On May 24, 2016, a generation of Canadians learned that The Tragically Hip frontman, Gord Downie, had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, that it was inoperable, and that it would come back to claim him. When the band broke the news to the nation, they did so like the working class heroes they are, tempering the shock with hope: there would be a Canadian tour and a chance, perhaps a last chance, for fans to feel the magic of his lyrics, and his bandmates' instruments, together.
Words of sorrow and support - from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, fellow artists, and the band's legion of fans - followed suit. And in cities across Canada, devout Tragically Hip fans joined forces to organize concert-day celebrations and various fundraising campaigns. Passionate fans came together to rally behind the band to show their appreciation for Gord's courage in the face of adversity.
In 2016, the Courage For Gord Foundation was created with support and endorsement from the following organizations:
The Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation at The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR)
...but we needed to do more. Gord asked all Canadians to look at the state of Indigenous-settler relations in this country and to "Do Something" to change them for the better. Gord has dedicated his legacy to creating lasting, positive change in Canada; and we are committed to making Gord proud as he begins his new journey.
"Music brings people together. So my function in anything I do is to help bring people closer in." - Gord Downie
Familyband Benefit Concerts was born to do just that - to build a community based on friendship, in celebration of the music we love. Using music, our goal is to bring Indigenous & non-Indigenous together in the spirit of reconciliation. The Familyband tour will include Tragically Hip inspired music from The Strictly Hip featuring special guest appearances by Indigenous artists.
Familyband was created by Jeremy Hoyle, lead singer of The Strictly Hip and Rob Ferreira from the Courage For Gord Foundation and Walk For Wenjack. Together, sharing a passion for music, community and friendship.
Moving forward, all proceeds from our benefit concerts will support The Downie Wenjack Fund (DWF).
To date, Familyband has raised $26,871.18 for DWF bringing the collective total for Gord's Funds to $226,268.98
Please also follow along on Instagram at http://instagram.com/familybandtour