Two days and two years after the death of Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, musicians including Sam Roberts, Tanya Tagaq, July Talk, Sarah Harmer, and Buffy Sainte-Marie will gather Saturday to perform at Roy Thomson Hall for Secret Path Live.
The benefit concert is a re-creation of the 2016 multimedia performance by Downie, who musically shared the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Ojibwe boy who died in 1966 while escaping from an Ontario residential school.
The tragedy formed the basis of Downie’s Secret Path, his fifth and final solo album released in October 2016. Secret Path also became a graphic novel and a TV movie.
“Gord felt Chanie’s story so deeply and intimately,” his brother Mike Downie said in a statement.
“When he spoke about Secret Path and his journey of becoming more aware of the impact of residential schools and the present treatment of indigenous people, you could feel it had changed him. His passion emanated in every interview and performance.”
Proceeds from the concert, which will also include appearances by William Prince, Whitehorse and Tom Wilson with the original 2016 Secret Path band (Barenaked Ladies’ Kevin Hearn, Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew, Skydiggers’ Josh Finlayson, The Stills’ Dave Hamelin, and Do Make Say Think’s Charles Spearin), will raise money to support programming at the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund.
Secret Path Live is the highlight of the second annual Secret Path Week, running until Oct. 22.
Downie, who had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, died on Oct. 17, 2017 at age 53.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019