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An Update on Gord Downie-Related Fundraising. And It’s All Good. VERY Good.

Canadians (and not just Tragically Hip fans) continue to be very generous when it comes to donating to Gord Downie-related charities. Over the weekend, I got an update on how a couple of initiatives are going.

The first email is from Rob Ferreira, head of the Courage for Gord Foundation.

The Courage For Gord (CFG) fundraising team has been very busy with a number of initiatives and we’re proud to share the result of our collective effort. CFG continues to support the Gord Downie Fund for Brain Cancer Research at Sunnybrook Foundation and the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF). Please note a portion of funds donated to DWF also support The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at The University of Manitoba who operate the Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation.

The total funds raised from Dec 24, 2016 to May 26, 2017 was $98,525.87. THANK YOU!

What started as a campaign to support Gord Downie and Brain Cancer Research has evolved to also support Gord’s Secret Path project and the movement to jumpstart reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples. It was time to “Do Something.” Since last summer, CFG has raised $175,897.79 to date and this could not be possible without the support from so many people. This included summer fundraiser events across the country in 2016 ahead of the Man Machine Poem concerts. 

The website was later launched to provide a safe and legitimate source for merchandise designed by Tragically Hip fans and to facilitate online auctions. We partnered with the incredibly talented Izzy Camilleri, Karyn Ruiz of Lilliput Hats and Jeff Churchill of Jitterbug Boy who were the designers of Gord Downie’s iconic metallic leather suits, hats and boots. Our most successful campaign included keychains made of the remnants of Gord’s seven metallic leather suits that generated a $72,000 donation for Sunnybrook.

We also partnered with incredible photographers such us Richard Beland, Joel Clements and Chris Chapman who brought their craft to us Hip fans to cherish. We organized Secret Path fundraiser events in Ottawa, ON Toronto, ON and Halifax, NS. We organized the Walk for Wenjack journey in Kenora, ON and retraced the steps of Chanie Wenjack. We travelled to Syracuse, NY and St. Catharines, ON to support their local communities, hosted a Birthday Celebration for Gord in Toronto and offered memorable and unique keepsakes we hope our supporters treasure for life. Many events were supported by Tragically Hip tribute bands, The Strictly Hip and C&S Union and we thank them for respectfully recreating the music of our beloved band. We are also grateful for the support of Kasador who headlined an event last fall in Toronto.

To the passionate fans on the Tragically Hip Fan Forum on Facebook who have always supported our effort, to all the folks who generously offered their treasured memorabilia and craft for raffle and auction, and to all the volunteers who help make these events and campaigns a reality – we couldn’t have done all this without you. THANK YOU! We make a living by what we do, but we make a life by what we give.

We are humbled and honoured to represent CFG. This experience has been incredible and life-changing in so many ways however. Together we can make a difference. 

Besides, no one’s interested in something you didn’t do. #courageforgord

Rob Ferreira & Rod Nolan

Then there was this from Izzy Camilleri, the creator of the metallic suits Gord wore on last year’s Man Machine Poem tour. The leftover material was turned into special Gord Downie/Tragically Hip keychains which were sold off for charity.

The sales exclusively for the keychains totaled $83863.00.  After hard costs, $72010.54 will be donated to Gords fund at Sunnybrook in June.

This is such an astounding number as these keychains were literally created from left over remnants and scraps of leather from the 7 metallic suits created.  Amazing what can be done with a little idea.

Enjoy this beautiful day.

Kind regards,


It’s nice to report on some good news, innit?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38339 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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