How Aboot That?: Stars that You Didn’t Know are Canadian

William Shatner

Another actor who got his start at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival is William Shatner, who was born in the French-Canadian city of Montreal. He played a variety of small roles at the festival, and soon moved to Hollywood, taking on a number of small movie and TV roles until his huge break. In 1966, Shatner was cast at Captain James T. Kirk in a brand-new series called Star Trek.

Throughout his life, he has maintained strong connections with his country of birth. In the 1970s, after Star Trek was cancelled, he did several commercials for Canadian grocery stores Loblaws and SuperValu, and he returned to his alma mater McGill University in 2011 to receive an honorary Doctorate of Letters.

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It should come as no shock to you that Drake, who was born Aubrey Drake Graham, is Canadian. It’s as much a part of his origin story as his trademark “YOLO” catchphrase.

Drake was born in Toronto to an African American father and a Jewish Canadian mother who divorced when he was five years old. He spent his time primarily in Toronto, where he landed a starring role in the cult classic Degrassi: The Next Generation. He left the show in 2007 to focus on his music career, and started his own label, October’s Very Own, soon after.

Drake remains closely tied to Canada. He’s a global brand ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, and recently opened a restaurant in Toronto.

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Underneath that gigantic mouse head beats the loyal heart of a trueborn Canadian. deadmau5 was born on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls in 1981 as Joel Thomas Zimmerman. His interested in music first started when he was gifted a keyboard for Christmas, and his interest grew until he left his job as a programmer to focus solely on his music career.

His debut studio album, Get Scraped, came out in 2005. The next year, he signed with Play Records, and began collaborating with big names like Kaskade, Jason Derulo, and Imogen Heap. In 2012, he was awarded the International Achievement Award by the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada.

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