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Dedicated fans make Kingston pilgrimage to pay tribute to The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie

A few dedicated Tragically Hip fans travelled to Kingston to pay tribute to Canadian icon Gord Downie on the second anniversary of his death.

On Oct. 17, 2017, Canadians lost a musical icon when Downie, lead singer of The Tragically Hip, passed away at the age of 53 after a long battle with brain cancer.

A few dedicated fans gathered at Market Square in downtown Kingston to honour his legacy.

READ MORE: The Tragically Hip talk life after Gord Downie: ‘We’re all still adjusting’

Candles, handmade hats and written messages to Downie lay close to his commemorative stone, which is embedded in the ground outside Kingston City Hall, memorializing his  final concert as the Hip’s frontman.

Catherine Keillor has travelled all the way from Cambridge, Ont. to attend the vigil.

“Oct. 17 has now become something special to all of us,” Keillor says.

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“I would like to see it become a national holiday in support of Gord Downie.”

Secret Path Week continues Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack’s legacy
Secret Path Week continues Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack’s legacy

Mark Walker and his family say they have helped to organized the vigil in Kingston every year, and that they will continue to do so in the years ahead.

“We are a little disappointed with the turnout, but our family will still keep on showing up and showing support for his music,” says Walker.

Since his passing, some fans who attended the vigil believe that Downie’s efforts to help Indigenous communities made a lasting impact.

READ MORE: In Gord We Trust: Canadians pay tribute to Gord Downie on the 1-year anniversary of his death

“I’m a fan of The Tragically Hip and Gord Downie and for the way they stood up for the Indigenous people and got the word out there [about] how Indigenous people are being treated… and it still continues in his memory today,” says Jackie Jobin.

“That’s a big deal for us.”

Downie’s commemorative stone reads “Everybody was in it from miles around,” a line from The Tragically Hip’s “Blow at High Dough,” which are words that ring true as Hip fans across the country reflect on a legacy that touched so many Canadians from coast to coast to coast.