November 08, 2015 - 11:30 AM
TORONTO - A patriotic Michael Buble practically came up with a new national anthem on Saturday as he gushed about Canada's multiculturalism and diversity while he and several others were inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.
"We are a little of everything," the jazz-pop crooner from Burnaby, B.C., said on the red carpet.
"We are 200 beautiful languages and six beautiful time zones, and we're funny and dirty and kind and compassionate and subversive. We are everything.
"I think I just wrote a song," he concluded with a laugh. "I think I just did."
Buble added he feels special to be from Canada whenever he tours to over 60 countries.
"My culture and my Canadian heritage is what I think separates me from many others and gives me a great chance at success, each place I go," said the hit-maker, who's set to perform in Las Vegas on New Year's Day.
"It's a weird thing. Though we feel like the underdogs sometimes, I think we're the ones that are the favourites and I think sometimes the only ones who know that are us and that's OK."
The other inductees at the annual awards gala included hockey broadcasters Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, actress Wendy Crewson, three-time Olympic medallist Silken Laumann, and award-winning author Lawrence Hill.
The late actor Lorne Greene, known for his TV roles in "Bonanza'' and "Battlestar Galactica," received a posthumous honour.
Teen pop star Shawn Mendes got a special award — the Allan Slaight honour for a young Canadian making a positive impact in the music industry. The award comes with a $10,000 honorarium.
Actor Jason Priestley hosted the event, which drew in screaming fans to a red carpet lined with Mounties.
Cherry, who is known for his outlandish zoot suits, was surprisingly understated in a cream jacket with black polka dots.
"I thought I'd just wear this so I'd give everybody a chance at the fashion," he said.
He also offered a prediction for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season: "They won't make the playoffs, but they'll give it a good shot and the fans are sticking with them. So three or four years, they'll be in the playoffs."
MacLean, who was born in Germany but grew up in Chester, N.S., recalled first feeling Canadian when he attended the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg in 1967.
"I was seven years old and just felt for the first time ... the excitement of what a Canadian could do to unite us," he said, referencing Canuck swimmer Elaine Tanner, who won two gold and three silver medals.
For Toronto-born Laumann, that moment came the first time she represented Canada, at the 1984 Olympic Games.
"When your flag is raised — we won a bronze medal, my sister and I — I just felt so proud to be Canadian, to be wearing that maple leaf on my chest."
Hamilton-born Crewson recalled the time she lived in the U.S. for several years and realized she wanted to move back to Canada.
"The longer I was in the U.S., the more Canadian I became, the more I understood the privilege of living in this great nation," she said.
"The health care, our empathy, our diversity, our inclusion, our acceptance of people for who they are, made me incredibly proud."
Toronto-born Mendes, who is one of the opening acts for Taylor Swift's 1989 World Tour, said he just visited the U.S. for the first time a year ago.
"I realized how much I said the word 'Eh,' because we say it. We actually do say it. It's not a joke, we actually say it a lot," he said.
"I was like, 'God, I am Canadian, aren't I?'
Hill was proud to represent the literary world on the Walk of Fame, which has its stars lining the sidewalk in the downtown entertainment district.
"Normally when we think of fame and celebrity, we're thinking of sports heroes or we're thinking of actors or singer-songwriters, as we should," said "The Book of Negroes" author.
"But I think it's important also to recognize writers in this community and in this country."
The induction ceremony will be televised Dec. 17 on Global.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2015