Canada’s Walk of Fame: From Glass Tiger to Platinum Blonde, Talking to Some of the Classic Rockers Receiving Induction

Canada's Rock of Fame

Glass Tiger pictured in 1986, left to right: Michael Hanson, Wayne Parker, Alan Frew, Sam Reid and Al Connelly. Photo: Fryderyk Gabowicz/picture alliance via Getty Images

For the first time in the 25-year history of Canada’s Walk of Fame, the not-for-profit organization, which recognizes significant lifetime achievements of Canadians from various career paths, has rounded up 13 musical acts from the 1970s and ’80s to induct them in one fell swoop — a “mega” induction and concert, as they are calling it, at Toronto’s Massey Hall on Thursday (Sept. 28).  

Like most Halls of Fame, there are more deserving inductees than there are ceremonies to induct them — fans are often very vocal about this — so they are woefully behind. This is a fun way to play catch-up. 

The event is being called Canada’s Rock of Fame because all the acts are essentially of that genre: April WineChilliwackGlass TigerLee Aaron, LighthouseLoverboyMax WebsterMichel PagliaroPlatinum BlondePRISMRough TradeThe Parachute Club and Trooper. 

Along with the one-night-only celebration, the proverbial cherry on top is that each name will be carved with a maple leaf-like star into a slab of cement to be installed on the sidewalk in downtown Toronto’s theatre district.  

“I didn’t even know I was getting an actual star. Kevan [Staples] will have to take care of it because I don’t live here,” says Carole Pope, 77, of her partner in Rough Trade — known for such hits as High School Confidential, All Touch and Crimes of Passionof clearing the inevitable snow and gum that will wind up on the sidewalk stars.

Canada's Walk of Fame
Rough Trade’s Kevin Staples and Carole Pope. Photo: Jorge Zontal of General Idea


Platinum Blonde frontman Mark Holmes, 63, whose long list of hits include Standing in the Dark, Doesn’t Really Matter and Crying Over You, jokes, “I think I’m going to put a little gate around it.” While Sam Reid, 59, keyboardist for Glass Tiger — the band behind the chart-topping Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone) — says, “I might have to put up a tent and camp out there. We’re going to be there every day.”  

Having a permanent reminder of your impact on Canadian culture is not lost on these three new inductees. Unless a condo gets built over top, their names will be seen by residents, fans, tourists, friends and family members for years to come. 

“It’s great. We’re both very happy about it. It feels very Hollywood,” says Pope.

Reid also references the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the most famous of such “walks.”  

“We’ve all been to L.A. and when you walk down the sidewalk, you’re looking at your feet because you’re looking at all the names,” he says. “I love how there’s a certain permanence to having your name carved into a sidewalk. Obviously, that plays into the legacy because that will be there long after we’re not. Not only do you leave songs behind that people might hum along to in later years, but that’s also a very permanent recognition of the legacy of the band. We’re pretty thrilled about that.”

Canada's Rock of Fame
An updated look at Glass Tiger, left to right:  Wayne Parker, Chris McNeill, Alan Frew, Al Connelly and Sam Reid.  Photo: Denise Grant


Holmes is also thrilled, though he hasn’t exactly felt the love from the music industry all these years. Noting how Platinum Blonde was left out of the Juno Awards 50th anniversary celebration and even local alternative weekly Now magazine didn’t include them in their top 50 Toronto bands — he was surprised to receive the call that the band would be inducted.

“Before this, I thought the industry was trying to erase our part in history. We played stadiums and festivals and big arenas and sold millions of records. So when [Triumph drummer] Gil Moore phoned me, and said, ‘We’re going to put your band and star on the Walk of Fame,’ I thought he was taking the piss at first. But then he told me, no, he works for the Walk of Fame and it’s long overdue I was in a little bit of disbelief and thinking, ‘Do you really want us? because it seemed no one else did.’”

Canada's Rock of Fame
Platinum Blonde, left to right: Chris Steffler, Justin Kadis, Mark Holmes & Sergio Galli. Photo: Dimo Safari


Reid, who turns 60 this year, has been doing a lot of reflecting lately, especially after the passing of Tina Turner with whom Glass Tiger toured Europe for three months in 1987 and now, with the induction. 

“When you start a band, when you’re kids, you don’t think of longevity,” he says. “You don’t think past the current time. You’re worried about the showcase and can we get a record deal? You’re not thinking where you’re going to be in 10 years, 20 years and now 30. We’re knocking on the door of 40 together and it’s like, holy jumping, that’s something that does not enter into your thought process when you’re young. You cannot comprehend that number, 40.”

Glass Tiger just wrapped up summer festival dates, and will resume shows in November. They have 80s In The Sands in Cancun, a week-long music festival with acts like The Human League and ABC, and then they are playing a handful of holiday shows in Canada, from Nov. 29 in Edmonton through to Dec. 4 in Victoria.

Holmes still creates music (he was a very successful DJ) and wants to produce younger acts. He is currently partners in a piano bar in the Ossington area of Toronto called Jean Darlene. Carole Pope has co-created Rough Trade: The Musical. She workshopped it last year in New York and the next phase is raising money for an investor’s workshop via a GoFundMe page. 

The regular annual Canada’s Walk of Fame induction ceremony, which draws from the fields of Arts & Entertainment, Sports & Athletics, Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, Humanitarianism, and Science, Technology & Innovation, takes place on Dec. 2 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre and will be televised at a later date. 

Inductees announced to date are Roots Canada co-founders Michael Budman and Don Green; actress Tantoo Cardinal; musician Avril Lavigne; philanthropist, arts champion and business leader Gary Slaight; Supreme Court Justice Rosalie Silberman Abella; television franchise Degrassi; 26-year-old hockey record-breaker Connor McDavid; TV’s Rick Mercer; and 105-year-old neurophysiologist pioneer Dr. Brenda Milner.