On Oct. 19 at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, a benefit concert called Secret Path Live will re-create the 2016 performances of musicians that shared the story of Chanie Wenjack through a multi-media initiative.
Wenjack was an Ojibwe First Nations boy who ran away from the Indian residential school he attended in the 1960s in Kenora, Ont. He died of hunger and exposure while trying to walk the 600 km back to his home on the Marten Falls Reserve. Wenjack has become a symbol of the desperation of Indigenous children who struggled to survive the residential school system.
The Secret Path project, conceived by now-late Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie and brother Mike, intertwines the music from the Juno award-winning album, graphic novel by Jeff Lemire, and the animated film Secret Path t shed light on the legacy of the Indian residential school system in Canada and the mistreatment of the Indigenous children who attended them as well as their families.
The upcoming concert will feature the original Secret Path band, special guests, dancers and artists and will commemorate the lives of Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack. The concert is presented by the Downie & Wenjack Fund. Proceeds from the event will go to the fund.
The fund provides access to education on the history of Indigenous people in Canada and the legacy of residential schools. It encourages reconciliation by way of their programming and events.
Feature musicians are Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers), Dave Hamelin (The Stills), and Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think).
Special appearances by Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sam Roberts and Tanya Tagaq, among many others.
Tickets are available here: https://downiewenjack.ca/news-events/secret-path-live/