Gord Downie Releases Secret Path

Gord Downie, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and performed a final concert with his band The Tragically Hip in Kingston last August, has released Secret Path, an album three years in the making that is accompanied by a graphic novel as well as an animated film.

Secret Path follows the story of a 12-year-old boy escaping Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School in 1966 (he was trying to get back to his family, who was hundreds of kilometres away, and his body was later found just 60km away from his hometown). Downie assembled a five-piece band and performed two shows – one recently at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, and another on October 21st at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto.

Last week, Downie sat down for the only interview that he has done since he received his terminal diagnosis. He told the CBC, “We are hoping to bridge the gap, ultimately, between us and them… The weird thing is I think everybody in this country cares about this. That’s not me being prophetic. I think it’s true. I think it bugs everybody a little bit deep inside. Why can’t we do anything? Because it’s really frigging big and huge and impossible to imagine. But it could be just such a first great attempt from us”  (Ottawa Citizen).

“Gord’s making his life count,” said Gord’s older brother Mike Downie to The Canadian Press. “This is his most important work, his most powerful work, and I think it’s going to live forever. I think in many ways, Chanie’s story is going to live forever as well. And I guess they’ll be together forever.”

Photo: Daniel Alvarado/WENN