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Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund ‘LEGACY’ event returns to Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Some shows aim to entertain. Some are designed to engage. LEGACY: In Support of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund, presented during Secret Path Week on Saturday, October 22nd at 8pm at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre, is that rare live performance experience that will do both.

Performance and storytelling come together with LEGACY; a fundraising event meant to aid in our collective reconciliation journey to promote awareness, education, and thoughtful action around Truth and Reconciliation and Canada’s true history with the residential school system. Now it’s fifth year at Burlington Performing Arts Centre, this year’s participating artists include Susan Aglukark, Indigenous Tragically Hip cover band The Poets from Moose Cree First Nation, Hamilton native Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings), Chris Murphy (SLOAN), Philip Davis, Chief Stacey LaForme and more, performing the music of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip, as well as original music, poetry and guest speakers.

Vic Linklater, frontman for The Poets, sees The Hip as being synonymous with Canadians and as an extension of Canadiana throughout the country. He says that incorporating Cree into the song lyrics is a way to strengthen the relationship Gord Downie had with the people of Moose Cree First Nation. “He used to make his journeys up here quite often over the last 20 years . . . and we just want to draw that connection to him through the language,” said Linklater. “I know [he had] a vast and enormous respect for the Indigenous people,” he added.

“When Gord Downie took time in his final days to shine a light on the need for reconciliation with Canada’s First Peoples, he left us all with an important job. The Burlington Performing Arts Centre was the first performing arts centre in Canada to install a Legacy Space in its venue, and BPAC is proud to produce and present LEGACY once again this year, supporting our partners at the Downie-Wenjack Fund and hosting an evening of storytelling and song that will stay with you, long after the curtain has closed,” said BPAC Executive Director Tammy Fox.

The Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund is part of iconic Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie’s legacy and embodies his commitment to improving the lives of First Peoples. The goal of the fund is to continue the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s residential school story, and to honour Gord Downie’s call to action to “do something.”

“Thank you very much for this special tribute for my brother Gord. I’m also sending my heartfelt thanks to all the artists for performing and to Kevin and Tammy Fox for pulling this wonderful evening together. The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund needs partners like these, who are finding their own way to ‘Do Something’ and in the right way,” said Mike Downie, Gord’s brother and co-founder of the Downie-Wenjack Fund.” My brother loved this country, but he knew it wasn’t perfect and that we had a lot of work ahead of us if we were going to repair the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Gord believed that Canada would remain an incomplete creation, a work in progress, until Indigenous lives and interests were fully respected and represented in all aspects of our country – in its governance, economy and culture. True reconciliation is going to require the effort and commitment of all Canadians to be successful and lasting – people like you. And so, we start. We start a long journey toward something better, toward a new understanding, a new opportunity, and a new country. Let’s imagine and then work towards a new Canada, one that Indigenous people will one day be proud to be a part of. We owe it to each other to try,” Mike Downie

ARTISTS

Susan Aglukark is a Canadian singer whose blend of Inuit folk music traditions with country and pop songwriting has made her a major recording star in Canada. Her most successful song/single is “O Siem”, which reached No. 1 on the Canadian country and adult contemporary charts in 1995. Overall, she has released seven studio albums and has won three Juno Awards.

The Poets are a Tragically Hip tribute band from the Moose Cree First Nation on the James Bay coast. The Poets incorporate Cree into the lyrics of iconic Hip songs, as a way to strengthen the relationship Gord Downie had with the people of Moose Cree First Nation.

Tom Wilson / LeE HARVeY OsMOND is a Canadian music legend, famed storyteller and visual artist. His extensive career and tireless efforts as a musician has bestowed upon him numerous nominations and awards from the Hamilton Music Awards to the Polaris Prize to the Juno Awards, including certified gold and platinum records. Tom Wilson’s songwriting has seen his works recorded by and with artists such as Sarah McLachlan, City and Colour, Jason Isbell, Colin James, Lucinda Williams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Mavis Staples, The Rankin Family, as well as his own bands Junkhouse, and Canadian treasure, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. Wilson explores his true identity on his latest album Mohawk and in his national bestselling memoir, Beautiful Scars.

Chris Murphy has been 1/4 of the band Sloan for over 30 years. In 2016, Chris got into the super group game in 2015 when he formed a trio called TUNS (rhymes with buns) with Matt Murphy (Super Friendz/The Flashing Lights) and Mike O’Neill (The Inbreds). Now on a supergroup kick, he formed Trans-Canada Highwaymen in 2017 with Steven Page (ex Barenakedladies), Moe Berg (The Pursuit of Happiness) and Craig Northey (Odds). Then in 2018 some of his other musician friends were complaining they weren’t in a super group so Chris went ahead and agreed to make Anyway Gang with Sam Roberts (Sam Roberts Band), David Monks (Tokyo Police Club) and Menno Versteeg (Hollerado).

Phil Davis is Mohawk/Cayuga of the Haudenosaunee peoples, whose family on both sides originate from Six Nations. He has resided in St. Catharines most of his life and has been an active member in his own community for many decades. He is a member of the Little Creek Singers, a Pow Wow group that was nominated at the 2018 CBC Indigenous Music Awards for Best Pow Wow Traditional Album and fronts a blues, jazz, rock, RnB soulful music group Ol’ Child.

R. Stacey Laforme is the elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN). Born and raised on MCFN, Chief Laforme has served his community for over twenty years being first elected to council in 1999. Chief Laforme has participated in a number of committees and boards throughout his seven terms served as a Councillor, including involvement with the MCFN’s Pan Am Games Secretariat (PAGS) as Chair of the PAGS Committee. Chief Laforme is committed to increasing involvement and communication between Elected Council and both on and off-reserve membership.

Guest speakers also include Skyler Williams, Audrey Davis of the Hamilton Indian Centre and representatives from the Downie-Wenjack Fund and the Woodland Cultural Centre.

The Burlington Performing Arts Centre presents
LEGACY: In Support of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund
Saturday, October 22, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Main Theatre

440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario

Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 | https://burlingtonpac.ca/events/legacy/
Tickets: Regular $49.50 / Members $44.50