Entrances: Bursting on the scene

From the IMF’s first pink ribbon at the top to the new country on the map–a close look at this year’s newcomers
(L-R) Rolling Stone Magazine’s winners Ewan Currie, Sam Corbett, Leot Hanson and Ryan Gullen of The Sheepdogs attend Rolling Stone’s "Do You Wanna be a Rock and Roll Star?" cover reveal in Times Square on August 1, 2011 in New York City. *** Local Caption ***
Bursting on the scene
Rolling Stone Magazine's winners Ewan Currie, Sam Corbett, Leot Hanson and Ryan Gullen of The Sheepdogs


She has yet to utter a single public word, yet ever since her emergence—ahem, from behind—in an Alexander McQueen silk screamer at last summer’s royal do, the duchess of Cambridge’s baby sis has stolen the spotlight. Her slow-mo sashay down the aisle dropped jaws across the globe, launching a million appreciative tweets. And with her sister sequestered on a rainy Welsh island, as tabloids wonder whether—yawn—she’s preggers yet, the 28-year-old London party planner appears on the arms of a stream of tall, dashing, well-heeled suitors.


In hindsight, the hullabaloo over its creation seems wildly out of proportion. Fox News North, this ain’t. On Earth Day, viewers of the Quebecor venture were treated to Ezra Levant attacking a potted plant. The day coincides with Lenin’s birthday, Levant, wielding a chainsaw, shouted over the din, leaving no question which was the bigger tool. Communism and environmentalism aside, shop peeves include arts funding and the CBC, known there as the “state broadcaster.” They still have a long way to go before they rival the ratings of their southern mentor.


The Northern Irish golfer became the youngest U.S. Open winner since Bobby Jones took the title in 1923. The 22-year-old—whose father began teaching him to play golf when he was 18 months old—took the tourney with a record 16 under par. Even before it began, his endorsements topped $10 million.


The Saskatoon rockers beat 15 other bands to win Rolling Stone’s “Choose the Cover” contest. The boogie-rock band also scored an appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, a gig at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee and a record deal with Atlantic Records.


The Thornhill, Ont., native is the highest-ranked male singles player in Canada’s history. This year, the 20-year-old rocketed up the world rankings from 152 to 31 and was crowned the Association of Tennis Professionals newcomer of the year. Even tennis legend John McEnroe calls him “the real deal.”


Adam Mansbach wrote the now iconic “children’s book for adults” to convey the frustrations of putting a small child to bed. It sparked strong support and criticism, reaching No. 1 on Amazon’s bestsellers list this May. Samuel L. Jackson voiced an audio version, and read it to David Letterman.


Earlier this year, NASA’s Kepler spacecraft found 1,235 potential planets that could triple the number presently known. The Kepler, also known as the “planet-hunter,” found 68 exoplanets (planets located outside the solar system) that are Earth-sized, and 54 that are in the “habitable zones,” meaning they could have water.


This summer, one man’s alleged mistreatment of women put another dame on top. When Dominique Strauss-Kahn was forced to step down as head of the International Monetary Fund because of sexual assault allegations, France’s finance minister stepped into the role, becoming the first woman in history to do so.


After hitting his first grand slam in just his second home game for the Blue Jays, the B.C.-born third baseman emerged as Toronto’s first bona fide Canadian star.


South Sudan became the world’s newest nation in July, after decades of violent conflict with the northern region, during which approximately two million people were killed. The newly minted capital, Juba, burst into celebration after results from a referendum saw southerners vote 99 per cent in favour of independence.


The younger sister of twin actresses and entrepreneurs Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is also, as of this year, a star in her own right. The 22-year-old actress from Sherman Oaks, Calif., had the breakout role of the year in the indie sensation Martha Marcy May Marlene—the story of a young woman who escapes from a cult.