It’s only been a month since The Tragically Hip wrapped up their historic, glowing final tour, but frontman and icon Gord Downie has announced he isn’t done performing performing after all, and will play two special shows to support his upcoming project.
Earlier this month, Downie announced a new solo album called Secret Path, set to be released on October 18. The album is inspired by 12 year-old Chanie Wenjack, an Ojibway boy who was a victim of the residential school system 50 years ago and died from hunger and exposure while trying to find his way home after escaping the school. When Downie announced the album, he also shared that a graphic novel and hour-long animated movie will be part of the project.
The animated special will air without commercials on CBC on October 23, marking the 50th anniversary of Wenjack’s death. Downie will be performing Secret Path on October 18 in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre and October 21 at Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall.
“I never knew Chanie, the child his teachers misnamed Charlie, but I will always love him,” said Downie in the statement about Secret Path, released earlier this month. “Chanie haunts me. His story is Canada’s story. This is about Canada.”
Downie has been known to critically assess our country’s past and present relationship with indigenous peoples, even giving his vote of confidence to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to repair relations with Indigenous communities at their final Kingston show.
Tickets go on sale this Friday, September 23. Similar to the Man Machine Poem tour that raised over $1 million for cancer research, Downie will be donating all proceeds to the University of Manitoba’s National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which is dedicated to preserving the residential school system’s history.