Skip to content

Gord Downie LEGACY event returns to The Burlington Performing Arts Centre

Some shows aim to entertain. Some are designed to engage. LEGACY: In Support of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund 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 fourth year at Burlington Performing Arts Centre, this year’s participating artists include Hamilton native Tom Wilson (Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings), Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies, Rheostatics) and Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers), both of Gord Downie’s Secret Path Band, Logan Staats, Emm Gryner, Philip Davis & the Land Back Unity Jam Band, Chief Stacey LaForme and more, performing the music of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip, as well as original music, poetry and guest speakers.

“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. BPAC is proud to produce and present LEGACY 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. The livestream of LEGACY also means that people can experience this event from anywhere, and invest in our collective reconciliation journey by joining us online, if you can not be here to support in person,” 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

As per Ontario guidelines, all patrons must show proof of COVID-19 double vaccination to be permitted entry into the facility. The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is pleased to accommodate our patrons at 100% capacity in our facilities.


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.

Kevin Hearn of Gord Downie’s Secret Path Band is best known as a multi-instrumentalist from Barenaked Ladies, the multiplatinum selling band he’s played with for over two decades. They were recently inducted into the Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of fame. One of the most respected Toronto musicians of the past 25 years, Hearn has collaborated, recorded and performed with such artists as The Tragically Hip, Violent Femmes, Laurie Anderson, Carole Pope, Garth Hudson (The Band), The Persuasions, The Cranberries, Ron Sexsmith, and The Rheostatics.

Josh Finlayson of Gord Downie’s Secret Path Band is a musician, songwriter, and founding member of Skydiggers since formation in 1988. They have released 18 albums over their 30-plus year career. Long time collaborator with Gord Downie’s solo recordings and tours starting with Coke Machine Glow (2001) and including Away Is Mine (2020); the last recording Gord made before his passing.

Logan Staats is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician. Staats achieved mainstream success throughout 2018, and in 2019, off of his win on the first season of CTV’s The Launch. He is best known for his single, “The Lucky Ones” which hit number one on the Canadian iTunes chart right after its release. He is also known for his part in the 2017 Canadian made documentary, When They Awake which celebrates Indigenous artists and their communities.

Emm Gryner grew up in the Canadian countryside, raised on radio and learning piano. Fuelled by her love for songwriting she did everything to become a great singer, including studying voice with Mitch Seekins. With Mitch’s help, Emm found power, range and a healthy voice. At age 21, Emm scored a worldwide record deal and had a hit in Canada called “Summerlong”. She started her own record label (when it was considered uncool to do so) and recorded her intimate album, Science Fair which went on to outsell anything she’d done previously. Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip wrote her a letter to tell Emm how much he liked they album, solidifying her drive to forge a career as an independent artist. During this time she sang backup vocals and played keyboards with David Bowie. The tour took her around the world to Wembley Stadium and Glastonbury Festival. She ended up singing on the albums “Bowie at The Beeb”, “Glastonbury 2000” and several other live recordings which have been released since Bowie’s death in 2016.

Phil Davis & the Land Back Unity Jam Band. Phil 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. He 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 , Frank Miller, 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
November 5, 2021 at 8 p.m.
Main Theatre and Livestream
440 Locust Street, Burlington, Ontario
Tickets can be purchased online or by telephone:
905-681-6000 |
Tickets: Regular $49.50 / Members $44.50
Livestream: Regular $15 per household / Members $10 per household
The full schedule of BPAC Presents events is available here:


The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is a spectacular LEED (Leadership in Environmental Design) GOLD certified facility. The Centre is inclusive and respectful to all, combining accessibility with imaginative design and creativity, incorporating accessibility features wherever possible. The mission of The Burlington Performing Arts Centre is to provide the people of Burlington with a broad range of excellent performance opportunities that will both inspire and delight.

Media Contact: Michael Chess, Marketing & Development Manager
Phone: 905.681.2551 x 6318