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.

Just Posted

Community rallies behind Langford man battling lymphoma

More than $20,000 has been raised to help Mike Gordon

Career fair inspires Royal Bay students

Inaugural event brought together 72 workers from various fields

Group calls for limited access to backcountry roads near Jordan River

Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association says closures would limit misuse of woods

Saanich Police speed reader board stolen

Traffic safety device taken from the 4700 block of Interurban Road

Teenager target of indecent exposure at Willows Beach in Oak Bay

Suspect exposed his genitals to a teenage girl Saturday

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Well-known former B.C. radio personality and politician Barrie Clark dies

Clark remembered as a fair-minded ‘statesman,’ who always saw the big picture

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

Police officers injured in Trans Mountain pipeline arrests: RCMP

One suffered a head injury after being kicked, another hurt a knee, and a third hurt a hand

Horgan promises new school funding formula in B.C.

Premier addresses B.C. Teachers Federation AGM ahead of contract negotiations starting next year

Reader Photos: First day of spring around British Columbia

Our loyal viewers sent us some of their favourite Spring photos from all corners of the province

Human remains found in Campbell River in February under investigation as a homicide

In mid-February, RCMP announced that human remains had been located in a… Continue reading

Five Canadian kids charged with making school threats

Police say online threats are on the rise

Not even Ellen DeGeneres can get Virtue, Moir to say they’re more than friends

Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Tuesday

Most Read