Second annual Gord Downey tribute coming to PAC

FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre press release – With the passing of Gord Downie on 17 October 2017, Canadians lost one of our most cherished music icons. As Canada’s most famous and influential rock ’n’ roll frontman, Gord spent his final days shining a light on the reconciliation with Canada’s First Peoples. He asked all Canadians to join the call to action.

And now, a group of Canadian artists have joined our collective reconciliation journey with a concert to promote awareness, education and thoughtful action. The 2nd Annual Gord’s Legacy: Walking the Path of Reconciliation takes place in Partridge Hall on Friday, Oct. 18/2019, at 7:30 p.m.

This special concert event will feature the music and poetry of Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip performed by Royal Wood, Tom Wilson (Mohawk), Dala, Peter Katz, Adrian Sutherland of Midnight Shine (Mushkegowuk Cree), local musician Phil Davis (Mohawk) and Kevin Fox. The FirstOntario PAC is honoured to also welcome Mike Downie as a special guest to share a few words about his brother Gord’s Legacy.

The Tragically Hip and Gord Downie celebrated over 30 years of success as a band with 13 full-length albums and countless awards. Downie’s solo output includes six albums, including Secret Path in 2016.

This multimedia project was inspired by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a young Anishinaabe boy who died in 1966 while trying to get home while escaping from a residential school. Also accompanying the album was a graphic novel and an animated film with the same name.

Along with Gord’s brother Mike and the Wenjack family, the Gord Downie/Chanie Wenjack Fund was created as part of Gord’s commitment to First Nations Peoples. Funds raised from this event will directly to this fund.

In addition to the concert event, the Secret Path film screens in The Film House on Saturday, Oct. 19/2019, at 8 p.m.

“We are so proud to see our brother Gord’s mission being carried on and funds for his foundation being raised through these incredible Legacy performances and we are grateful to all of the artists, audiences and presenters for joining his call to action to ‘Do Something.’” said Mike and Patrick Downie.

Community member Fred Bowering will be holding a sacred fire in the backyard of the PAC in honour of Gord Downie, Chanie Wenjack and residential school survivors starting at sunrise on Friday, Oct. 18/2019. All are welcome to attend a sunrise ceremony with Elder Jackie (Tekaiatakwas) Labonte (Turtle Clan, Mohawk Nation) that morning at approximately 6:45 a.m.

The evening will conclude with a Tragically Hip singalong around the sacred fire.

“Gord Downie’s journey inspired a nation and inspired our community on our own path of truth and reconciliation with our Indigenous brothers and sisters. We have taken Gord’s challenge to rebuild relations for the next 100 years,” says St. Catharines Mayor, Walter Sendzik.

“As Gord illustrated so eloquently throughout his life and his music career, the arts can transcend time and space to deepen our understanding of social issues, giving us tools to be engaged and understand each other,” he said. “I’m very proud of the role of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in leading us down this path.”

More than just a weekend gathering, Celebration of Nations Featured Programming takes place all season long. This Featured Programming is part of FirstOntario PAC’s commitment to provide meaningful opportunities to bring our community together in an inclusive place of mutual understanding, empathy and respect through the arts. Celebration of Nations Featured Programming is sponsored by Brock University.

Gord’s Legacy – Walking the Path of Reconciliation
FirstOntario PAC, 250 St.Paul Street, downtown St. Catharines.
Friday 18 October at 7:30 p.m. in Partridge Hall.


Ticket purchases through FirstOntario PAC website.


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