Statement - pic.twitter.com/3quqCF4zah— Gord Downie (@gorddownie) October 18, 2017
A Canadian poet who spoke of Canada to Canada.
The Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie passed away Tuesday night at the age of 53 from glioblastoma, an incurable form of brain cancer.
It's been less than 18 months since we heard Downie's tragic diagnosis. Downie was able to get a lot done in that time. The mourning process started that day on May 24, 2016. But the announcement of his death shows that we are still mourning the loss of a great Canadian poet.
The links above try and explain the significance of Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip to an audience outside Canada. Listen to the music. Read about people's reactions to Downie's passing. And we note below, Downie and his mates have left an amazing legacy even in the last 18 months.
We mentioned in our TIFF wrapup that The Tragically Hip final tour documentary Long Time Running was going to get more exposure beyond TIFF and a Canadian theatrical release. Long Time Running airs on CTV on November 12 at 8 pm ET and starts running on CraveTV on November 13.
Those outside Canada can watch Long Time Running on Netflix starting November 26.
The film from Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier was the first runner-up for the People’s Choice Documentary Award.
Downie's final solo album Introduce Yerself, a 23-song double album, is scheduled for release on October 27.
Gord Downie's Secret Path project turned out to be an album, graphic novel, an animated film that aired on CBC last year, and a concert presentation that had already been scheduled for Sunday. The project was inspired by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old boy who escaped from a residential school to try and return to his family 600 km away. Wenjack died of exposure on October 22, 1966.
The album won 2 Junos for Adult Alternative Album of the Year and Recording Package of the Year. Downie won Songwriter of the Year for The Stranger, Son, and The Only Place to Be.
The special on Sunday will features highlights from the animated film and include concert footage with Downie joined by Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin (Broken Social Scene), Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers), and Dave Hamelin (The Stills).
Proceeds from the Secret Path project will go to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund. You might recall Downie's shout-out to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during the final Tragically Hip concert about doing more for indigenous people. Downie did what he could in the short time that he had.
Gord Downie's Secret Path in Concert airs Sunday, the 51st anniversary of Chanie Wenjack's death, at 9pm local time on CBC and online.
Twitter capture: @gorddownie
photos credit: me