Lola Parks (top left) will join Chris Andres (right), Mother Trucker (bottom left) and a host of other Island musicians in a tribute concert to the late Gord Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip, on Dec. 8 at The Loft Pub. Contributed photos

Victoria musicians stage tribute to Gord Downie

Island artists will perform favourite Hip tunes to benefit Cool Aid Society and BC Cancer Agency

Gord Downie once said: “Music brings people together. So my function in anything I do is to help bring people closer in.”

On Dec. 8 at The Loft Pub in Victoria, artists from across the Island will gather to do just that, performing a tribute concert to The Tragically Hip frontman, who lost his battle with cancer Oct. 17.

Island-based community record label Mighty Speck had initially planned to celebrate their fifth anniversary that evening.

“And then when we heard about Gord Downie’s passing, we decided to use our booking for a tribute to Gord instead,” Mighty Speck president James Kasper said. “It’s the Canadian thing to do.”

A roster of local acts including Kasper, Chris Andres, Gord Phillips Band, The Lost Talkers, Mother Trucker, Blake Andison, Nick Taylor, Lion on a Leash, Pon The Rebel, Bill & John Allan and Lola Parks will hit the stage to perform their favourite Hip tunes. Proceeds from the show will benefit Victoria’s Cool Aid Society and the BC Cancer Agency.

“His words were so much about our people, our landscape, our hockey,” Parks says of Downie and the band. “It didn’t pigeon hole them so much as made them.”

Growing up on the Lower Mainland, she says, Hip fans were few and far between. “The Hip are pubs and beer and Ontario,” she laughs.

“But there were summers where you lived off of The Tragically Hip,” says the singer-songwriter, whose memories of teaching her best friend to drive play to the soundtrack of Up To Here.

Parks once entered a CBC poetry contest where the stipulation was writing verse using Hip lyrics, and in 2003 at a show in Montreal, she got to meet the rocker. They chatted about hay fever and allergies, because Downie mentioned his nose was “stuffed up.”

“I think a lot of people have met Gord, he was sort of like our Che [Guevara], he was a man of the people.”

Reflecting on Downie’s influence as she gets set to release her new album The Hustle, Parks says, “I wish I wrote like that, I wish I pulled in Canadiana like that.

“I really think [he’s one of] these cultural, social vessels, that connected us. Some people would call that a poet or an icon.”

The Gord Downie Tribute Concert & Benefit happens Friday, Dec. 8 starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door or in advance at The Loft, 229 Gorge Rd. E.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Music

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive again on Oct. 21 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Search continues for bear wandering through Saanich

Bear spotted eating garbage near Elk Lake Wednesday, B.C. Conservation says

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters already casting their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
More than 10,000 voters have cast advance ballots in Saanich North and Islands

Only two ridings, one of them on Vancouver Island, have seen more advance voting

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Tree-pruning community gathers in Oak Bay after tragic death

Crews met in solidarity at site of Tuesday incident

Some 30 people including a dozen youth participated in North Saanich’s first ever Fridays for Future protest outside of municipal hall on Mills Road Friday, according to organizers. (Anne-Marie Daniel/Submitted)
Fridays for Future plans second event for North Saanich after inaugural protest

Some 30 people attended first protest on Oct. 9 with a second one scheduled for Oct. 23

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

Most Read