Surrey-based filmmaker R. Paul Dhillon is among BC Entertainment Hall of Fame’s latest inductees.
Dhillon, an award-winning journalist, screenwriter, producer and director, is one of two StarWalk Stars for 2021, along with Walter Daroshin, the president of Troika Productions, chair of The Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of BC and founder of the Leo Awards.
On Wednesday (Feb. 3), BC Entertainment Hall of Fame also announced Don Alder, Candus Churchill, Lynne Partridge and Valerie (“Valley”) Hennell as StarMeritus Stars, given to “pioneers of the industry receiving special merit for their outstanding contribution to the performing arts in British Columbia.”
StarWalk Stars recognize “high-profile artists in the entertainment industry.”
With MMM Films, Dhillon has filmed and/or written a wide range of documentaries and features, including Sweet Amerika, The Bhangra Generation, Heaven and Hell, B Town Boyz and Desi Angrej: The Fusion Generation.
“This is an incredible honour for me but also for my community and all the desi artists and entertainers, which I accept humbly,” Dhillon told the Now-Leader. “Truly gratifying and incredibly satisfying! I have no words to describe this, as I never expected it but I hope to continue pushing boundaries in my art and journalism work. I thank the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame from the bottom of my heart for bestowing me this incredible honour. I’m thankful to many beautiful and amazing people who nominated me.”
This is an incredible honour for me but also for my community and all the desi artists and entertainers, which I accept humbly. Truly gratifying and incredibly satisfying! I thank the BC Hall of Fame and the amazing people who nominated me especially my friend The Oracle! #Film https://t.co/niG0Jo2TOV
— R. Paul Dhillon (@Gorayianwala) February 4, 2021
StarWalk members are featured on the Granville Street sidewalk in downtown Vancouver and on the StarWall photo gallery in the Orpheum lobby. StarMeritus members, previously known as “Pioneers”, are acknowledged with brass plaques on display in the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame gallery at the Orpheum.
“The (BC Entertainment Hall of Fame) is proud and excited to present a very diverse and impressive group of StarMeritus and StarWalk inductees who represent artistic excellence in British Columbia,” Rob Haynes, president of the organization, said in a news release.
“While we are limited this year due to COVID-19, we look forward to scheduling and celebrating their individual inductions over the coming months to honour their contribution.”
For more details, visit bcentertainmenthalloffame.com.
Posted below are biographies for the 2021 StarMeritus Stars inductees, as submitted by BC Entertainment Hall of Fame:
Three-time World Champion Acoustic Guitarist Don Alder performs with a passion rarely seen. Alder, often referred to as the “Hendrix” of Acoustic Guitar continues to “Wow” audiences around the world with his “jaw dropping” performances. His guitar fireworks and soulful singing makes his shows highly entertaining and talked about for days. Guitar Player Magazine Senior Editor Michael Molenda says “Alder, is a Guitar Star in the making and can hold an audience with the best of the seasoned pros”. Carly Rae Jepsen says “Just saw the most amazing guitarist, still shocked this morning” Ray Daniels, Mgr, RUSH, says “Alder should be famous around the world”. He has shared the stage with name artists including duets with Carly Rae Jepsen, Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Shayne Koyczy and Grammy winners, Angelique Kidjo and John Parr. Don’s performance in Malaysia garnered him a Brand Laureate Personality Award. The only other Canadian to receive this award is Chris Hadfield (astronaut).This award is to recognize Don’s unique contributions using his guitar and music to help and inspire others around the world. He is a top artist for multiple endorsements and has been featured in all the top guitar magazines.
Candus Churchill was born into a musical family in Louisville, Kentucky. At sixteen, Candus and her family moved to Washington, D.C. where she joined a band called The Passion. While there, she joined another band aptly called Destiny. It was then she realized her true calling as a professional vocalist. Soon Candus was hired by Candi Staton, a popular R&B singer and recording artist to tour the United States and Canada. Candus moved to Los Angeles where she worked for Motown Records and Paramount Recording Studios. She soon joined the rock/funk group DragonFly and toured extensively, ending up in Canada in 1983. Candus branched out into acting in theatre, television, and film. She has 100 acting and soundtrack credits for television/film since 1988 including The Good Doctor, Supergirl, The X Files, numerous Hallmark Movies and more. Some of her theatre credits include To Kill A Mockingbird, Little Shop Of Horrors, Wang Dang Doodle, The Black and Gold Revue, Santa’s Got Soul, and The Colored Museum. In 1991 Candus, along with Hall of Fame recipient, Marcus Mosely, created Vancouver’s contemporary gospel music scene. They were joined by Hall of Fame recipients, Sibel Thrasher and Lovie Eli to form The Circle of Voices, Vancouver’s first contemporary black gospel group. Under Candus’ administration, they became The Gospel Experience, a seminal force in Vancouver gospel music for over two decades. Candus supports an extensive list of BC and global charities, a history of service stretching many years.
Lynne pioneered performing rights in Western Canada, launching the BMI Canada office in 1968. She has been a constant source of knowledge, information, and inspiration to young and established artists in British Columbia. In 1987, she was honoured with a Special Achievement Juno for her tireless work on behalf of creator’s rights. Lynne has served as Director of Communications for the Songwriters Association of Canada, Tour Manager and Publishing for The Irish Rovers. She has served on numerous entertainment related Boards and organizations such as, CARAS, PROCAN, ArtSpring, Salt Spring Island Folk Club and BMI.
Valerie (“Valley”) Hennell
“Valley” a true entertainment pioneer and mainstay of the BC arts scene as a writer, producer, artist manager, music publisher and arts advocate. She has managed the careers of several well-know BC artists including BCEHoF Inductee Ann Mortifee, produced a dozen award winning albums and countless seminal performing arts events and series. Valley is recognized throughout the music industry as a force for integrity, fair dealing, and positive change. Her numerous national and local award awards are a testament to her talent and dedication to the entertainment community in British Columbia.