Advocator For Aboriginal Rights, Gord Downie Dead At 53

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The tragically hip singer, Gord Downie, died Tuesday night at the age of 53, his family said on Wednesday.

A statement on the singer’s official Facebook page, signed by the Downie family, explains that the musician was surrounded by his children and his family.

The release gratefully acknowledges the respect, admiration and love that Gord Downie received throughout his career.

Mr. Downie was suffering from glioblastoma, an incurable form of brain cancer. He spent the last part of his life in funding the fight against brain cancer and defending aboriginal rights.

“Gord knew that this day would come. His response was to spend his precious time as always – making music, making memories, and showing his deep appreciation to his family and friends for a busy life, ” his family said in the press release.

“Gord said he has lived several lives,”  family added. “As a musician, he has lived  life for over 30 years, having the chance to experience most of this adventure with his childhood friends. At home, he worked just as hard to be a good father, son, brother, husband and friend. No one has worked harder on all facets of his life than Gord. No one.”

Mr. Downie, one of the most revered songwriters of his generation, spawned a steady stream of successes in the 1990s, including New Orleans Is Sinking , Blow at High Dough , Courage (For Hugh MacLennan) , Ahead By a Century and Bobcaygeon .

Although the Tragically Hip albums released in the 2000s did not have the same popular success, the band had a special place in the hearts of Canadian music lovers.

The group was perceived to be viscerally Canadian. Yet Gord Downie had always argued that he was not trying to celebrate Canada in his songs.

“I did not write many politically charged words,” he said in an interview at The Canadian Press in 2014. “I have not written either Pro-Canadian or nationalist odes. of things does not interest me (…). ”

“Social causes are obvious. Music brings people closer together. So my motivation in everything I do is to help people get closer. ”

Tickets for the group’s last tour, after Mr. Downie’s announcement in May 2016, had flown almost instantly. The CBC had a live broadcast of the last show of the tour – held in Kingston, Ontario, where Downie had grown up.

The singer had offered a performance of nearly three hours. “Thank you for helping me to surpass myself ever more,” he had said to the crowd.

Gord Downie seized the opportunity to further promote First Nations issues.

“We are in good hands, between really good hands,” he said when speaking of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He cares about people who live in the north, people who have been trained all our lives to ignore, we have been trained all our lives not to know what is going on there. And what’s going on down there is not good. ”

About two months later, Gord Downie unveiled his multimedia project called Secret Path , which tells the story of 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 after fleeing a residential school in northern Ontario.

In April, Secret Path won three Juno Awards, which reward excellence in Canadian music.

In June, Gord Downie was inducted as a member of the Order of Canada for his work with First Nations.

A few weeks ago, the singer had created the surprise by announcing that he was going to launch a new solo album comprising 23 original songs. Introduce Yerself is expected to be released on 27 October.

Group discography

The Tragically Hip (1987)

Up to Here (1989)

Road Apples (1991)

Fully Completely (1992)

Day for Night (1994)

Trouble at the Henhouse (1996)

Live Between Us (1997)

Phantom Power (1998)

Music @ Work (2000)

In Violet Light (2002)

In Between Evolution (2004)

Yer Favorites (2005)

World Container (2006)

We Are the Same (2009)

Now for Plan A (2012)

Man Machine Poem (2016)

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Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca


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