‘In Gord We Trust’ – Tragically Hip Fans Gather for Final Send-Off
Prince George, B.C. – Fans of the Tragically Hip have gathered at Canada Games Plaza this afternoon in honour of the band’s lead singer Gord Downie.
Downie was of course diagnosed with incurable brain cancer earlier this year and the band have scheduled what many expect will be their final show tonight in Kingston, Ontario.
In honour of that two locals have organized a fundraising barbecue with all proceeds earmarked for brain cancer research.
“I’m a Kingston native so I’ve got that hometown connection to the band,” says Matt Hutcheon, wearing his ‘In Gord We Trust’ t-shirt. “I read about a call to action to use this moment to raise money for brain cancer research and when I saw that I felt a little bit of a personal obligation to try and make that happen here.”
So he enlisted the help of his friend and equally fanatical Hip fan, Mick Harper.
“We’d like to see as many people come down here as possible. There’s a great prize package they can purchase a raffle ticket for and of course just freely donate to the Canadian Cancer Society.”
Both agree the Hip’s ability to tap into the Canadian identify is why Downie’s illness has struck such a chord country-wide.
“Absolutely. I call them Canada’s house band and I don’t think any Canadian artist has been able to sing about our history and turn their songs into epic stories of Canadiana like them,” says Mick.
“They’re our band,” adds Matt. “They kind of belong to us and I think part of the fact that they didn’t achieve some of the international success that bands like Rush, Nickelback and Bryan Adams have is what makes them even more of our band.”
Today’s barbecue runs until 2:00 p.m. but the fun doesn’t stop there. Tonight at the Ramada Hotel fans will gather to watch the band’s farewell show on the big screen. The doors open at 4:30 p.m.
The City of Prince George has also recognized the importance of the rock outfit by declaring today “The Tragically Hip Day.”