The Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame Selection Committee is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 Walk of Fame Award. This year’s recipients are The Right Honourable David Johnston (former Governor General of Canada), Sharon Johnston (philanthropist) and Sherry Walsh (Artistic Director – Dance Academy).
On October 1, 2010, Mr. Johnston was sworn in as the 28th Governor General since Confederation. His motto, CONTEMPLARE MELIORA, meaning “To envisage a better world,” refers to his belief in the abilities of all Canadians to imagine and create a smarter, more caring nation and contribute to a fairer, more just world. Together with his wife, Sharon Johnston, he focused his mandate on strengthening the pillars of learning and innovation, philanthropy and volunteerism as well as on families and children. Mr. Johnston has inspired and launched a number of major programs and initiatives, including “My Giving Moment” and the Governor General’s Innovation Awards. Mr. Johnston’s family moved to Sault Ste. Marie when he was a child. He attended Sault Collegiate Institute and played under-18 hockey with future hockey hall of famers Phil and Tony Esposito. Mr. Johnston went on to attend Harvard University and later obtained Bachelor of Law degrees from the University of Cambridge and Queen’s University.
Sharon Johnston was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie. She later graduated in Physical and Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto. After raising a family, she earned her doctorate in rehabilitation science. While at Rideau Hall, Mrs. Johnston travelled across the country and abroad to advocate for mental health. In June 2016, Mrs. Johnston was appointed Honourary Captain (Navy) for Military Personnel Command of the Canadian Armed Forces for her work in supporting military families and breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness.
Mrs. Johnston published her first novel, Matrons and Madams, in 2015. The second book of the trilogy is currently in press.
Sherry Walsh was the Principal and Artistic Director of the Sherry Walsh Academy of Dance Arts in Sault Ste. Marie for 35 years. Opening her dance studio in 1979 at the age of 17, Ms. Walsh has trained thousands of young dancers and graduated over 300 students with their professional teaching diplomas. Sherry obtained her professional teaching diploma under the British Association of Teachers of Dance, achieved a lifetime membership with the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association and became a member of Dance Masters of America. In 2011, she became an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance, a corporate member of the Council for Dance Education and Training and a certified member of the International Dance Teachers’ Association. In 2015, Sherry became a licensed International Judge, representing Canada as an ambassador. Sherry has inspired hundreds of young leaders locally and internationally to follow their dreams.
The Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame Award recognizes individuals who have achieved a provincial, national or international excellence in a competitive athletic endeavour or cultural, academic or humanitarian field. Nominees must have been born in Sault Ste. Marie or lived in the city or surrounding area during their lifetime.
An awards ceremony recognizing this year’s inductees will be held at a later date. The Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame is a joint project of the City of Sault Ste. Marie and the Downtown Association.