TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) — Fresh off of the success of their final concert, The Tragically Hip frontman Gordon Downie announced plans for a solo album to be released next month.
Part of an ambitious multimedia project that includes the aforementioned solo album, as well as a graphic novel written by Downie and illustrated by artist Jeff Lemire, that will address Canada's sometimes troubled relationship with its aboriginal population.
The project, called Secret Path, was inspired by the story of Chanie Wenjack, an Ojibwe boy who was separated from his family at the age of nine and sent to Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School. Wenjack escaped from the school in 1966 but died of exposure as he attempted the 600km walk to his home at the at Ogoki Post, on the Marten Falls Reserve.
Downie learned of Chanie’s story from a Maclean’s February 1967 article, “The Lonely Death of Charlie Wenjack.”
“I never knew Chanie, but I will always love him,” Downie said in a press release announcing the project.
The music features Downie on vocals and guitars, with Drew and Hamelin playing all other instruments. Guest musicians include Charles Spearin (bass), Ohad Benchetrit (lap steel/guitar), Kevin Hearn (piano), and Dave “Billy Ray” Koster (drums).
Proceeds from Secret Path will be donated to The Gord Downie Secret Path Fund for Truth and Reconciliation via The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) at The University of Manitoba. – Staff Writers