Toronto, ON – September 11, 2019 – On October 19th, Secret Path Live returns to Roy Thomson Hall.  Featuring the original Secret Path band, surprise guests, dancers and artists will come together to create a fully immersive and cultural experience that celebrates Indigenous cultures and commemorates the lives of Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack.

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) is thrilled to announce the stellar, award-winning artists that will perform that evening: Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sam Roberts, Tanya Tagaq, July Talk, William Prince, Whitehorse, and Tom Wilson. 

Secret Path Live brings to life the true story of Chanie Wenjack as told in Gord Downie’s JUNO Award-winning album, Secret Path, through the illustrations of Jeff Lemire, and animation of Justin Stephenson.  This special show brings awareness to the true history and legacy of Canada’s residential school system.

Artists will be backed by the original Secret Path band that performed with Gord Downie on the same stage three years prior; including Kevin Hearn (Barenaked Ladies), Kevin Drew (Broken Social Scene), Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers), Dave Hamelin (The Stills), and Charles Spearin (Do Make Say Think). 

Secret Path Live takes place during Secret Path Week (October 17-22); a national movement commemorating the lives of Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack and calling on all Canadians to answer Gord’s call to “Do Something” to forward reconciliation.

“The Secret Path project was incredibly important to Gord. His passion and tenacity to help tell Chanie’s story never wavered and our hope is that it will continue to inspire Canadians to get involved and support this country on the path towards reconciliation for years to come,” says Mike Downie, co-founder and DWF board member. “This night is one small example of what my brother Gord dreamed of for this country - Indigenous and non-Indigenous coming together to create a more complete, inclusive and equitable country.”

This benefit concert supports the programming at the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF).  DWF continues the conversation that began with Chanie Wenjack’s residential school story and seeks to aid our collective reconciliation journey by building awareness, education, and connections between all Canadians.


About the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF)
Inspired by Chanie’s story and Gord’s call to build a better Canada, the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund (DWF) aims to build cultural understanding and create a path towards reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. DWF’s work centres around improving the lives of Indigenous people by building awareness, education, and connections between all Canadians. @downiewenjack

About Secret Path Week (Oct 17-22)
Secret Path Week is a national movement commemorating the legacies of Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack and takes place annually between Oct 17th and 22nd. This is a special week as October 17th and 22nd respectively mark the dates that Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack joined the spirit world. The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund calls on all Canadians to use this week to answer Gord Downie’s call to action, to “Do Something” by creating a reconciliACTION and furthering the conversation about the history of residential schools.

#DoSomething #reconciliACTION #SecretPathLive #RoyThomsonHall #SecretPathWeek

About Buffy Sainte-Marie
Since her groundbreaking debut, 1964’s It’s My Way!, the Cree singer-songwriter has been a trailblazer and a tireless advocate, an innovative artist, and a disruptor of the status quo. Sainte-Marie has spent her whole life creating, and her artistry, humanitarian efforts, and Indigenous leadership have made her a unique force in the music industry. In 1969, she made one of the world’s first electronic vocal albums; in 1982 she became the only Indigenous person to win an Oscar; she spent five years on Sesame Street where she became the first woman to breastfeed on national television. She’s been blacklisted and silenced. She’s written pop standards sung and recorded by the likes of Janis Joplin, Elvis Presley, Donovan, Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. She penned “Universal Soldier,” the definitive anti-war anthem of the 20th century. She is an icon who keeps one foot firmly planted on both sides of the North American border, in the unsurrendered territories that comprise Canada and the USA.

About Sam Roberts
Canadian singer/songwriter Sam Roberts released his debut in 2002, following a popular independent demo recording he had made in Montreal. The Inhuman Condition was released and became the best-selling independent EP in Canadian history. In 2003 he released his first full-length album We Were Born In A Flame. The album is a double-platinum hit in Canada and won the JUNO Award for Album of the Year, Rock Album of the Year, and Artist of the Year. He continued to release hit albums for the remainder of the decade: Chemical City in 2006 and Love At The End Of The World in 2008. Each album also won the JUNO for Rock Album of the Year. For his 2011 release Collider, Roberts changed from using his name to using Sam Roberts Band. In 2014, Lo-Fantasy was released to great acclaim. Lead single "We’re All In This Together" reached the top of both Canadian rock radio charts, followed by Top 10 hits "Human Heat" and "Shapeshifters". In 2016, TerraForm was released, the band’s 6th studio album. Lead single “If You Want It” reached #2 at both rock radio charts. The album was nominated for the Rock Album Of the Year at the 2016 JUNO Awards.

About Tanya Tagaq
Tanya Tagaq is an improvisational singer, avant-garde composer and bestselling author. A member of the Order of Canada, Polaris Music Prize and JUNO Award winner and recipient of multiple honourary doctorates, Tagaq is one of the country’s most original and celebrated artists. In 2014, Tagaq sent shockwaves through the music world with Animism. The album’s Polaris Music Prize victory disrupted the music industry and contributed to a change in conversation about Indigenous artists. The follow-up, 2017’s Retribution, brought Tagaq’s inimitable and powerful artistic vision to even broader audiences. Tagaq’s recent projects include debut novel Split Tooth, nominated for the Giller Prize and other awards, and National Maritime Museum commission Toothsayer, a soundscape for the permanent “Polar Worlds” exhibit.

About July Talk
Since 2012, July Talk has risen with purpose and poise. Three sold out nights at Massey Hall to close out 2017 made an undeniable statement about the band’s potency and community. July Talk has also grown as mentors and allies of an urgent and fundamental industry recalibration. From the New Constellations Tour and recording project with high school students in Thunder Bay to curatorial partnerships with festivals to creating safe spaces at rock shows, July Talk is working to build community, raise resistance and advance equality.

About William Prince
Born and raised on the Peguis First Nation of Manitoba, Canada, William has been honing his craft since the age of nine when he first picked up the guitar and piano. Counting Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Charley Pride, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson (as well as books like April Raintree and Fahrenheit 451) among chief influences, he ultimately cites his preacher and musician father as the biggest inspiration. “My whole life I listened to my dad’s deep voice singing gospel,” he says. “In a sense, I make folk-country tunes inside of a gospel framework. It can be really powerful, but it brings a calm.”

About Whitehorse
Since their debut in 2011, Toronto’s Whitehorse has evolved from magnetic folk duo to full-blown rock band. In truth, Whitehorse is never fully either one or the other, but an ever-evolving creative partnership between Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet. As four consecutive JUNO nominations in multiple categories in recent years attest, whether it be a holiday album or reworked blues covers or pop noir album, Whitehorse rises to every challenge with guitar wizardry and magnetic harmonies.

About Tom Wilson
Tom Wilson was raised in the rough-and-tumble world of Hamilton—Steeltown—in the company of World War II vets, factory workers, fall-guy wrestlers and the deeply guarded secrets kept by his parents, Bunny and George. For decades Tom carved out a life for himself in shadows. He built an international music career and became a father, he battled demons and addiction, and he waited, hoping for the lies to cease and the truth to emerge. It would. And when it did, it would sweep up the St. Lawrence River to the Mohawk reserves of Quebec, on to the heights of the Manhattan skyline. With a rare gift for storytelling and an astonishing story to tell, Tom writes with unflinching honesty and extraordinary compassion about his search for the truth. It’s a story about scars, about the ones that hurt us, and the ones that make us who we are.

DOWNLOAD – Hi-res photos of Buffy Sainte-Marie, Sam Roberts, Tanya Tagaq, July Talk, William Prince, Whitehorse, Tom Wilson; Secret Path Live poster and images from 2016 Secret Path Live concert with Gord Downie.

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For more information please contact:
Audra Santa – ph. 416.896.9777 / e.

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#DoSomething #reconciliACTION #SecretPathLive #RoyThomsonHall #SecretPathWeek