Recent History – 1998
By Alethea Wiesner, Daily News Staff, Dec. 15, 1998
Once again Ben Heppner’s legendary voice is bringing recognition to Dawson Creek, with the world-renowned tenor one of 12 individuals selected for national recognition on Maclean’s 1998 Honour Roll.
The Dec. 14 issue titles Heppner as ‘The Voice’ among tenors, saying he possesses “a rare instrument, one that combines extraordinary power with heart-melting expressiveness.”
In addition to publication in Maclean’s, CTV will profile the honorees in a special televised program called Canadian Heroes: A Celebration of Excellence hosted by Pamela Wallin. The program airs Dec. 30, 1998.
Mayor Blair Lekstrom said he was very proud to see the recognition Ben achieved for his excellence, adding the famous tenor never forgets to mention the city of Dawson Creek on his world travels.
“He’s always been very helpful that way. He’s never lost sight of his roots and that’s our area where he grew up,” said Lekstrom. “He’s very proud to be from here and that certainly comes through.”
That sentiment was echoed by Maclean’s, which mentioned Heppner maintains close family ties and a refreshing humility towards his talent, which is rooted in the Christian faith, even with global recognition.
The tenor and local celebrity was last in the city for a dedication in his honour earlier this year at the naming ceremony of Ben Heppner Way, the mayor said.
“I think it’s always an honour when somebody from our community brings recognition to themselves. We’re very proud,” Lekstrom added. He will be drafting a letter of congratulations to Heppner and will speak to council about other possible recognition of Ben’s latest achievement.
Heppner joins more than 150 other extraordinary Canadians recognized by Maclean’s Honour Roll which was launched in 1986. Other honorees this year include actor Donald Sutherland and baseball legend Larry Walker.
“We never cease to be amazed at the incredible contributions Canadians are making both at home and on the world stage,” said Maclean’s editorial director Michael Benedict.