For Power To Be, as for so many other fans of the iconic Canadian band, the news The Tragically Hip front man had passed away was personal.

“It is a sad day for Canada. Gord Downie was a poet, a musician and steward to making Canada great for all people. His most recent focus on the plight of indigenous people was one of his many great acts for Canada,” says Tim Cormode, Power To Be Executive Director. “We at Power To Be had the chance to get to know the band. We were lucky to be part of their journey and that of Gord’s.”

Downie was diagnosed with an incurable form of brain cancer in 2015. He was 53 when he passed away Oct. 18, 2017 (read the full statement).

A deep appreciation for what The Tragically Hip brought to the world was reinforced with every interaction we had with the band. In 2006, the Hip came to town and invited members of the Power To Be Wilderness School to the show. When the final song was sung, the youth were invited backstage to meet the band and share conversation. Similar experiences played out every time the band came to Victoria. Many volunteers, staff and supporters were given opportunities to take in a show and then meet the men who brought it to life.

“Every time you met with them, they remembered our names,” Tim says. “We were so lucky to connect to the music they made and the impact they had on the world.”

Photo credit: The Tragically Hip / Creative Commons license