Gord Downie, the imaginative songwriter, inimitable live performer, environmentalist, advocate for First Nations people and published poet, died on Oct. 17 surrounded by his family and children, the Tragically Hip announced in a statement.
From The Globe and Mail's obituary on Mr. Downie:
When it came to time with his fans, Mr. Downie was giving and accessible, often signing autographs with his ever-present four-colour Bic pen. 'If you put in a little bit of effort as a fan, I think Gord and the band recognized that you were putting yourself out there,' said Joshua Kloke, author of Escape is at Hand, a book based on his fandom of the Hip. 'I think they saw that you were putting yourself in a vulnerable position.'
Here is a small selection of reaction from fans across social media. A reoccurring theme from many is that Mr. Downie represented the best of what Canada has to offer. If you'd like to share your favourite memory or simply say thank you, please use #RememberingDownie and we will monitor and share on this page.
Found this pic on the Internet today and loved it so much , I had to share it. I can't believe this happened and I can't imagine how & what his family and friends are feeling today. I don't think there will be too many of us Canadians, near or far, that won't be thinking of them today. He truly was "ahead by a century"❤ #ripgorddownie #gorddownie #gorddowniescanada #tragicallyhip #tragicallyhipmusic #whatigrewupwith #cantbelievehesgone
To my friend. xo J pic.twitter.com/95VO2yxkxi— Jeff Lemire (@JeffLemire) October 18, 2017
R.I.P with the angels Gord Downie.❤️😢You were a Canadian gem and a talented artist. We will cherish your legacy of music.❤️🇨🇦#TragicallyHip— Purva 🏳️🌈🇨🇦 (@FayPurva) October 18, 2017
In photos: A look back at Gord Downie's life in song
One nation under Gord: The tour a whole country followed
Ian Brown joined Gord Downie on a tour bus to talk mortality, music and Chanie Wenjack
I saw The Hip many moons ago and unfortunately I was too young to really appreciate what I was watching. Cocky teenager not really getting it. Now, it's too late. Thankfully Gord Downie made everyone feel included in every show. As the daughter of a residential school survivor, I am forever grateful for the way Gord put the horror of residential schools in the faces of Canadians everywhere. He saw the strength and purity behind every First Nations person and praised it in the most beautifully heartbreaking way. Gord was a warrior and a lover of truth and, well, love. Your memory will live on forever and we'll try to make you proud. Rest peacefully, oh gentle soul. 🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦🇨🇦 #GordDownie #TheHip #TheTragicallyHip @thetragicallyhip #Reconciliation #ChanieWenjack #SecretPath #CanadasFrontMan #RestPeacefully
#GordDownie was an even better human than he was a rock star. I love that about him. #Canada💔Sending big love to the #TragicallyHip family.— Gayle O'Brien (@GayleOBrien) October 18, 2017
Something David and I have always bonded over is music. Particularly our love of The Tragically Hip. We were sad to hear of the passing of Gord Downie this morning. A man who was a gift to this country and our music scene. A man who in his final years gave so much to this country’s First Nations people. Gord, you a gift that keeps giving. Thank you. We’ll see you at the hundredth meridian. ❤️ #Gord #tragicallyhip #music #davidalsodavid #unrealestate
Heartbroken. I respected Gord Downie for his music & talent. And because he had the #courage to fight. #ripGord #TragicallyHip pic.twitter.com/mIuWjTTYD5— Tessa Ryan (@TessaRyanWrites) October 18, 2017
It was Gord's unusual charisma in the Courage video that made 10-year old me a #TragicallyHip fan. #RIPGordDowniehttps://t.co/1gS8NfsllH— Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) October 18, 2017
Our hearts break on news of the passing of Wicapi Omani, “Walks Among the Stars”, Gord Downie an ally & friend. pic.twitter.com/9gPIdX1qrO— Perry Bellegarde (@perrybellegarde) October 18, 2017
Can’t believe #gorddownie is gone. He gave us so much and his music defined my teenage years. His energy and spirit was unrivaled and his bravery and inspiration despite the health issues was magical. I already miss you and will listen to the #tragicallyhip #thehip with a heavy heart today. You were ahead by a century my friend! 🙏 #rip
Love this description of Gord Downie in the Times obit: https://t.co/5Nt9wY4kOF pic.twitter.com/06WQuIRhgM— Stuart A. Thompson (@stuartathompson) October 18, 2017
A true Canadian moment brought to you by The Tragically Hip. I didn't intend to jump off the cliff. I just wanted to see what the view was like from up there. So I climbed up and once on the cliff I thought, "you climbed all the way up here...why don't you just jump?". I stood on the edge debating the decision to jump as my legs were trembling like leaves. Then my friends turned up the Hip and cheered me on. And I jumped. I'm serious when I say, the Hip made me do it. Thank you for all the memories, Gord. Rest amongst the stars. #gorddownie #gorddowniescanada #thetragicallyhip @manda_lyn23 @danielkannimae
the fact he or the Hip were not as popular outside our borders made them more famous within. It's a point of pride that they remained ours.— Jorno (@JornCoutts) October 18, 2017
RIP Gord. Gone Way too soon, but Cheers to Life so well lived. https://t.co/m06MCC1jwl— Alan Doyle (@alanthomasdoyle) October 18, 2017
A few years ago, we took part in a little event at @thegradclub in Kingston for the @lowaterkeeper organization backing up our friend Chris Brown. Gord Downie was there, and we spent some time together after the show. He was a soft spoken gentleman with a big heart. He carried our guitars for us out to our van. At the time we thought that it was pretty cool that Mr. Downie volunteered to be our roadie. Now it's clear in hindsight that he never saw himself as more than a servant to the music, whatever shape that took. Rest well Gord, and thanks for the memories. #RIPGordDownie @gorddownieofficial
The soundtrack of car rides to practices, bus trips to tournaments, and dressing rooms across Canada. Hockey was a part of you and you will always be a part of hockey. Thank you, Gord Downie. pic.twitter.com/kHj8iPlUa4— NHLPA (@NHLPA) October 18, 2017
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