Mike Downie, shows off the illustration of late brother Gord Downie’s final tour hat worn with The Tragically Hip, on the back of a goalie mask to be auctioned off by the Victoria Royals as part of a variety of team activities raising money for the Downie Wenjack Fund. Don Descoteau/Victoria News

Victoria Royals giving a boost to fund inspired by Tragically Hip singer

Downie Wenjack Fund recipient of funds raised starting at tonight’s WHL game vs. Seattle

Thousands of Greater Victorians felt connected with The Tragically Hip by attending concerts at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre over the years.

The arena’s anchor tenant, the WHL’s Victoria Royals, are strengthening that connection further with a fundraising venture that got underway at last Friday’s game against the Seattle Thunderbirds and runs for the next few weeks.

Mike Downie, brother of late Hip lead singer Gord Downie and co-founder with him of the Gord Downie/Chanie Wenjack Fund, was in town that day to help promote the fundraiser.

“I think there’s a huge opportunity in the country right now for non-Indigenous Canadians to become more aware of Indigenous lives, to try and move the needle and create a more inclusive country,” he said.

The fund began life a year ago and emerged from Gord Downie’s The Secret Path project, which included an album, graphic novel and animated film, all about the escape of Aboriginal youth Wenjack from a residential school and his subsequent death before he could get back home. It was a way to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people together to “keep the conversation going” on Indigenous issues, Mike said.

He and other volunteers with the fund were “blown away” when the Royals reached out to ask if they could help.

“With Gord, the association with hockey is just so obvious. This is a rink that Gord started many tours in; started other tours always in Victoria, so it feels really good to here,” Downie said.

A custom-designed goalie mask created by Travis Michael is to be auctioned off on CHL Auctions. The Royals previously installed a sign board at rink level to help raise awareness, and proceeds from the sale of all of last year’s game-worn jerseys will be donated to the fund.

“When someone like Gord Downie, who we all had a great deal of respect for, says that he cares about something, I think it does wake up a lot of Canadians …,” said Royals general manager Cameron Hope. “It’s just a matter of taking those small steps that we can take to raise awareness and try to inspire people to educate themselves about Indigenous issues in their own communities.

“It’s a simple thing … to just ask people to care. I think Canadians, by and large, care for one another and if you give them a reason to care about an issue and challenge them to educate themselves about it, I think they will.”

For more information about the fund, visit downiewenjack.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Hundreds rally in support of horse carriages outside Victoria City Hall

Crowd angry with Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion to ban local horse carriage industry

Forbes Group proposes a new medical clinic for Sooke

Four doctors will have space adjacent to a new pharmacy

Five-month bridge closure poses early impacts on drivers during rush hour

Construction began Tuesday on the crossing commonly known as the Bay Street bridge

Rifflandia Festival cancelled for 2019

Early Bird tickets can be refunded at point of purchase, or held and redeemed for 2020

Several hundred SD 62 students team up to clean the shoreline

Effort aimed at keeping Esquimalt and Albert Head Lagoon trash-free

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses review around ferry workers’ right to strike

B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union collective agreement expires November 2020

Young Victoria distillery earns prestigious Scotch awards

Scottish influences range from techniques to ‘kilted tours’ at award-winning business

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

Brewpub offers ‘boat valet’ for paddlers during Surfrider celebration tonight

Free ‘Surf Formal’ evening features a local art auction, door prizes, live music

Building a close-knit community in Sooke

Knit 2 Purl Together a community event

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Most Read