Nfld. & Labrador

Woman who fell to her death at Cape Spear remembered as one-of-a-kind music fan

Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle called her a massive fan of Newfoundland music.

Kim Hix of Chicago was a Great Big Sea superfan and lover of Newfoundland music

Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle, right, wrote on Twitter that Kim Hix was a massive fan and promoter of Newfoundland music. (Alan Doyle/Twitter)

A woman who fell to her death Saturday is being remembered by the Newfoundland arts community as a one-of-a-kind personality.

"The accident at Cape Spear Saturday caused us to lose a special person and a great friend of the music of Newfoundland," wrote Great Big Sea's Bob Hallett late Sunday night on Twitter.

"Kim Hix had a huge personality and heart, and truly loved this place and the music that animates it. The cast & crew of Great Big Sea will never forget her."

Hix, 53, fell about 15 metres from a Cape Spear cliff to a rock ledge, and then fell another 30 metres to another ledge early Saturday morning, Capt. Pat Power of the St. John's Regional Fire Department told CBC.

Bob Hallett, formerly of Great Big Sea, met Kim Hix 12 years ago. He says she was the life of the party and loved everything Newfoundland and Labrador. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

Visiting from Chicago

Hix lived in the Chicago area and was visiting Cape Spear with her sister, according to Power.

Hallett told The St. John's Morning Show Monday he met Hix about 12 years ago at a concert in Chicago.

"Even then, she was a remarkable person. I'm probably 5' 11" and she's a head taller than me," he said. "She had this thousand-dollar smile, this deep, booming voice and laugh, and at the time she had this beehive hairdo, which I've never seen anyone do, ever. But she pulled it all off and she was such a remarkable person."

Fan of Newfoundland music

Hix was drawn to the band's music — and Newfoundland music in general, including the Irish Descendents and the Fortunate Ones — and started attending Great Big Sea shows all over the world, hauling hundreds of people with her. She also started visiting the province and fell in love with the place, said Hallett.

"She would organize these huge after-show parties and you'd say, 'Oh, I'm not going to do that,' and 10 minutes later you'd be there," he said. "She was just enormous fun, enormous company. She had hundreds of friends."

Lynda Elstad met Hix through a mutal love for Great Big Sea. The two would run into each other all over North America at Great Big Sea concerts. (Cal Tobin/CBC)

During a series of concerts aboard a cruise ship with the Barenaked Ladies, Hallett went for a walk on the ship after checking into his room, and found Hix with a group of Great Big Sea fans set up by the pool.

"She was wearing this sort of bathing hat my grandmother would have worn, with fringes and fur hanging off it, and a gold lame bikini," he said. "It's something Marilyn Monroe would have worn in 1950, and she just did not care. She didn't care what anybody thought; she wanted to have the most fun she could, and I really admired that about her."

Lynda Elstad became friends with Hix after they met at a Great Big Sea concert.

"I was at a show in Chicago, and it was 2006, and I was standing next to a woman who I never met before. The band was doing Ordinary Day ... I looked up at Kim because she was like a foot taller than me, and she had tears in her eyes," Elstad told CBC News on Monday.

"I thought 'Oh I bet I'm going to be seeing her a bit more.'"

Elstad says Hix was known throughout a community of Great Big Sea fans as the person who goes to the most Great Big Sea shows.

"I've seen her all over North America in different places," Elstad said, noting that Hix was particularly famous for throwing after-parties.

"If a show was in Chicago she would actually get a hotel room, even though she lived in Chicago. Then she would have this big blowout after party, and everyone was always welcome and just had a wonderful time."

Photographer Bryan Kremkau became friends with Hix after she bought a photo of herself dancing at a Great Big Sea show in 2009, and said he was sad to hear of her death. 

Great Big Sea's Alan Doyle posted a picture of himself with Hix, lamenting the loss of "a massive fan and promoter of Newfoundland music" and the province itself.

"Much love to all family and friends during this heartbreaking time," he wrote.

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