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Remembering Gord Downie’s Heart for Canada

Downie championed reconciliation right to the end of his life.

Submitted by Tyee Staff, 19 Oct 2017

 

Canadians across the country are mourning today after music superstar Gord Downie of The Tragically Hip died Oct. 17 from a glioblastoma, a rare and terminal brain cancer. Downie was 53.

“Gord knew this day was coming,” the Downie family said in a statement. “His response was to spend this precious time as he always had — making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived.”

Downie was beloved for songs about Canadian culture, small towns and hockey. Prime Minster Justin Trudeau, in his tearful tribute to Downie, mentioned the musician’s work devoted to Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack and reconciliation.

Wenjack is an Ojibway boy who ran away from a residential school in Ontario and died from hunger and exposure in 1966. The story led Downie to write his 2016 concept album Secret Path to raise awareness about reconciliation.

Above is the music video for Downie’s song “The Stranger.”

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