2023 class of inductees announced for ‘Heroes Wall of Fame’

Twelve local cultural icons will form the 2023 class of inductees to the Chatham-Kent Arts and Culture “Heroes Wall of Fame” sponsored by Waste Connections Canada and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent’s Forward Together grant program.

The Heroes Wall of Fame, launched last year and housed at the Chatham Cultural Centre, is a program of the Chatham Kent Arts & Culture Network (CKACN), a community arts council incorporated in January 2021 to support the arts and cultural sector of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

“After our successful first year, we are thrilled to announce our second class of 12 inductees to the Heroes Wall of Fame,” says Dan White, CKACN chair. “The Wall honours those individuals or groups, present and past, who have distinguished themselves in their chosen field or artistic practice both within and beyond Chatham-Kent. These inductees deserve our recognition for the passion they’ve shown, the attention they’ve received, and the pride of community they’ve fostered in all of us.”

“We here at Waste Connections of Canada, operator of the Ridge Landfill, are proud to partner with our host communities to help recognize and celebrate artistic excellence that has had an impact at home and, in many cases, across Canada and the world,” says Cathy Smith, Project Manager. “Highlighting the success and contributions of these individuals and groups can help inspire future generations of young artists to chase their own dreams and achievements.”

Annual inductions will take place under six categories: Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Music, Dance, Literary Arts, and Cultural Builders.

The 2023 Class of Inductees (with their home communities in parentheses) are:

Visual Arts

Alexander M. Fleming – Painter (Chatham)

Larry Towell – Photographer and Photojournalist (Wallaceburg)

Performing Arts

Ron Pardo – Comic-Impressionist and Voice Actor (Pardoville)

David Farquhar – Audio Producer and Entrepreneur (Chatham)


Michelle Wright – Singer and Songwriter (Merlin)

Chatham Concert Band – Orchestra (Chatham-Kent)


Lisa Lester – Dancer, Choreographer, and Cultural Entrepreneur (Chatham)

Eelünaapéewi Lahkéewiit Pow-Wow – Indigenous Dance (Delaware on the Thames First Nation at Moraviantown)

Literary Arts

Archibald Lampman – Poet (Morpeth)

Lori Lansens – Author and Screenwriter (Chatham)

Cultural Builders

John Beardall – Broadcaster and Entrepreneur (Chatham)

Kiwanis Music Festival – Youth Music Development (Chatham-Kent)

“These inductees were chosen from the nominations provided by citizens and the oversight committee, and, as it was last year, final selections were difficult,” said James Snyder, chair of the Wall of Fame committee, in a media releade.

“There are many worthy candidates to bring forward for recognition in future years.”

Efforts were made to represent various communities around the municipality, as well as honor both legacy and more contemporary choices.

Inductees will have a plaque permanently mounted at the Chatham Cultural Centre, inclusion on the “virtual wall” on the CKACN website, and recognition at an Induction Ceremony at the Chatham Armoury (44 William St. N.) on October 11 at 7 p.m.

Doors open at 6 p.m.

The public is welcome but must RSVP in advance to ckartsandculturenetwork@gmail.com.

The Heroes Wall of Fame oversight committee included James Snyder (committee chair), Christie Coatsworth, George Sims, Art Stirling, and Dan White (board chair).

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