Sunday October 22, 2017
What are your thoughts on the life and death of Gord Downie?
Sunday on Cross Country Checkup: Remembering Gord
More from this episode:
- 'Mr. Downie, I'm Erin': Chance encounter with Gord Downie creates lifelong fan
We knew it was coming.
It was hard to imagine Canada without him. He was more than a rock star. The Hip were dubbed Canada's house band, thanks to Downie's lyrics - infused with his passion for the history and mythology of this country.
In the days and months following the announcement of his cancer, Canadians mourned Gord Downie, as he and the Hip set out on an emotional city-by-city, cross-country farewell tour aided by a teleprompter, his memory deteriorating to the point that he couldn't remember the songs he'd sung most of his life. Eleven million people, a third of the country, tuned in to watch that last Hip show in Kingston, watching him tenderly kiss his family and bandmates. When he cried on stage, we cried with him.
But he wasn't done yet. He took the stage again, sharing a new album called The Secret Path - songs about Chanie Wenjack, an Anishinaabe boy who died fleeing a northern Ontario residential school. Even as he stared down death, he looked to the future of Canada, devoting much of the final year of his life telling the nation it was time to get serious about reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
When he eventually did pass away this week, 53 years old, we had, in a way, already mourned and cried for him.
But, we often return to our favourite movies and books more than once. Even when we know the ending. We see the nuances, the connections that touched us the first time around. It still resonates, gives us cause us to reflect more.
There is a public memorial in the works, but we want to pay tribute to Gord Downie's passion for Canada by opening up the phonelines, as we always do on Checkup, to hear from Canadians coast to coast to coast.
Our question today: "What are your thoughts on the life and death of Gord Downie?"
Owner of Record Option, record store in Kingston, Ont.
Manager at Kingston Ont., music venue The Grad Club
Author and musician
Grand Chief, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
Host, The Strombo Show
- Tragically Hip's Gord Downie dead at 53
- Indigenous leaders pay tribute to Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie
- Gord Downie used voice to 'shed a light' on brain cancer, importance of reconciliation
- By questioning Canada's past, Gord Downie fought for a better future
- Opinion: Why all Canadians need to follow in the example of Gord Downie
- 'No dress rehearsal, this is our life': 10 Gord Downie lyrics to take with us long into the night
- 'We are less as a country': Politicians pay tribute to Gord Downie
- Gord Downie remembered by fans, Canadians far and wide
- The true, tragic and inspiring Canadian stories behind Gord Downie's best lyrics
- 26 Gord Downie quotes to inspire you
The Globe and Mail
- Gifted and generous, Gord Downie proved cynicism does not always prevail
- Why rural Ontario is Gord Downie country
- Gord Downie's swan song: How he made his final year count
What we're listening to
- Gord Downie and the story of Chanie Wenjack
- Listen to a special Radio 2 broadcast celebrating the life of Gord Downie
- The Strombo Show special honouring The Hip
What we're watching
- Exclusive Interview with The National: Downie talks cancer, his last tour and his focus on Indigenous issues
- Gord Downie's The Secret Path
- From the archives: Gord Downie, Gord Sinclair and Rock 'N' Roll Dreams
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's emotional goodbye to Gord Downie