Courage: Canuck musicians, politicians tweet support for Gord Downie
Tragically Hip announces their formidable frontman diagnosed with 'incurable' brain cancer
News that Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie has been diagnosed with a terminal form of brain cancer has elicited a sea of support from fans across the country and around the world.
Many prominent Canadian musicians, artists and politicians have weighed in on the diagnosis, tweeting their support, memories and favourite Tragically Hip tunes.
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- Photos: Gord Downie: Tragically Hip frontman, freestyling lyricist and Canadian troubadour
Here are some notable Twitter tributes.
There's no doubt Downie and the Hip have made a permanent stamp on Canada's musical landscape — from their truly Canadian lyrics (think Wheat Kings and Bobcaygeon) to taking Canuck bands on the road in their infancy and helping them build their careers, including Ron Sexsmith and Rheostatics' Dave Bidini.
Thoughts are of Gord Downie today<br>Family & road family<br>Thx for having me on Roadside<br>& 4 letting me tag along with U to Madison Square XO RS—@RonSexsmith
words are impossible now. yet, love to the kid we ran with; who led us into a world of wild sounds + strange colours; dark, beautiful, true.—@hockeyesque
The outpouring of reactions and well wishes from musicians spread from one side of the country to the other.
Thinking about the incredible Gord Downie and sending him and his family all of our love.—@BlueRodeo
So we must honour the people we love + let them know everyday. Gord we're feeling helpless, but we are here for you. At your command, fella.—@arkellsmusic
Slapped awake by news radio this morning - we love you Gord Downie, and we owe you magnificently. Steady on skipper.—@heyrosetta
Thoughts this morning are with Gord and his family. Now get out and see the man do what he does best. <a href="https://twitter.com/thehipdotcom">@thehipdotcom</a>—@mattgood
The band announced that despite the news, the Hip will be touring this summer with dates to be announced later this week. The band's new album, Man Machine Poem, will be released on June 17.
Many prominent politicians also sent out messages of courage to Downie and his family, including the leaders of the three main federal political parties. Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose even tweeted out her favourite song by the Hip. She called it "rotten news," saying that "cancer sucks."
Gord Downie is a true original who has been writing Canada’s soundtrack for more than 30 years. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Courage?src=hash">#Courage</a>—@JustinTrudeau
Every Canadian has a favourite Tragically Hip song. This is mine. <a href="https://t.co/OF2UKkn2ux">https://t.co/OF2UKkn2ux</a>—@RonaAmbrose
It’s a very heavy day for lovers of Canadian music. Sending <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/courage?src=hash">#courage</a> to Gord Downie, his family, friends and bandmates <a href="https://twitter.com/thehipdotcom">@thehipdotcom</a>.—@ThomasMulcair
Other political figures also weighed in too, including Bryan Paterson, the mayor of Kingston, where the band got its start. Paterson says the city will put a book outside his office on Wednesday, where Kingstonians can leave their well wishes.
My thoughts and prayers are with Gord Downie and the entire <a href="https://twitter.com/thehipdotcom">@thehipdotcom</a> family today.—@MayorPaterson
Ontarians and all Canadians are saddened to hear of Gord Downie’s terminal cancer diagnosis. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Courage?src=hash">#Courage</a>—@Kathleen_Wynne
Hearts go out to Gord "Gord Downie: Hip frontman, lyricist and Canada's troubadour <a href="https://t.co/PEJcSBs7oa">https://t.co/PEJcSBs7oa</a> <a href="https://t.co/gvQojcKyE3">pic.twitter.com/gvQojcKyE3</a>"—@BobRae48
Film and television
The condolences extended to the world of film and television. Downie has had a few acting stints over the years, appearing as a cop alongside Rush's Alex Lifeson in Trailer Park Boys: The Movie and as a retrospective biker in motorcycle road trip film One Week.
The Trailer Park Boys even starred in the music video for the Hip's song The Darkest One, which they tweeted out Tuesday afternoon.
Sending all our love and best wishes to the magnificent Gord Downie... <a href="https://t.co/pUIH3RCN79">https://t.co/pUIH3RCN79</a>—@trailerparkboys
No band in our history has embraced/defined <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/canadianity?src=hash">#canadianity</a> more than The Hip. Gutted by this news. Gord IS Canada. <a href="https://t.co/wBkbOEEVS2">https://t.co/wBkbOEEVS2</a>—@TorrensJonathan
Thoughts are with Gord Downie and his family & friends <a href="https://twitter.com/thehipdotcom">@thehipdotcom</a> <a href="https://t.co/gmiaNdtO8k">https://t.co/gmiaNdtO8k</a>—@arnettwill
Gord Downie should be on a stamp. He's as Canadian as <a href="https://twitter.com/annemurray1">@annemurray1</a> apologizing for spilling a double-double. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GordDownie?src=hash">#GordDownie</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheHip?src=hash">#TheHip</a>—@markcritch