Whoa, dude -- Keanu is Canada's richest artist
by Guy Dixon
As wealthy and corporate as the Celine Dion juggernaut may seem, no amount of ballad-belting and plum endorsements for Air Canada were enough to keep the singer on Canadian Business magazine's list of the 100 wealthiest Canadians.
Instead, the only big-name star from the world of arts and entertainment to make the list of the Canadian wealthy this year was Keanu Reeves, the magazine reported yesterday. And Reeves just made barely made it, taking 100th spot with a net worth of $336-million, thanks to the Matrix films and a shrewd profit-sharing deal for increasing his bottom line.
Reeves, 40, is said to have received $15-million (U.S.) for each of the two Matrix sequels, but it's his reported 15-per-cent share of the films' profits that sent his income soaring. It could have probably been even higher if he hadn't given tens of millions of that back to The Matrix franchise's lesser-paid costume and effects designers, according to reports, or the fact that he bought his stunt men Harley-Davidsons as a thank-you. Reeves, who was born in Beirut to an American father and a British mother, immigrated to Canada as a child.
Dion, on the other hand, despite signing up to be the new voice for Air Canada, found herself jettisoned from the top-100 list. Last year, she held 97th place with a net worth of roughly $320-million (Canadian), according to Canadian Business senior writer Zena Olijnyk. Yet for all the attention on Reeves or Dion, Olijnyk said that much further up the list was the big show-biz money, namely Cirque du Soleil's founder and chief executive officer Guy Laliberte, at 39th place with a net worth of $925-million.