On October 17, 2017, Canada lost one of its greatest poets, advocates and patriots. Gord Downie passed away at the age of 53 after a battle with brain cancer.


The number 17 is repetitive throughout Downie’s life:

  • Off of 1991’s Road Apples, “Fiddler’s Green” tells the story of Downie’s sister and the son she lost on September 17th.

  • October 17, 2006, the Hip release their 10th studio album, World Container. Eleven years to the day later, Downie would pass away.
  • June 17, 2016, the Hip release what would would become their final record, Man Machine Poem. They would embark on a national tour weeks later, with their final show being broadcast live to 11.7 million viewers across the nation.
  • Long Time Running, the film documenting the band’s Man Machine Poem tour, was released on September 13, 2017 – but on September 17, it was named as First Runner Up for TIFF’s People’s Choice Award for Documentaries.
  • October 17, 2017, the Hip announced their partnership to produce their own strain of cannabis, something Gord was fond of.
  • And then, on the evening of October 17, Gord passed away surrounded by his family. The band released a statement the following day.


Although it may not be much, the repetition of this one day throughout Gord’s life is a curious one and offers a little more insight into his tremendous life. His ability to use lyrics as a way to teach us about Canadian geography, history and people is unmatched. Other Canadians have begun paying their respects, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:


SONiC Boys and Girls are sharing their memories as well:


Read more and celebrate Gord’s life HERE.

Filed under: Forever Hip., Gord Downie, tragically hip