What Justin Trudeau, Ryan Reynolds and other notable Canadians are saying about Gord Downie’s death
Gord Downie packed a lot of life into his final year and a half. After sharing that he’d been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, he put out a Tragically Hip album, released a graphic novel, film and solo record (and there’s another on the way), founded a fund for Indigenous reconciliation, and played a final concert that made Canada stand still.
He was a performer unlike any other, an inspiration to a generation of musicians, and a poet whose words and music captured what it meant to be Canadian. So, when Canada discovered this morning that Downie had died, the country was gutted. Here’s how some notable Hip fans said goodbye.
First, the news from the Downie family:
Statement – pic.twitter.com/3quqCF4zah
— Gord Downie (@gorddownie) October 18, 2017
Justin Trudeau teared up talking about Gord and his legacy:
— Rachel Aiello (@rachaiello) October 18, 2017
The PM also posted a more formal statement online. “The Tragically Hip’s music invited us to explore places we had never been—from Mistaken Point to Churchill—and helped us understand each other, while capturing the complexity and vastness of the place we call home,” he wrote:
Full statement on the death of the Tragically Hip's Gord Downie: https://t.co/FiHhj9Spee
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) October 18, 2017
Gerald Butts, Trudeau’s right-hand man and concert buddy at the final Hip show, shared some thoughts, too:
Never waste a single minute on this Earth. That's the lesson to take from Gord Downie's remarkable last year. #RIPGord
— Gerald Butts 🇨🇦 (@gmbutts) October 18, 2017
John Tory made good use of his extra Twitter characters:
Gord Downie was an inspiration to us all. His music is an essential part of the soundtrack of Canada. His diagnosis was heartbreaking but he faced illness with courage and a commitment to continue doing what he loved. He will be missed.
— John Tory (@JohnTory) October 18, 2017
While a number of Canadian celebrities decided less was more:
RIP Gord Downie. 🇨🇦
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) October 18, 2017
So long, Gord. Thank you. 🇨🇦 https://t.co/hFG1ujudez
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) October 18, 2017
Swift rebirth Gord Downie. 🙏🏽
— k.d. lang (@kdlang) October 18, 2017
Given Gord’s love for hockey, no surprise one of the greats chimed in:
Heartbroken today. Few Canadians touched this country like Gord Downie. Thank you for everything you gave us. My deepest condolences. pic.twitter.com/00DdU6IVZn
— Doug Gilmour (@DougGilmour93) October 18, 2017
As well as another ultra-Canadian personality:
— Rick Mercer (@rickmercer) October 18, 2017
Here’s the premier:
I think I speak for all people in Ontario in saying we are heartbroken. With Gord Downie's passing a piece of Canada has died.
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) October 18, 2017
It’s been a tough week for Bubbles, after the death of Trailer Park Boys’ John Dunsworth:
Gord Downie. Another brilliant, wonderful soul is gone. Deepest condolences to the family. RIP Gord. Thank you for everything you gave us. pic.twitter.com/nkJ1Uu6yxd
— Bubbles (@MSmithBubbles) October 18, 2017
Artist Jeff Lemire, who illustrated Downie’s graphic novel, Secret Path:
To my friend. xo J pic.twitter.com/95VO2yxkxi
— Jeff Lemire (@JeffLemire) October 18, 2017
Here’s one from a band that wrote the lyric, “This campfire won’t last forever, the Hip have only wrote so many songs”:
Thank you Gord. You'll never stop inspiring us.
— ARKELLS (@arkellsmusic) October 18, 2017
More heartbroken Canadian musicians:
Husband, father, poet, activist, icon & fearless performer, Gord Downie, has passed. Thank you for inspiring so many w/ a life well-lived. 💔 pic.twitter.com/y1NrHae1Qy
— Nickelback (@Nickelback) October 18, 2017
— Randy Bachman (@RandysVinylTap) October 18, 2017
gord would want you to be good to someone today. he'd want you spend time listening. he'd want you to laugh. let's try to do it. for gord.
— torqcampbell (@torquilcampbell) October 18, 2017
Love you Gord. pic.twitter.com/x33Im5RNNL
— Billy Talent (@BillyTalentBand) October 18, 2017
RIP Gord Downie. #legend
— Marianas Trench (@mtrench) October 18, 2017
Thoughts from one of Canada’s best music critics:
Gord Downie wasn't "my" rock star, but he was ours. And in his final act, esp., he tried so hard to do right. Rest in poetry, GD (goddam).
— Carl Wilson (@carlzoilus) October 18, 2017
— Michael Barclay (@mmmbarclay) October 18, 2017
Journalist Steve Ladurantaye shared this story:
Was at an airport with my kids while ago. My 5-year-old had a long, long casual chat with guy in a hat next to us. Like an hour, about nothing. A grown up talk. Where you going, who you gonna see, what will be best. As we left, realized it was Gord Downie.
— Steve Ladurantaye (@ladurantaye) October 18, 2017
Even the satirical Stats Canada account saw it fit to be serious:
There was only one Gord Downie.
— Stats Canada (@stats_canada) October 18, 2017