of Fame will air on Dec. 16 on CTV.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press