Walter Ostanek, was born in Duparquet, Quebec. His family moved to St. Catharines when he was a young boy.
A friend introduced him to the accordion at age 5. In 1957 he formed his first band. In 1963, The Walter Ostanek Band would record its first of over 97 albums. He has received three Grammy Awards for Best Polka Album (1992, 1993 & 1994).
Mr. Ostanek has hosted his own television and radio shows. As well he has appeared on The Johnny Carson Tonight Show, The Phil Donahue Show and The Tommy Hunter Show, along with many T.V. telethons.
He continues to live in St. Catharines, where his store ‘Ostanek’s’ operates on Geneva Street.
Just a few of his other awards and recognition are:
- Dedicated the “Walter Ostanek Pavilion,” Montebello Park, 2007
- Star on Canada’s Walk Way of Fame, Toronto, 2001
- Appointed a member of the Order of Canada, 2000
- Album of the Year Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame 1993, 1995, and 2004.
- World Music Lifetime Achievement Award, Cleveland Ohio, 1999
- Grammy Award, Best Polka Album, “Music and Friends”, 1994
- Grammy Award, Best Polka Album, “Accordionally Yours”, 1993
- Band of the Year, Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, 1993
- Grammy Award, Best Polka Album, “35th Anniversary”, 1992
- Musician of the Year, Cleveland Style Polka Hall of Fame, Cleveland Ohio, 1990
- The only Canadian to be inducted into the International Polka Association, (I.P.A), Polka Hall of Fame in Chicago, Illinois, 1983
- Long Play LP’s “Polka Stadia” volumes I & 2 inducted into the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame November 25, 1989.