The latest inductee onto the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement says he is still proud to be from this area.
Music producer Brian Howes will be inducted onto the Comox Valley Walk of Achievement at the end of the month, joining the likes of broadcaster Red Robinson, actress Kim Cattrall and numerous Olympic athletes.
The honour recognizes people who have excelled in their field of endeavour.
Howes grew up playing hockey (he once coached future NHL goalie Byron Dafoe at a summer camp) and tubing the Puntledge River in Courtenay. He is a two-time winner at the Juno Awards, which recognize excellence in Canadian music. Last year, he won for producing Nickelback’s Here and Now, and for Storm by Hedley. He first won in 2007 for his production of Hedley and Hinder.
On Nov. 30, a Walk of Achievement plaque will be unveiled on a downtown sidewalk following a ceremony at the Sid Williams Theatre.
“I’m very honoured,” Howes said from his main residence in Los Angeles. “I’m very proud of being from the Valley. It’s a really cool award.
“I told them I want to be in between Kim Cattrall and Pam Anderson,” he added with a laugh, referring to two other notable former comox Valley residents.
As a teenager, Howes remembers Anderson as a “shy little girl” who watched his band rehearse in his basement.
The Vanier graduate started his musical career in the ’80s when he fronted a cover band called Young Gun. In the 90s, upon hearing the grunge sound of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the like, Howes formed DDT which signed with Elektra Records and toured with Kid Rock before falling apart. While touring as a solo artist he realized a passion for producing and songwriting.
“I like every genre of music,” said Howes, who has finished a new record by Hedley — the halftime act at this year’s Grey Cup. Howes has either written, co-written or produced each of the band’s singles over the past decade.
“I’m like the fifth Beatle,” he quipped.
He is also working on a new Simple Plan album due out shortly.
“Lots of action. It’s pretty exciting,” said Howes, whose company is being considered for the next AC/DC album. “That would be a dream come true.”
Howes is also a sports fan. He enjoyed a recent Los Angeles Kings-Vancouver Canucks game from a box seat at the Staples Centre, compliments of his lawyer (also Dr. Dre’s lawyer), who can’t stand hockey.
Howes and his wife Leanne have a five-year-old daughter and a son who is eight months.
The public is invited to the induction ceremony which starts at noon at the Sid, then proceeds to the courtyard for the plaque unveiling.
The Comox Valley Walk of Achievement committee is calling for nominations for 2014. Along with honouring individual excellence, the awards are intended to inspire young people to believe in themselves.
“It’s good for the kids coming up,” Howes said. “If they give a hoser like me something like that, anyone can do it, trust me.”