Article by: Leslie Styles / Cover Photo by Mark Yesford

It was a sad day on October 17th, as Burlington joined the rest of the country in remembering the first anniversary of Gord Downie’s passing. Pubs and performing arts venues nationwide had booked pseudo-Hip bands for the evening.

A year ago, the entire country was thrown into mourning as news broke that Gord had quietly passed away, with his beloved family by his side. The Tragically Hip, five friends from Kingston playing together since the 1980s, were forever silenced as a band. Brain cancer had taken away the precious poet and rock star.

Now, a year after his death, many Burlington fans who were looking for a place to mourn, gathered at Joe Dog’s Gasbar Grill. At 8pm, happy hour was announced, and the crowd sang the lyrics “two fifty for a highball and a buck and a half for a beer,” from the well-known song, Little Bones.

After producing 13 studio albums, Downie taught us a lot about history. From the most iconic moments of Canadian Hockey to the lowest moments of the justice system, The Tragically Hip incorporated the history of the country into their songs.

The tribute band “Artificially Hip,” from Cambridge Ontario, brought the past to life for the evening, playing the music of Downie and The Tragically Hip. The tribute band’s repertoire revealed the history that Gordon Downie, Rob Baker, Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair, Johnny Fay and Davis Manning had taught us.

While feeling a great loss as everyone gathered on the anniversary of Gord’s death, there was also an appreciation to have experienced his music that enriched so many lives. Canada will always cherish Gord Downie and The Tragically Hip.