Was it a lyric, a tune, his devotion to Canada and our issues, or just the way he carried himself? What about Gord Downie inspired you?
The Tragically Hip frontman has lost his battle with brain cancer at the age of 53. The Canadian legend was first diagnosed with glioblastoma in December 2015.
“Gord knew this day was coming – his response was to spend this precious time as he always had – making music, making memories and expressing deep gratitude to his family and friends for a life well lived, often sealing it with a kiss…on the lips,” the statement on the band’s website said.
Downie’s energetic and utterly infectious stage presence attracted a diverse group of devoted fans, both young and old, across the country.
The band’s quintessential rock sound paired with Downie’s poetic and philosophical lyrics about the country they call home, solidified their place in Canadian music history. Culminating in the group’s 15-show Man Machine Poem tour, which became a nation-wide cultural phenomenon and a celebration of Downie’s life.
The musician spent his final last months speaking out about Indigenous issues in Canada with the release of his multimedia project the Secret Path, which tells the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack who died trying to escape from a Residential School in Kenora, Ontario.
Downie won two Juno Awards for his solo album, featured as the soundtrack to the Secret Path project.
From the songs and stories, to the epic performances and social commentary, Downie became a true Canadian icon.
What is your favourite Gord Downie memory? Which lyric of The Hip changed your life? Tell us your stories and memories of one of the most influential Canadians of our generation below.